Foundry Drives Lower Cost, Security to Networks Edge

The company's FastIron LS switch tackles tight spaces in wiring closets and open offices.

Foundry Networks on May 2 will seek to further segment the edge of the enterprise network when it launches a compact Layer 2/Layer 3 switch that delivers secure Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop.

The Foundry FastIron LS switch is designed for tight spaces in wiring closets and in open offices. It takes up a single rack unit and is 33 centimeters deep. It also features less noisy fan operation.

"We have customers that install network equipment inside the office space, not in a wiring closet. That requires products with less noise in order to operate in the office environment," said Val Oliva, director of product management at Foundry, in Santa Clara, Calif.

"Were all fighting for space in the rack, and some of our locations are relatively small. That was part of the deciding factor," said Scott McBrayne, director of technical services at The Cadillac Fairview Corp., in Toronto. "We were surprised when we realized how small it was compared to other Foundry products we had." McBrayne is now rolling out FastIron LS switches to remote locations across Canada.

The FastIron LS is also built to deliver affordable Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop with the option to add 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks, and it can provide high-speed connectivity for server farms and storage devices in small and midsize data centers.

/zimages/3/28571.gifTo read more about Foundry FastIron switches, click here.

Like a number of competitors, Foundry is delivering greater levels of security at the networks edge in the new switch, which provides either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 ports and expansion slots for 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The FastIron LS switches deliver multiple security levels, ranging from DoS (denial of service) attack mitigation via TCP Syn and ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) Smurf protection to inbound and outbound rate limiting, IEEE 802.1x authentication, and protection from protocol-level attacks via Spanning Tree root guard and BPDU guard protect.

"Once 802.1x authentication is completed, we can add a VLAN [virtual LAN] assignment for that port via an [Access Control List] or MAC [media access control] filter. That basically assigns a policy to that user in one fell swoop," said Oliva.

Cadillac Fairview, which had already started using IEEE 802.1x authentication for its WLAN (wireless LAN), found it important to extend that security across its network. "Were all concerned about vulnerabilities. Everybody is targeted to have a hard, outer shell. This is an opportunity to strengthen our security [from internal threats]," said McBrayne.

The switches, which are also IP V6 ready, are available now. Theyre priced at $2,995 for the 24-port model and $4,495 for the 48-port model. An external and redundant power supply that can power up to four units costs $1,495; the 10 Gigabit Ethernet module is $995.

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