Foundry Pitches Flexible Switches

Foundry combines simplicity, flexibility and availability in its new line of application switches.

Foundry Networks Inc. hopes to hit a sweet spot for enterprise and service provider networks with a new line of midrange application switches that marry the simplicity of fixed configuration devices to the flexibility and availability of a high-end chassis.

The ServerIronGT E Series layers 4 through 7 switches are designed for network operators looking to balance performance and scalability with lower cost. Included in the three-member addition to the ServerIron family is a dedicated 10 Gigabit Ethernet application switch, among the industrys first, Foundry officials said.

Cisco Systems Inc.s Catalyst 6000 Series with a content switch module can also handle 10G bps, but "if you look at the switch platform dedicated to [layers] 4 through 7, it is true [that Foundry is] the first to bring this level of performance for application switching," said Cindy Borovick, an analyst at IDC, in Framingham, Mass.

The preprovisioned application switches provide a range of the features found in the ServerIronGT line, including security, high availability, session persistence, Layer 3 routing, Layer 4 load balancing and Layer 7 content switching for a range of applications. They include two- and four-port Gigabit Ethernet switches with a layers 4 through 7 management module, as well as a two-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch with a multiprocessor layers 4 through 7 management module.

ServerIron 400 users at New York-based Right Media LLC would have seriously considered the new E Series switches had they been available earlier, according to Matthew Philips, vice president of technology at the online advertising service provider.

"We look for technologies that are simple yet powerful, flexible and upgradable without having to overspend for what we need today," Philips said. "Something thats more of an appliance than a chassis product with all kinds of configuration options is definitely interesting."

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