Foundry Networks Inc. last week boosted the flexibility of its line of switches and routers with a handful of new products that implement the IP Version 6 standard.
The new NetIron 4802 paves the way for service providers and enterprises to prepare for next-generation IPv6 routing and its promise of greater addressing space and built-in quality-of-service functions, according to Foundry officials. Although deployment of IPv6 is still in its infancy in North America, adoption is moving along in Asia and Europe, where compliance with the new standard is being mandated, said the officials, in San Jose, Calif.
Still, it is important for vendors such as Foundry to remain on "the forefront of development and of what IPv6 can do," said Todd Hanson, an analyst at Gartner Inc., also in San Jose. "IPv6 may not be a primary driver for new product selection today, but it will become the minimum requirement for routers and switches. The time frame for that will vary by business process needs, by application and by government mandate."
The NetIron 4802 provides 48 10/100M-bps Ethernet ports and two mini-Gigabit Interface Converter Ethernet ports. It implements both IPv4 and IPv6, and it allows users to create IPv6-based virtual LANs. It can switch at speeds up to 34G bps. It will be available next month priced starting at $14,995.
For VOIP (voice-over-IP) installations, Foundry added a pair of new FastIron edge switches that support the emerging IEEE 802.3af standard for power over Ethernet, or POE.
The FastIron Edge 2402 POE and FastIron Edge 4802 POE can connect to regular PCs as well as IP phones or wireless access point devices, which require power. Foundry designed the 24- and 48-port switches to support devices that draw more power than a standard telephone.
"When you deliver power through Ethernet ports, it takes power away from the unit. We provisioned the power supply to support 480 watts. In the 24-port stackable, we can deliver up to 15 watts," said Anthony James, Foundrys product manager.
The two switches, which include two Gigabit Ethernet ports for copper or fiber links, are intended for VOIP as well as wireless access point connections and IP video surveillance cameras. Both the wireless access points and the IP cameras are often installed in locations that have limited access to power outlets.
The 24-port switch, due in May, is priced starting at $4,495. The 48-port switch, due in June, starts at $7,495.
Foundry also added new flexibility for small Gigabit Ethernet backbones, aggregation of Gigabit Ethernet links and distribution of Gigabit Ethernet over copper to servers through the new FastIron Edge 12GCF Switch.
The Layer 2/Layer 3 switch provides 12 Gigabit Ethernet ports that can be a mix of Gigabit over copper and fiber media. The stackable unit, capable of switching at speeds up to 34.56G bps, can forward 17.5 million packets per second. It is due next month priced starting at $7,995.