Enterasys bolsters switches with automation, access control

Enterasys rolls out modular, stackable lines include better policy definition, enforcement

Enterasys Networks this week will revamp its stackable and modular edge switches with a new generation of platforms featuring enhanced automation, visibility and control.

For the modular edge, Enterasys unveiled the K-Series line. The K-Series includes two chassis -- one a 10-slot configuration and the other a six-slot version. The 10-slot chassis supports up to 216 Gigabit Ethernet ports and eight 10G Ethernet uplinks. The six-slot configuration supports up to 144 Gigabit Ethernet ports and four 10G Ethernet uplinks.

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I/O modules include 24 port 10/100/1000 with IEEE 802.3at-compliant PoE; 24 port Gigabit Ethernet SFP; and four-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+.

The K-Series incorporates Enterasys' CoreFlow 2 ASIC, which is designed to classify users, devices and applications -- such as business, best effort, critical topology and unauthorized -- and enforce access control and categorization policies associated with them at line rate.

This includes discovery and authentication of IP phones. When an IP phone is discovered, a pre-provisioned policy is assigned to it, Enterasys says. This is designed to simplify moves. Adds and changes in IP telephony environments.

The K-Series supports several discovery protocols for IP phones and other endpoints, including Cisco Discovery Protocol, Link Layer Discovery Protocol with Media Endpoint Discovery, TCP/UDP port number snooping, reserved IP address snooping, H.323 and the Session Initiation Protocol.

In the stackable form factor, Enterasys rolled out the A4 line, designed for entry-level connectivity and embedded video/voice/data prioritization. The Enterasys A4 is a 10/100Mbps stackable switch with high-availability and integrated automation features, such as user-based access controls.

For the first time in the A Series stackable lineup, the A4 performs role-based access and security controls. This allows it to enforce policies defined on a per user basis by the network administrator, Enterasys says.

The A4 line includes 24/48 port 10/100Mbps switches, with 802.3af PoE and non-PoE models, and fiber models. The A4 supports up to eight switches in a single stack. It can support up to 384 end-user ports per stack, and up to 16 Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports.

The A4 also supports eight hardware queues and LLDP-MED for voice/video deployments .

The Enterasys K-Series and A4 lines with be available in June. The A4 has a starting list price of $699, while the K-Series has a starting price of $26,685.

Enterasys had a 1% share of the $5.4 billion Ethernet switch market in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Dell'Oro Group. The K-Series and A4 will go up against stackable and modular edge switches from Cisco, HP, Brocade, Extreme Networks and others.

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