40G Ethernet takes center stage at Interop

Extreme Networks rolling out 40G Ethernet uplinks for stackable switches; Avaya shows commitment to Nortel line; Brocade revs up application switching

Switching will once again be all the rage at this week's Interop conference in Las Vegas as the first 40Gbps Ethernet products are slated to be unveiled.

Switching will once again be all the rage at this week's Interop conference in Las Vegas as the first 40Gbps Ethernet products are slated to be unveiled.

Extreme Networks plans to roll out 40G Ethernet uplinks for its stackable switches and modules for its chassis-based systems in the enterprise core. Those products will be priced aggressively too, at less than $1,000 per port.

Meanwhile, Avaya will prove its commitment to the switching products it obtained from the recent acquisition of Nortel's Enterprise Solutions business by introducing extensions to that portfolio, including a new core Ethernet switch. And Brocade will expand its application switching software and hardware portfolio.

100G Ethernet Cheat Sheet  

But it is 40/100G Ethernet that will take center stage at the show. Extreme will join Force10 Networks as an early provider of 40G Ethernet switches and switching modules for data centers.

Force10 last week announced plans to ship 40G Ethernet switches across its portfolio in the second half of this year. Extreme will enter trials later this year with four-port 40G Ethernet modules for its stackables and BlackDiamond modular switch.

The modules will allow the BlackDiamond 8800 core switch to support up to 24 40G Ethernet ports per switch. The four-port 40G modules for the Summit stackable line can be used for stacking or to uplink to a BlackDiamond core switch.

They will support wire-speed for local switching but oversubscribed when hitting the backplane, Extreme says. And at less than $1,000 per 40G port, they are priced like 10G ports -- the average selling price of a 10G Ethernet port in 2010 will be $915, according to Dell'Oro Group.

Avaya commits to Nortel switches

Avaya, meanwhile, will put to rest any FUD concerning its commitment to the Nortel switches and data networking products it acquired by unveiling the ERS 8800 series, a successor to the existing ERS 8600 line of core Ethernet switches. The 8800 will include a new switch fabric for the existing 8600 chassis, a new three-slot chassis configuration for smaller networks and edge requirements, and a non-blocking 11-slot switch.

The switch will also feature a "split plane" architecture for integrating wired and wireless networks. It will reduce power consumption by 33% over the 8600 and increase memory by 150% to support scalability of virtual machines in a data center. A core switch cluster will support up to 200 10Gbps Ethernet ports, Avaya says.

The three-slot switch will have a 200Gbps full duplex backplane.

The company will also unveil a new capability for its 8100 IEEE 802.11n WLAN controller. The 8100 will initially perform control and forwarding plane functions for up to 512 access points; but then assume only control or only forwarding plane capabilities as its software is further integrated with the 8800 switch and virtualized, Avaya says.

Avaya will also unveil the Advanced Gateway 2330 for branch offices, a Session Initiation Protocol gateway that provides routing, VPN and firewall capabilities. It will compete with Cisco's Integrated Services Routers and Juniper's SSG gateways, but with an emphasis on IP telephony and unified communications, Avaya says.

Lastly, Avaya has rewritten all of the applications in its Unified Communications Manager system to enable single sign-on and discovery to allow network managers to easily navigate across various applications. Right clicking on an application on the UCM topology map with produce vital statistics on that application, such as flow characteristics.

The 8800, advanced gateway and enhanced UCM are all available now.

Brocade's app switching focus

For application switching, Brocade will roll out software that provisions and manages application resources in a virtualized environment, a new verison of its ServerIron ADX switch operating system, and a new entry-level application switch.

Brocade's Application Resource Broker is a plug-in for VMware's vSphere software. It analyzes application performance across the network and servers and provisions resources accordingly. It provides visibility into both the virtual and physical infrastructure, Brocade says.

Version 12.2 of the ServerIron ADX software features license upgradeability for increased or improved performance and capacity. It provides predictive application load balancing based on response times, Layer 7 switching support for the Financial Information eXchange protocol, an IPv4 to IPv6 gateway and optimized cache switching for service providers.

The entry-level ServerIron ADX switch is called the 1008-1. It support up to 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two 10G ports, and a maximum Layer 7 throughput of 7Gbps. It is priced at $13,000.

All products will be available later in the second quarter.

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