Brocade set to take Cisco, Juniper on in 100G

Mid-September announcement could include 32-port router

Brocade is ready to give Cisco and Juniper a run for the money in 100G Ethernet. The company later this month will unveil 100G Ethernet routers and modules that it claims will be "industry altering" and its "most significant networking platform development" since acquiring Foundry Networks in 2008.

That will be key, because Brocade has been struggling with Foundry. The company just reported fiscal third quarter results that saw Ethernet/IP sales dip 5% from Q2, while the rest of the industry either grew very slightly or remained flat. Brocade also acknowledged missteps in its Ethernet/IP go-to-market strategy as reasons behind a significant drop-off in sales in Q1. The company rebounded a bit in Q2 Ethernet/IP sales, but Q3 saw that 5% dip.

Brocade said the announcement will include a new flagship router, 100G modules with pricing and a unified network management solution that unifies SAN/IP into a single tool. Speculation is that the new 100G Ethernet products could include a 32-port 100Gbps Ethernet router previewed at Brocade's technology day conference in New York in June. It could also include a chassis-based core data center switch mentioned at the same conference.

A likelihood is a 100G Ethernet module for the NetIron MLX router that Brocade hinted at last month. Brocade says that module would bring 32 100G Ethernet ports to the MLX.

Cisco currently supports 16 100Gbps Ethernet ports in a single, full-rack CRS-3 core router chassis. No. 2 Juniper supports eight 100Gbps Ethernet interfaces in a single, half-rack T1600 core router chassis. Alcatel-Lucent also announced 100Gbps Ethernet interfaces for its edge routers.

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