Cisco switching rival refreshes high-end switches

Enterasys keeps up the fight with S-series

Remember the good old days in LAN switching, when Cabletron used to bash Cisco at every turn while Cisco ate its, and every other competitors', lunch? Cabletron used to run an ad campaign showing a Catalyst switch being forced into a soda bottle to criticize the product's oversubscription; and also referred to Cisco routing blades in Cabletron switches as 'power sucking aliens.'

We all know where that got them.

What's left of Cabletron is Enterasys Networks, and while they've dampened the trash talk, they haven't left the arena. This week Enterasys revamped its high-end switching line with the new S-series, optimized for newer enterprise applications -- server virtualization, cloud computing, and video and voice convergence.

The S-series also includes plenty of the role- and policy-based security and access control goodies Enterasys is noted for. And at 160Gbps per slot, the line is plenty ready for upcoming 40/100G Ethernet requirements, expected early next year.

It requires a forklift upgrade of the old N-series chassis, however. And it remains to be seen if it will lift Enterasys' fortunes in Ethernet switching which have been flat at about 1.2% revenue share of the $19 billion market for the past several quarters.

But it's good to see them still in the game, even if it does conjure up amusing but uncomplimentary memories of the frat house-like atmosphere at Phi Gamma Cabletron in the mid-1990s.

Time for a kegger!

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