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10G switch start-up has low profile

Nov 29, 20052 mins

* Introducing Raptor Networks Technology

Today I’d like to take a quick look at a 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch company that has really been flying under the radar. Raptor Networks Technology is a small company that specializes in 10 Gigabit Ethernet gear.

Earlier this month the start-up, incorporated two years ago, closed a $7.7 million round of equity financing. And next month the company plans to ship a 10GBase-CX4 option for its switches, bringing in an all-copper switching option that costs less than fiber.

Raptor’s hook is a technology in the Ether-Raptor switches that it calls Raptor Adaptive Switch Technology, or RAST. The company describes RAST as “an interconnect system that allows Ether-Raptor switches to distribute their switch elements over distances unheard of up to now.”

The switches in a cluster can create a virtual single fabric over distances. This distributed, virtual switch fabric or stack is used by other companies today, but at shorter distances. Today, Raptor’s reach is 40 kilometers; the company claims that in the future it will reach hundreds or even thousands of miles using dense wave division multiplexing and OC-192.

Raptor has two primary switch products – the Ether-Raptor 1010 and the Ether-Raptor 1808.

The 1808 has eight ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet and aggregate switching bandwidth of 160G bit/sec. As a stand-alone box it has eight XFP connectors with options for 300 m, 10 km, or 40 km pluggable transceivers.

The 1010 is designed to work in a cluster of two to 16 switches. It has up to six 10-Gigabit ports, which can hook to other devices as 10 Gigabit Ethernet or to other 1010s using RAST. If you cluster them, you can get up to 384 ports of Gigabit Ethernet; Raptor says in the future that will scale up to 1,536 ports. The switches can be up to 10 km apart and maintain their single-fabric capabilities.