• United States

3Com’s latest switch fares well vs. Cisco Catalysts

Jan 13, 20042 mins

* 3Com switch vs. Cisco Catalyst switches in Tolly Group test

3Com is marching back into the enterprise switching arena, on a mission to win back customers. Part of that mission materialized in the Switch 7700R introduced this week, in conjunction with a test from The Tolly Group that showed its speed.

The chassis-based LAN switch has failover capabilities that had been missing from its predecessor, the Switch 7700. If one management module fails, the other takes over in less than a second. It also has one more slot than its predecessor and new security, management and routing features. The full story can be found here:

The Tolly Group last month pitted the Layer 2 performance of the 7700R against two Cisco Catalyst switches, the 4507R and the 6509.

The Tolly Group tests equipment for vendors. 3Com commissioned the report, and Tolly is very upfront about that. While it may be tempting to therefore cast aspersions on the results, the group goes out of its way to invite the competitor to provide support for the tests and to comment on the results. In this case, Tolly says, Cisco agreed to participate but declined to comment.

Tolly’s report says the 7700 is “the only device tested that achieved zero-loss wire-speed performance across all packet sizes tested when handling Layer 2 traffic in an adjacent port-pairing scheme.”

The throughput matched the theoretical maximum of 96G bit/sec, while the Catalyst 4500 model started dropping packets at about 25% of its theoretical maximum, a result the report attributes to blocking in the switch.

The Catalyst 6500’s results varied by packet size. With a Switching Fabric Module, the switch could achieve anywhere from 42% to 92% of its theoretical maximum throughput.

For the full report, go to:

Let me know if passing along this information was interesting and/or helpful to you, at

If it was, I’ll look for more Tolly reports to pass along to you in the future.