LVL7 this week announced that its IP software will now run on Broadcom switch hardware.Last year the company made its Fastpath software easier to port to different vendors\u2019 hardware, and apparently that effort paid off. Broadcom\u2019s Ethernet switch chips are embedded in a lot of switch system vendors\u2019 equipment.LVL7 (pronounced "Level 7") makes software to run higher-level functions on switches, such as IP Multicast functions, access control lists and quality-of-service controls. The software uses embedded operating systems VxWorks and Linux.The Fastpath software is now integrated into Broadcom\u2019s StrataSwitch and StrataXGS chips, which are multilayer Gigabit Ethernet switches.LVL7 pointed me to a recent report from Crystal Cube Consulting, Mesa, Ariz., which indicated that most network equipment makers will find themselves going to an outside company for their switch software. The reason? Too many layoffs during the economic implosion left them without development resources.The consulting firm sees those equipment companies focusing their energies on specific value-adding functions while leaving the bulk of the software work to third parties.