Cisco has introduced the MDS 9120 and MDS 9140, fixed-configuration switches which fill out the lower end of its MDS family. Featuring 20 and 40 ports, respectively, the two switches will also ship with a version 1.2 of Cisco's MDS 9000 operating system.
Tom Harrington, product manager for the Cisco MDS 9000, said the switches are for the low-end customers that need minimal connectivity.
"Customers that want to start small, but want to grow can go with the 9100 family," said Harrington. "Both the 20- and 40-port switches share the same software as the director, meaning they can use other Cisco products to grow."
He added that 40 is the highest port count for this class and that the switches are targeted for the edge of the datacentre where 1U servers are often found.
Derek Granach, director of hardware products for Brocade, was not surprised by the announcement, explaining that the midrange switch market is the highest growth spot for switch suppliers.
"We sell through OEMs and partners and Cisco too has adopted that model," said Granach. "To be successful, [these new switches] must be priced competitively to other products in the market."
He explained that Brocade does not have a 40-port switch, but has a 32-port switch and that Cisco resellers are likely to sell the switch at competitive price per port to Brocade's 32-port switch.
Other features of the switches include security options, improved management and tools for troubleshooting. Harrington noted that the two switches ship with an integrated fabric manager, something he said Brocade and McData sell separately for approximately $25,000.
Cisco expected partner Hewlett-Packard to begin reselling the switch this month and IBM, Hitachi Data Systems and EMC will follow before the end of the year.
Scott Tyler Shaffer writes for InfoWorld