Networld+Interop: Switch suppliers tout 10 Gigabit Ethernet platforms

Two switch suppliers have announced 10 Gigabit Ethernet platforms at the Networld+Interop show.

Two switch suppliers have announced 10 Gigabit Ethernet platforms at the Networld+Interop show.

Extreme Networks said its upcoming Mariner product cost as little as $8,000 (£4,974) per port when it  launched sometime in the third quarter.

Extreme demonstrated a prototype of Mariner, and officials claimed it was the first truly programmable core-switching design. The switch is running the Extreme 4GNSS architecture. 

The Extreme announcement came a day after Foundry Networks unveiled its own 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch, the BigIron MG8.

The product will be priced at about $16,000 (£9,951) per port and will be available this summer. Foundary demonstrated the product with eight four-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules running in a single chassis in a system that costs about $595,000 (£370,000), officials said. 

Foundary also cut the prices for previous-generation BigIron 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches by as much as 67%. 

Joshua Johnson, an analyst at Synergy Research Group, said the price of $8,000 per port for a 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch was the lowest he knew of and is well below the previously announced $10,000 (£6,221) per port for the XGS 9000 from Riverstone Networks. 

Cisco Systems last month announced its Supervisor 720, priced at about $30,000 (£18,666) per port. 

"All the cutting-edge vendors are doing a great job trying to be the first to market with true 10-Gig throughput," Johnson said. "But there are still not a lot of compelling applications for 10Gig E, and price points haven't come down enough for wide adoption." 

Many early adopters of 10 Gigabit Ethernet are universities and supercomputing centres.

Switch suppliers at N+I tried to drum up interest among large companies to install 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches in backbones and datacentres or at the backbone of metropolitan-area networks. 

The 4GNSS design in the Mariner from Extreme is designed with a T-Flex programmable application-specific integrated circuit, which means that IT managers will be able to change the functions of chips inside the switch after it is deployed, said Timon Sloane, director of product management at Extreme.

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