BigIron gets bigger

Foundry has announced its new BigIron switch family which places redundant operation to the fore. The new BigIron family will be available in July 2005.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  May 4, 2005

Foundry has announced the BigIron RX-series of high-performance layer 2/3 Ethernet switches. Foundry says the BigIron RX-series provides a flexible, scalable and fully redundant high-performance solution for a wide range of environments including enterprise backbones, data centres, high-performance computing and service provider networks. The BigIron RX-series family includes three chassis models, each supporting redundant management, redundant switch fabric and redundant power supply components. The BigIron RX-4 is a compact four rack unit (RU) high switch. It supports four half-slot port modules and has a switching capacity of 384 gigabits per second. The BigIron RX-8 is seven rack units in height, supports eight half-slot port modules and has a switching capacity of 768 gigabits per second. The BigIron RX-16 is fourteen rack units in height supports, sixteen half-slot port modules and has a switching capacity of 1.536 terabits per second. With its low profile design, the BigIron RX-16 switch can be stacked three high in a single seven-foot rack providing for as many as 192 wire-speed 10-GE ports. “Second generation 10-GE solutions developed in the early 2000's helped launch 10-GE as a strategic and enabling technology for both enterprises and service providers,” says Bobby Johnson, chairman and CEO of Foundry Networks. “To really accelerate and move 10-GE into the mainstream a new generation of switching is required, one that leverages the latest advances in network processors, switch designs and system architecture. The BigIron RX-series integrates state-of-the-art technologies in a family of fully redundant switches to deliver to our customers a compelling solution for building scalable, reliable and convergence-enabled networks that are truly ready for the future,” he adds. To ensure business continuity in the event of equipment failures, the BigIron RX switches are designed with no single point of system failure. The BigIron RX architecture supports redundant common equipment for all three chassis models. The BigIron RX-4 and RX-8 support 2:1 switch fabric redundancy and the BigIron RX-16 supports 3:1 switch fabric redundancy. All three models support 1:1 redundancy for the management module and N+1 redundancy for the power module. Even in the event of multiple fabric module failures, the BigIron RX switch will continue to operate, but at a reduced capacity. The BigIron RX is the only switch solution in the industry that can tolerate multiple fabric module failures in this fashion. The BigIron RX also supports in-service software upgrades allowing the network operator to perform software updates without disrupting the operation of the network. The BigIron RX-series was selected as a Best of Interop Finalist in the Network Infrastructure category at the recent Interop tradeshow.

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