Enterasys makes it gig with Matrix E1

In an effort to bring voice, video and data applications to the enterprise, Enterasys Networks last month released three new products designed to meet the rising bandwidth demands of enterprise networks.

Building on the design of the Matrix E7 gigabit switching platform, Enterasys last month released the Matrix E1 family of 10-gigabit and gigabit Ethernet switches.

According to the Rochester, N.H.-based company, the Matrix E1 series includes three switches to cover the growing 10-gigabit and gigabit Ethernet markets.

“The Matrix E1 family is a value-added solution,” said Kevin Brown, general manager, switching business in Andover, Mass. “We tried to build scalability into our Matrix E1 line of products. Everything relates back to our core initiatives of scalability, availability and reliability.”

Included in the E1 line is the Matrix E1 Workgroup Switch (WS), which offers 48 fixed 10/100 ports and three modular expansion slots for a variety of 10/100 or gigabit Ethernet connections. The WS is priced at US$7,995. Second in the release is the Matrix E1 Gigabit Workgroup Switch (GWS) which comes with six 1000Base-T ports and three expansion slots. The GWS lists at US$9,995. Last in the series is the Matrix E1 Optical Access Switch (OAS) offering 12 ports of line-rate gigabit performance and a 10GB expansion module. The OAS is priced at US$14,995.

Enterasys said that it will be offering additional 10GB connectivity options to address short, medium and long-haul fibre environments starting this year.

“This is not our cheapest line of switches but we think this is very aggressive with the full feature set we offer,” Brown said. “These products have high-performance wire speed in any configuration, which is key. Another key feature is the modularity of (the products). There are not a lot of products in the industry that are modular. That is a key differentiator.”

And key differentiators are what Simon Fraser University is looking for. According to Burkhard Kraas, network operations supervisor for Simon Fraser in Burnaby Mountain, B.C., the university is rolling out the Matrix E1 switches to enable a mass project whereby the school will have high-performance computing campus-wide.

“We have a solid base of Enterasys equipment and we are very satisfied with the equipment and the support,” Kraas said. “This class of switches in the basic configuration comes with 48 ports and not all switches have that. The E1 also has three additional or optional slots for different upgrades. This is what we really need for the kinds of (wiring) closets we have.”

Kraas added that before settling on the Enterasys switching family, Simon Fraser, which recently upgraded its backbone to gigabit, benchmark tested several other switches and was unsure of the upgradeability.

“We were bugging Enterasys for a long time to come up with the configuration that would meet our need,” Kraas said.

The Matrix E1 family is available now. For details, visit the company on the Web at http://www.enterasys.com.