Foundry pushes gig over EdgeIron

Foundry Networks Inc. this month is expected to introduce copper gigabit and Layer 4 to Layer 7 switches aimed at users looking to bring high-speed links to desktops and server farms.

The new EdgeIron 24G is a fixed-configured copper gigabit switch that could let businesses take advantage of low-cost gigabit PC and server network interface cards (NIC) for running high-bandwidth applications, such as IP video over gigabit Ethernet. The modular FastIron3208RGC provides high-density copper gigabit for larger data centres, with 10G Ethernet uplink options.

Foundry’s ServerIron 100 series is aimed at customers looking for a chassis-based server or firewall load-balancing switch for improving data centre server availability or for making security appliances, such as firewalls and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) accelerators, more reliable and fast.

Foundry’s FastIron 3208RGC is a four-slot modular switch with 40 100/1000Base-T copper ports on two blades, and eight mini-gigabit interface converter (GBIC) ports on its management module.

The ServerIron 100 series of Layer 4 to Layer 7 switches will come in three flavours: the 2402 version with 24 10/100 ports and two fibre gigabit ports; the 8GC02F, with eight gigabit copper and two fibre gigabit ports; and the 8G model, with eight fibre gigabit ports.

Foundry joins the gigabit bonanza from vendors as prices continue to fall fast. According to International Data Corp., the average price for a fixed-configured gigabit Ethernet switch port has dropped from about US$800 per port in 1998 to about US$150 to US$200 per port this year. During the same time, gigabit NICs also have come down from an average of US$500 to the US$200 range today. Many companies, such as Dell, and HP, include built-in 1000Base-T connections on their PC motherboards.

The EdgeIron 24G and the ServerIron 100 series will be available this month for US$6,500 and US$35,000, respectively. The FastIron 3208RGC is available now starting at US$27,500.