Extreme GigE switch ups ante with Cisco, Juniper

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Extreme Networks Inc. is showing off an upcoming Ethernet switch line designed to play a series of roles, including edge aggregation in the campus and top-of-rack server access in the data centre.

Extreme’s Summit x460 is a stackable 1RU switch that comes in six flavours, with either 24 or 48 Gigabit Ethernet fibre or copper ports and four “dual-personality” copper/fibre ports. The switch line supports stacking bandwidth of up to 80 Gbps and a distance of 100 metres.

The 460, to be available by the end of the year, also supports 24-watt Power-over-Ethernet Plus for emerging PoE devices, like video equipment. The switch also features an optional dual 10 GbE uplink module; optional dual internal AC/DC redundancy; field-replaceable fans with front or side-to-back airflow; OSPF, PIM, ESRP, VRRP and BGP routing protocols for small core deployment; policy-based QoS and routing; and IPv6 forwarding.

The 460 supports three different stacking options. The switch supports Extreme’s existing two-port 40 Gbps (20 G per port) stacking module as well as two new cards: a dual-port 80Gbps (40G per port) QSFP+ board support distances up to 100 meters; and a two-port 10G SFP+ module spanning 40 kilometres.

In the data centre, the 80 G stacking option lets users deploy the 460 as a top-of-rack switch supporting high-performance cross-rack stacking for server access to the network fabric. In the campus core, up to six switches can be stacked and then linked in a virtual chassis configuration to another switch or switch stack 40 km away, Extreme says.

And at the campus edge, stacked and unstacked 460 PoE and PoE Plus switches in a wiring closet can support voice and video systems deployed in workgroups on building floors.

The switch line supports the IEEE 802.3at PoE Plus standard and provides up to 30 watts per port for attached devices. One AC PoE power supply can provide up to 380 watts of power, Extreme says, while two can provide up to 760 watts of PoE power.

The 460 will go up against Cisco’s stackable Catalyst 3750-X and Juniper’s EX4200 switch. Extreme claims a 14 to 25 per cent price reduction over those devices.

“I wouldn’t say it’s unique, but it’s got some popular features for high-end enterprise wiring closets: stacking, virtual chassis and PoE,” says Alan Weckel of Dell’Oro Group. “And the price points are very good.”

In the data centre, Weckel says the X460 can complement Extreme’s Summit X650 10G switch for top-of-rack applications. The X460 can connect directly to servers at 1G and then the X650 can aggregate multiple X460s into the data centre core.

“Even though the buzz is 10G, the majority of servers will be 1G for the foreseeable future,” Weckel says.

In non-stackable applications, the 460 will face off against Cisco’s 3560-X and Juniper’s EX3200, and is priced US$1,100 to US$1,500 more than those switches, according to Extreme.

The Summit X460 is priced at US$4,500 and will be available by the end of the year.

(From Network World U.S.)

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