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Foundry Networks Makes a Power-over-Ethernet Grab

Posted by inet - 2006-07-19

Foundry Networks on July will try to raise the bar on voiceoverIPready network switches when it debuts its third generation of chassis switches built for VOIP and wireless traffic.
 
Foundry is claiming the highest Power over Ethernet density in its new FastIron SX and FastIron SX and slot switches.

The FastIron SX provides up to Gigabit Ethernet POE ports with a redundant power supply.

As VOIP gains mainstream status and enterprises engage in either planning or implementation activities Foundry sought in its thirdgeneration VOIP switches to simplify the upgrade path to POE for users.

Although the chassis switches support a mix of fiber and copper connectivity their port // copper module can be upgraded to support POE via a single $ daughter card. The daughter card will provide POE to all ports.

That capability sets Foundry apart said senior analyst Steven Schuchart Jr. with Current Analysis in Sterling Va.

"You can just pull the blade add the daughter card and stick it back in it. You can probably do it without unplugging everything as well. Before this you had to pull out the old card (and replace it with another) to add POE.

"The real value is being able to keep the value of your current card spend a little on an upgrade and there you are" he said.

The slot chassis includes independent power supplies for the system and for POE and it supports a redundant power supply.

Up to three power supplies can support Class POE ports. To ensure high availability both the and slot chassis support redundant management modules and a redundant switch fabric.

Foundry chose to provide Class POE at . watts to ensure that enough power is available to IP phones or other powerdrawing after power loss occurs on the wire.

"No one is educating people about the power loss incurred from the wire. The IEEE designated that the maximum power loss for the wire is watts" said Val Oliva director of product management for Foundry's enterprise product business unit in Santa Clara Calif.

"A VOIP phone requires between to watts. So IT managers planning for POE need to make sure each POE port supports power from to watts to be able to power simple a IP phone or one with a lot of features" he said.

Schuchart is not convinced there's an issue there however. "I haven't heard anybody talk about that issue. I don't think anybody has a device that needs . watts. Devices that are Class POE will ask for . watts but that's not their peak draw" he said.

The switches which can also be used to power wireless Access Points or video over IP cameras in software support Border Gateway Protocol dynamic voice VLAN configurations SFlow for network traffic accounting and prioritization as well as security functions such as IP source guard dynamic Address Resolution Protocol inspection and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol snooping.

They also support Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and a range of existing IP phones including Cisco legacy prestandard IP phones.

The FastIron for core network use can support up to Gigabit Ethernet ports.



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