With broadband networks proliferating across the enterprise, networking vendors are finding that the best products combine robust power with a broad ranges of features. This year's Tech Innovator Awards finalists show how these two concepts can be married into a single outstanding product.
The 3Com Switch 8800 series is the company's most powerful offering to date. Anchoring the company's LAN switch product portfolio and designed for very large organizations that want secure convergence and application integration, the Switch 8800 uses dual load-sharing switch fabrics--meaning that adding resiliency also doubles switch performance. The 1.44-TB Switch 8800 delivers up to 24 10-Gb wire speed ports and 288-Gb wire speed ports, and can support second-generation fabric and modules to redouble the switch's performance.
Along with more robust networks comes the need for expanded storage capabilities. Hewlett-Packard is addressing this need with its StorageWorks Enterprise File Services (EFS) WAN Accelerators, a remote-office solution that helps enterprise customers consolidate distributed IT into a centralized site. This saves organizations money by reducing equipment needs and limiting IT staffing requirements. For companies that rely on WAN throughput to assist regional, national or global collaboration, the tools can accelerate many enterprise applications by up to 100 times. EFS WAN Accelerators also optimize WAN bandwidth by removing unnecessary or superfluous WAN traffic, which helps to delay or obviate major WAN bandwidth upgrades.
Showing that strength alone isn't the only desirable quality in switching, MRV Communications has developed the OptiSwitch 9000 series, a carrier-class/metro Ethernet platform with a comprehensive traffic management suite that includes metro Ethernet E-Line and E-LAN services; multifield classification of packets at Layers 2, 3, and 4; advanced QoS compliance; IP/MPLS services; high availability protocols at Layers 2 and 3; and MRV's Master-OS software for current and future services.
As broadband networks expand, these products are the best examples of how vendors are developing tools that anticipate the demands of next-generation networking deployments.