Alcatel Breaks 10-Gigabit Ethernet Price and Performance Barriers

Alcatel has announced the Alcatel OmniSwitch 9000 family of high-performance 10-Gigabit Ethernet core switches saying the new switches deliver future-proof solutions with no hidden costs, while offering improved security, high availability and smart performance for today’s networked applications, including voice-over-IP, video collaboration and database applications. The vendor also claims that by providing faster access to applications and business intelligence with a throughput of more than 570 Mpps, Alcatel’s OmniSwitch 9000 family is the first chassis on the market to use Broadcom’s Strata XGS III family of fully-integrated Ethernet switch chips, which is their newest, highest performing and most feature-rich solution.

Alcatel’s latest switches are built on a new architecture that provides resiliency and security features through the unique Alcatel Operating System (AOS) combined with Broadcom’s industry-leading Ethernet semi-conductors. The Alcatel OmniSwitch 9000s are optimised for use in the network core and aggregation layer where large amounts of user data are consolidated for 10-Gigabit connections.

The new Alcatel OmniSwitch 9000s deliver wire-rate processing for IPv6 and support multicast applications, allowing businesses to benefit from these future trends at their own pace and at no extra cost. The switches are also capable of supporting future requirements at the network’s edge as Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop becomes commonplace and demand for power-over-Ethernet capabilities increase.

The OmniSwitch 9000s are part of Alcatel’s end-to-end enterprise switch family that includes stackable and modular edge switches, which use the AOS for simplified manageability, high availability, security, and reduced total cost of ownership. High availability is ensured through component redundancy and security features are provided through the unique Alcatel OmniVista Quarantine Manager, which identifies and isolates viruses and unauthorised users before they can wreak havoc on the network, automating the response for a self-healing network.

“We are very pleased that our industry-leading Ethernet switch chips have become the solution of choice to combine with Alcatel’s world-class software in the Alcatel OmniSwitch 9000 core switch family,” said Ford Tamer, senior vice president and general manager of Broadcom’s Networking Infrastructure Group. “As a global leader in Ethernet semiconductors, Broadcom is committed to providing enabling technology that allows Alcatel to deliver highly available, secure and easy to manage IP networks.”

“By combining the strong features and capabilities of our AOS with the most advanced Ethernet switch silicon solutions available in the market today from Broadcom, the Alcatel OmniSwitch 9000 family is able to support the convergence of voice, video and data and other applications at the best price available today,” said Eric Penisson, vice president of marketing and software engineering for Alcatel’s network infrastructure activities. “The OmniSwitch 9000 family is a platform that will keep pace with growing enterprise performance and end user needs and sets new standards for network uptime, security and services.”

“It looks like Alcatel has put together a solid offering with the OmniSwitch 9000 family,” said Steven Schuchart, Current Analysis. “They’ve built strong availability, flexibility and scalability into every aspect of the switch and have not skimped on its features.”

Specifically, the Alcatel OmniSwitch 9700 model is available today in a 10-slot chassis with a dedicated high-performance management and switching-fabric module. Initial choice of modules will include a two-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet (XFP) module, a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet copper (10/100/1000 RJ45) module and a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet fibre-optic (SFP) module.

The larger Alcatel OmniSwitch 9800 chassis as well as additional modules including a six-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet (XFP) module, a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet copper (10/100/1000 RJ45) with power-over-Ethernet support modules and a dedicated high-performance management and switching-fabric module, will be available shortly.

The Alcatel OmniSwitch 9000 family features a completely redundant configuration and prices starting at approximately 14,000 pounds.