Always eager to alert our readers to new technologies (plus we're suckers for David and Goliath stories), we are intrigued by Force10's newest C-Series switch, which the company is putting up against no less than the Cisco 6500.
The C300 switch offers an eight-slot chassis with up to 382 10/100/1000Mbps ports and support for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Up to 32 four-port 10 GbE line cards let you use it as an aggregation layer switch for direct connection to a 10G LAN core. The Force10 OS offers isolated switching of Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding for greater data resiliency.
While the C300 is officially labeled as a mid-level solution on par with the Cisco Catalyst 4500, its scalability puts it on par with the catalyst 6509 and Nortel's ERS 8600. And with high-bandwidth solutions becoming all the rage on the LAN edge, it looks like there is ample room for a smaller, more nimble competitor.
But with Cisco already controlling about 70 percent of the market, Force10 has its work cut out for it.