3Com also is rolling out a fixed configuration switch that can be virtually stacked to achieve performance comparable to a modular switch. The S5800G/XG switch is designed for top-of-rack datacenter, medium-sized enterprise core and high-density access applications. It supports 24 10G Ethernet ports or as many as 192 in a virtual stack and 80 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 640 per stack.
The S5800 is also field upgradeable to PoE and PoE Plus, 3Com says. The company will also roll out a management application, called the H3C Intelligent Management Center (IMC), for centralized FCAPS management of its switches and routers, and third-party devices.
But will any of this make a difference to non-Chinese large enterprise users that 3Com twice backed away from?
"Their credibility is challenged," says analyst Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group. "I think though that the current economy cuts them a break. The Cisco premium is becoming quite [burdensome]. The S12500 is a good switch and product quality has never been a problem for 3Com. But can they secure a large systems integrator partner and how long will it take them to get some really good lighthouse wins" outside of China?
The S12500 and S5800 switches are slated to ship in July. The S5800 is priced from $6,500 to $18,000. The IMC software is expected to be available in June; pricing was not disclosed.
Market mainstay Force10 will emphasize density with a 90-port 10/100/1000Base-T line card for its recently introduced ExaScale E-Series 600 and 1200 switches. The line card delivers total non-blocking throughput of more than 1 billion packets per second and reduces power consumption by as much as 70 percent per port over competitive offerings, Force10 says.
The card allows the ExaScale switch to support up to 1,260 10/100/1000Base-T ports in a single chassis, or 630 in a half-rack configuration. Pricing starts at $60,000 and it will be available in June.