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Alcatel-Lucent switch pushes Cisco, HP at the edge

New models help bring multimedia to enterprise campus

Alcatel-Lucent this week will unveil a new Ethernet switch for enterprise campus networks that is designed to extend voice, data and video convergence to the wiring closet and access tier.

The company's OmniSwitch 6450 comes in 10-, 24-, and 48-port Fast and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The 24- and 48-port versions are targeted at the network edge and wiring closet access environments, while the 10-port version is for branch office, SMB and managed access applications.

All switches come in PoE+ and non-PoE versions. PoE+ will provide power on the Ethernet ports to juice IP phones, IP videocameras and wireless LAN access points.

GETTING EDGY: Brocade and Extreme fortify the campus edge

The 24- and 48-port versions include 2x10 GigE SFP+ ready uplink ports and optional two port modules for GigE uplinks, and 10 GigE stacking applications. Metro Ethernet features are available on each with an additional license. The 24-port configuration also comes with fiber ports, and the non-PoE 24-port model features fanless operation.

The 10-port version also comes in PoE+ and non-PoE varieties. It features eight ports of 10/100Base-T with an option to upgrade to 10/100/1000Mbps. The switches also feature two RJ-45/SFP GigE ports, two SFP GigE uplink ports, a Metro Ethernet license option, and fanless operation.

The 10-port 6450 has been shipping since November. The 24- and 48-port configurations will be available in the second quarter. The 24-port configuration costs $1,600 for non-PoE and $2,900 for PoE; the 48-port version costs $2,900 for non-PoE and $4,700 for PoE.

The 10-port 6450 costs $550 for non-PoE and $800 for PoE.

The switches also feature Alcatel-Lucent's User Network Profile (UNP) technology for binding access rights and service levels to the specific user and device on the network. By recognizing device and user via port and media access control address, UNP can assign service provisioning requirements, security profiles, expected QoS levels, and the priority of the conversation for the corporation, Alcatel-Lucent says.

UNP is part of Alcatel-Lucent's Application Fluency strategy for multimedia traffic. Application Fluency allows Alcatel-Lucent switches to detect a specific SIP-based conversation, assign specific QoS treatments, tag traffic to deliver consistent treatment, monitor QoS, packet loss, delay and jitter, and provide a conversation quality dashboard with suggestions on QoS policy change.

Alcatel-Lucent plans to augment this with fluency for specific applications and virtualized desktops; and with HTTP traffic.

In a 40G Ethernet core comprised of Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6900s in the core and 6450s at the edge, Alcatel-Lucent says it can cut total cost of ownership by 53% to 71% over Cisco and HP. The company says it compared its offerings to a configuration of Cisco Nexus 5548s, and Catalyst 3750-X and 2960-S switches; and HP's 5820, 5500 El and 5120 El switches.

Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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