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Brocade wants to give enterprises looking for alternatives to Cisco Systems affordable and scalable options for their campus networking environments.

Brocade officials on Nov. 8 rolled out new Ethernet switches that they say will enable companies to quickly adapt to changing business and application demands while driving down overall networking costs. In a statement announcing the new offerings, Brocade officials noted a report from market research firm Gartner that stated that many enterprises are overpaying for their network technologies that lack the flexibility to adapt to changing business demands.

The new switches are designed to address those concerns and help enterprise campuses handle the growing list of network-intensive workloads being put on them, from high-definition video conferencing and real-time collaboration to unified communications and virtual desktop environments, according to officials with the vendor.

Brocade (NASDAQ:BRCD) rolled out the ICX 6610 switch, a high-performance Ethernet access switch that offers 320G bps of stacking bandwidth, five times more than offerings from competitors, including Cisco. It also provides eight 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports, and offers a 35 percent improvement in total cost of ownership (TCO) and better return on investment (ROI) over competitive offerings, the company said.

The ICX 6610 includes 1 Tbps of switching capacity with up to 284 GbE and 64 10 GbE per stack for campus edge and aggregation layers.

In addition to the ICX 6610 switch, Brocade also unveiled new blades and performance and scalability upgrades for its FastIron SX Series of chassis-based aggregation and core switches, designed to improve the price-performance of aggregation and core networks. The new enhancements include high-density 10 GbE blades that enable the FastIron SX to scale to up to 128 ports of 10 GbE, about four times more than its predecessors.

The upgraded FastIron SX Series includes such features as multi-chassis trunking for active-active resiliency that offers more bandwidth than more traditional active-passive redundant designs, according to Brocade. In addition, the product offers MACsec encryption and Energy Efficient Ethernet support, both of which provide customers with greater investment protection, according to the company.

The ICX 6610 will be available later in November from Brocade and its channel partners starting at $5,595. The upgraded FastIron SX Series modules also will be available this moth starting at $4,495. Multi-chassis trunking for the FastIron SX modules will be available in early 2012. 

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Brocade Broadens Campus Networking Capabilities