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Alcatel-Lucent Unveils 10GbE Switch

Application Fluent Networks, a low-latency network for real-time applications, was released alongside the new 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch.

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Relatively quiet in the enterprise switch market for several months, Alcatel-Lucent signaled Tuesday that it has aspirations of being a major player in the field with a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch that supports 5 terabits per second (Tbps) wire rate switching capacity and 256 10GbE ports.

At the same time, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled a new low-latency network for real-time applications called Application Fluent Networks (AFN). AFN features built-in security, low power consumption, and automatic controls for adjusting application delivery.

The company is positioning its new chassis-based switch largely at the booming data center and cloud computing enterprise market. The OmniSwitch 10K Modular LAN Chassis is the first to exemplify Alcatel-Lucent's enabling of AFN.

"Enterprises today are facing an explosion of end-user devices, as well as extremely challenging delivery requirements for real-time sensitive communication applications, such as video conferencing," said Nicolas De Kouchkovsky, the firm's enterprise business chief marketing officer, in a statement. "It is no longer enough to just throw bandwidth at the problem."

By leveraging the OmniSwitch 10K's intelligence with the AFN, the company believes enterprises can benefit from a dynamically tuned network that will streamline applications and result in lowered costs. The switch delivers less than 1.5 watts per non-blocking Gbps bandwidth, assisted by a virtual queuing technology that prioritizes traffic.

Alcatel-Lucent is expected to face strong competition for its switch in data centers from Cisco, which dominates the category with its Nexus solution. Other major players include Arista and Juniper.

The OmniSwitch 10K carries a base price of about $60,000 for the chassis while ports are listed between $1,875 and $2,200, according to published reports.

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