ADTRAN Targets SME With GbE Aggregation Switch

The VN 1544 Layer 3 switch rounds out ADTRAN's SME switching line, is stackable to provide 20 Gb bidirectional throughput.

By Ted Stevenson | Posted Jul 17, 2009
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Huntsville, Alabama-based ADTRAN Inc. will be finishing a push to expand its reach into the network when it rolls out the last model of a new Layer 3 GbE "aggregation" switch, the NetVanta 1544, next month.

Heretofore, ADTRAN--which sells a broad line of networking devices into the SME market--could fully equip the smaller enterprise LAN, allowing customers to benefit from its single unified operating system, system management automation, and multi-function device designs. But past a certain scale, the VAR or systems integrator would have to bring in a third-party aggregation switch. Enter the NetVanta 1544.

"With the release of the NetVanta 1544, we're able to fully meet the networking needs of any enterprise that moves up into the several-thousand-employee type of office," Joe Mclean, product manager for the NetVanta switch line, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

Three models of the 1544 will be available: The 1544 with 24 10/100/1000base-t ports, the 1544P, a PoE model with the same port configuration as the 1544, and the 1544F, which has 24 SFP (small form-factor pluggable) ports for fiber connections.

All three boast four additional SFP aggregation or uplink ports. "The SFP ports are unique in that not only can they run at the standard 1 gig rate, they can run at 2.5 gigs as well," Mclean said.

The units are stackable, and the uplink ports can be interconnected to enable a wide variety of configurations. In high-speed campus connectivity deployments, for example, the four SFP ports can be directly connected over distances of more than 100 meters to deliver 10 Gb of throughput in both directions.

The NetVanta products are typically quite feature-laden, the NetVanta 1544 being no exception. What's more, "All the features we'll talk about are standard," Mclean told Enterprise Networking Planet. "You don't have to buy premium licenses to get these."

Business class switching features include Class of service, 902.1x security, port security, and RADIUS/TACACS+ authentication. Business class routing features include QoS controls and built-in support for BGP, RIP, and ASPF routing protocols.

"The product also includes a wireless access point controller, so I can manage 24 APs from an individual switch--something that's unique to ADTRAN," Mclean pointed out.

ADTRAN is also big on power efficiency. "We're hearing more and more from IT managers that they're hearing from their board of directors, 'Tell us what you're doing to reduce your costs in the data center,' " Mclean said.

ADTRAN, he explained, develops all of its power supplies in-house rather than buying them 'off the shelf.' "This lets us build more efficient products, such that our products use less power than our competitors. So a PoE switch that's providing 370 Watts out to end devices would take input of 450 Watts of PoE power, whereas a competitor's would take 500 to 550 Watts."

Also serving power conservation ends is ADTRAN's scheduled port management, that allows IT personnel to power off individual ports, each on its own schedule, so that all non-essential equipment is turned off during off hours.

Management automation doesn't end there. The NetVanta 1544 and other ADTRAN switches are designed for auto-configuration and auto-installation (by means of a pre-programmed compact flash card). "Using features like LLDP, we can actually push configurations out to the IP phone, such as the VLAN information and the QoS settings--making the configuration of phones much quicker," Mclean said.

The NetVanta 1544 and 1544P have list prices of $2,795 and $3,795 respectively and are currently shipping. The NetVanta 1544F has a list price of $3,995 and will be available in August.

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