3Com announced at the NetWorld+Interop trade show this week stackable 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches aimed at bringing fat net pipes to enterprise wiring closets.
The SuperStack 3 Switch 3870s are aimed at enterprises interested in deploying high-density Gigabit to the desktop today or in the future. The 10G expansion slot could be used to link with a 10G backbone switch, allowing desktop switches to uplink directly with a LAN core.
Some analysts say this design allows for easier network management with less equipment, since aggregation-layer switches can be taken out of the configuration.
The switches come in 24- and 48-port versions with 10/100/1000M bit/sec Ethernet on all ports. A single 10G expansion module is included on the back, as well as a 40M bit/sec interconnect for 3Com's proprietary stacking technology.
3Com is touting the switches as a way to plan for future 10G connections to a 10G core. Presently, 3Com does not have a 10G module for its Switch 7700 core switch.
3Com's stacking technology allows up to eight SuperStack 3870s to be linked together with a 40G bit/sec backplane. The stack can be managed as one virtual switch, with a single IP address.
The SuperStack 3 Switch 3870 48-port switch costs US$6,000, and the 24-port Switch 3870 costs $4,000. Both boxes are scheduled to ship in June.