IBM Launches 40 Gigabit Ethernet Rack Switch
October 31, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has been wheeling and dealing to try to peddle its Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches from its Blade Network RackSwitch lineup for the past several months, and now it has the launched a new 40 Gigabit Ethernet switch if your network backbones are getting a bit skinny for the traffic load.
The RackSwitch G8316 is a 1U top-of-racker that has 16 40GE ports using QSFP+ cabling. The switch has a chip that can handle 1.28 Tb/sec of switching bandwidth, and it can handle 960 million packets per second of message passing. The switch ports have under one microsecond of latency on a hop from one 40GE port to another one in the same switch, which is pretty low. It can also be equipped with special SFP+ splitter cables that turn each 40GE port into four 10GE ports, making it effectively a 64-port 10GE switch. So you can start using it as a 10GE switch now and consolidate it down to 40GE switch at some future date. It supports all the modern converged enhanced Ethernet (allowing Fibre Channel traffic over the switch) and data center bridging goodies that most 10GE switches have these days.
The G8316 will be available on December 28; it costs $35,999. That’s not much of a premium over the $29,999 that IBM is charging for the G8264 switch, which has 48 10GE ports and four 40GE uplinks that can be split four ways, making the same 64 total 10GE ports.