Foundry Networks has launched two Gigabit-to-the-desktop LAN switches with optional 10G uplinks, aimed at enterprises with growing bandwidth needs and tight budgets.

Foundry says its FastIron LS series switches provide 10/100/1000Mbit/s desktop connections for between $105 (£52) to $125 (£62) per port. Foundry says the new boxes cost 15 percent to 20 percent less than competitive baseline LAN gear, the company stressing that that the small size of the devices as another selling point.

The FastIron LS 624 and 648 are 24- and 48-port switches with triple-speed links and optional 10Gbps uplink module slots. (The LS 624 has three 10G XFP module slots, while the LS 648 has two). Both switches include built-in Gigabit fibre or copper uplinks.

The switches support static Layer 3 routing, as well as IPv6. Security features on the boxes include 802.1X support, which allows the switches to operate in a NAC framework, using different vendors' technologies. The switches also support sFlow, a standard for high-speed network traffic monitoring. The sFlow support also allows the boxes to work with Foundry's IronShield 360 IDS system, where back-end servers collect and feed sFlow data to IPS/IDS devices to detect traffic anomalies.

The switches' physical size is one rack unit tall, and around 13 inches deep - around 4 inches smaller than standard switches. This could help fit the devices into tightly packed wiring closets, or non-traditional equipment spaces, the company said. The FastIron LS switches will compete with gear such as 3Com's Switch 4500, Cisco's Catalyst 3560-E switches, ProCurve by HP's 3400cl and other fixed-configuration boxes.