Enterasys this week unveiled new switches, software and management products to enhance the automation and centralized control of data centre operations.

New switches include the S140 and S180, which can serve in the campus or data centre core. The switches have a system capacity of 2.56Tbps, and can support up to 264 SFP+ 10G, 192 10GBase-T or 48 40G Ethernet ports.

It will compete with Cisco's Catalyst 6500E with the Sup 2T, and Nexus 7010, Juniper's EX8200 and EX9200 (), and offerings from all major vendors HP, Dell, Brocade, Extreme, Alcatel-Lucent that span 1Tbps to 5Tbps.

Another new switch is the 7100 series. This is a 1.28Tbps top-of-rack switch that supports up to 64 10G ports in 1RU, or 24 to 48 ports of 10G with 4x40G uplinks.

Virtually all major vendors offer 64 port 10G switches.

The switches are based on Enterasys' CoreFlow2 ASIC, which is optimized for classifying users, devices and applications, and enforcing access control and categorization policies associated with them. CoreFlow2 allows the new S series switches to support up to 96 million flows, far exceeding the scalability of OpenFlow, Enterasys officials claim.

New software includes Shortest Path Bridging for the S series switches, Data centre Bridging on both the S and 7100 series, and data centre interconnect feature on the S series. These features are intended to bring lossless, meshed Ethernet fabric networking to the switches, with multiple active paths, storage convergence and IP host mobility, among other features.

For management, Enterasys added support for VMware's vSphere 5.1, Citrix's XENcentre 6.1 and Microsoft's Hyper-V 2012 and System centre Virtual Machine Manager 2012 to its OneFabric Control centre system. This allows those virtualization and orchestration tools to have visibility into Enterasys switches, and network fabric administrators to access those applications from a OneFabric Control centre console.

Integration of these and other applications is into OneFabric is through the system's OneFabric Connect API.

The S180 starts at $39,595, the S140 at $26,995 and the 7100-Series at $24,610. All products will be shipping by the end of this month.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.