Force10 Networks has released a new range of switch/routers designed to improve the performance, management and cost effectiveness of virtualised data centres.

The ExaScale E-Series supports 140 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ ports in a half-rack chassis. Force10 claims the new switch delivers 100Gbit/s of useable data capacity per slot. The switch is also available in a one-third rack configuration.

The ExaScale E-Series will go up against Cisco's Catalyst 6509 and Nexus 7010 switches; Brocade's MLX-32; and Juniper's EX 8216. Of those, Force10's 10 Gigabit Ethernet density is less than only the Nexus 7010, but Force10 claims all of its 140 ports are wire-speed, compared to 32 on the Nexus 7010.

The ExaScale E-Series delivers total throughput of more than 2 billion packets per second across a switching fabric capacity of up to 3.5Tbit/s, or 250Gbps full duplex per slot. The switch also supports IPv4 unicast and multicast routing, and is "IPv6 ready" for native and dual stack next-generation IP networks.The ExaScale E-Series is also "MPLS ready" with VPN functionality, and also 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet ready, said Force10.

Using patented techniques in backplane and chip design, as well as custom designed power components, Force10 claimed it could reduce overall system power consumption and lower per port consumption by as much as 70 percent on the ExaScale E-Series. The switch can also modify buffer depths according to specific application requirements, said Force 10, enabling users to tune for peak application performance, independent of network load.

The ExaScale E-Series is the foundation for Force10's Virtualisation Framework. The Virtualisation Framework is designed to ease the management of virtualized data centere through real-time network traffic analysis, management and architectural tools such as Force10's VirtualControl, VirtualScale and VirtualView software.

In addition to virtualised data centers and cloud computing networks, the ExaScale E-Series is targeted at high-performance computing networks with non-blocking and deterministic management and storage I/O requirements; and high-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching and routing in Layer 2 and IP core or aggregation networks.