Foundry has a new LAN edge switch that combines four speeds of Ethernet (from 10Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s) with Power over Ethernet, and is designed to support traffic from VoIP to wireless LANs to high-bandwidth applications such as video.

The FastIron Edge X-Series 424-POE includes four triple-speed (10/100/1000Mbit/s), ports that support PoE. Two optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports are also built into the box, giving users the option to upgrade to 10G for LAN uplinks. The switch can be upgraded with one or two 10G small form factor pluggable (SFP) optical ports. Up to four triple-speed SFPs can also be added instead of 10G ports.

The switch supports Layer 2 and some Layer 3 QoS and redundancy features, such as 802.1Q virtual LANs, priority packet queuing, and Metro Ring Protocol for carrier deployments and Virtual Switch Redundancy Protocol for high-availability configurations. The switch supports IEEE standard 802.3af PoE, delivering up to 15.4 watts of power to 802.3af-compliant devices, such as IP phones, WLAN access points and IP security cameras.

Foundry’s new box competes with similar triple-speed PoE switches from 3Com, Cisco, Extreme Networks, Force10 Networks and Nortel.

The FastIron Edge X-Series 424-POE is available now, starting at $7,000 for the base 24-port switch. The box can be upgraded to "full Layer 3" capabilities - including standard routing protocols and hardware-based routing - with a $1,000 software upgrade.

A single-port 10G configuration starts at $10,500, and a dual-port 10G configuration starts at $12,500. Full Layer 3 upgrades for the 10G configurations cost $1,000 as well.