Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande'

LAS VEGAS -- Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) will introduce its long-awaited 10-Gbit/s platform, code-named Mucho Grande, at the Network+Interop tradeshow here today.

Bobby Johnson, president and CEO of the company, previewed the announcement last week during the company’s earnings call but gave no details.

Mucho Grande is not a single product. Rather, it’s a suite of products based on a new architecture and chipset. According to Foundry, Mucho Grande increases throughput, density, and footprint on existing 10-Gbit/s systems and has the capacity to support 40 Gbit/s per line card. The first two products in the new family, BigIron MG8 and NetIron 40G, will be showcased here this week.

Foundry’s Johnson stressed the new design in his talk last week. “This is a revolution and not just an evolution," he said. The company's been selling 10-Gbit/s line cards for its BigIron 4000, 8000, and 15000 switches for the past 18 months (see Foundry Intros Next-Gen 10-Gig Ethernet ). But those boxes have been able to support just 8 Gbit/s of throughput per slot via the existing switching backplane. While that speed's been sufficient for most customer needs, Foundry says, the latest suite of products run at full 10-Gbit/s line rates and open the way for the next leap in bandwidth -- to 40 Gbit/s.

Foundry claims the new Mucho Grande chipset is not only faster, but it's more functional, allowing for denser line cards and a more compact chassis. A single unit fits into one third of a seven-foot telecom rack.

Both the BigIron MG8 and the NetIron 40G are eight-slot chassis that provide 32 ports of 10 Gbit/s per box for 96 ports of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet per rack. Each box has a routing capacity of 640 Gbit/s or 1.28 Tbit/s full-duplex switching capacity.

The BigIron MG8 is specifically designed to be used for enterprise applications to offer high performance grid computing, enterprise Gigabit Ethernet aggregation, and network attached storage. It will be released this summer.

The NetIron 40G is an Internet router designed for service provider metro networks. It can be used in scaleable Layer 2 networks and to provide peering services for Internet exchanges. It will be available in the third quarter and competes primarily with the 7600 edge router from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and the ST200 router from Laurel Networks Inc., which recently was enhanced with 10-Gbit/s Ethernet interfaces (see Laurel Targets 10-Gig at the Edge).

The closest competitor to the Mucho Grande architecture in terms of performance and density appears to be Force10 Networks Inc. That vendor's E1200 platform offers 1.2 Tbit/s per box full duplex and supports 28 10-Gbit/s interfaces. In comparison, the Catalyst 6500 from Cisco, which was recently enhanced with denser and higher performing 10-Gbit/s Ethernet modules and reduced per port pricing (see Cisco Takes On 10 GigE Competition), supports 720 Gbit/s of capacity with 16 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports per box. Riverstone Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RSTN), which also recently announced a new platform, supports 320 Gbit/s and 16 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports per device (see Riverstone Fuels 10GigE Price War).

Foundry seems intent on emphasizing performance and future-proofing as key differentiators, particularly against Cisco. “Foundry isn’t competing on price with this announcement,” says Rachna Ahlawat, principal analyst with Gartner/Dataquest. “This is the next generation of product... Customers want to know what is on the road map going forward. These new platforms may not be needed now, but they are the starting point.”

But Foundry isn't alone in focusing on performance, and it faces a formidable roster of competitors who are also picking their spots as high-speed Ethernet switching heats up. Enterasys Networks Inc. (NYSE: ETS) and Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) are expected to make announcements later this year (see Enterasys Taps Tenor Assets ). Extreme also is believed to be working on an entirely new platform that will be able to handle 40 Gbit/s of Ethernet switching per slot (see Extreme Hatches Switch Surprises).

While Foundry's pricing may be a bit higher than some of its competitors, it’s still in the ballpark. The 10-Gbit/s Ethernet four-port line card for the BigIron MG8 has a per-port list price of $21,250, which includes 1310 nanometer Xenpak optics. The NetIron 40G, which also offers four-port line cards, lists for $28,750 per port with the 1310nm Xenpack optics included.

Foundry also has drastically reduced pricing on its existing 10-Gbit/s products. The one-port card lists for $14,995 per port without any optics; a one-port module with Xenpak optics lists for $25,000 per port; and the four-port module with Xenpak optics lists for about $10,000 per port.

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading

gea 12/5/2012 | 12:08:50 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' BobbyMax:

All your base are belong to us.
BobbyMax 12/5/2012 | 12:08:57 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' It was not a good business strategy for Force 10 to reduce the prices of its switches by 60% or so. Anyway it was a very bad way to undercut the competition. Because of this Force 10 has lost utsa credibility in the market place. It will be too hard for Force 10 to bring any credibility.

Force 10 has not published any details as to what OAM&P functions it has implemented. There are no details on its switching fabric either.
arak 12/5/2012 | 12:09:04 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' For all the chatter going on here about the prospects of Force10, Extreme and Foundry in eating Crisco switch sales, the real dark horse is going to be Dell.

Dell recently announced a set of layer 2 switches that beats the pants off the pricing of all the big majors by two thirds. They also seem to have layer 3 switches in the works that should be out by Q4'03.

"The Dell PowerConnectTM 6000 Series Layer 3 routing Ethernet switches will feature VCT technology developed and implemented by Marvell Semiconductor, the silicon supplier to PowerConnect Ethernet switches."

This new Dell 6000 range is probably based on the Marvell Prestera production kits.

At $100/GigE port this will cut the margins of the itty bitty upstarts to nothing. Crisco probably will resist for a year before being forced to respond to Dell's pricing. After that it is going to be one deflationary downward spiral in which the others will be forced to respond to Dell's moves.

Ofcourse, Dell won't have all the geewhiz bang on day one. They will start out invading the SMB market and slowly but surely make inroads into the Fortune 500 over a span of two years while beefing up their features while playing the price game to their advantage. Even mighty Crisco will end up having to eat crow. For those folks who don't remember the Wintel server wars of the mid to late 90's IBM and Compaq lost their hold over the Fortune 500 the same way to Dell.

You can scream all you want about in technology this and technology that. But when push comes to shove, the bean counters will shove us engineers aside. Either way, the future of swithcing looks like a dog eat dog low margin business. Crisco not withstanding.

My 2 cents


lostinlight 12/5/2012 | 12:09:05 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Switch Fabric capacity has become something like the PMPO of audio amplifiers.
A 180W PMPO amp probably has a 2W amplifier inside!

wilecoyote 12/5/2012 | 12:09:13 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Not only is Pacman off base on the revenues, what's this telco buyout nonsense? Why would a telco buy an equipment company?

I think they will be acquired by Juniper (cause they need an enterprise play or they'd dead), Cisco (cause they ain't got and they know it), or Nortel (can you say, revival of Bay Networks?), or go public by Q1 of 04.

And they will be a $100m company fairly soon. This quarter's a blowout and it's only four weeks old.
Charis 12/5/2012 | 12:09:14 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Not sure where you got your numbers for
Force10 board meeting but you are wrong.
Like Foundry, Force10 is beating expectations!
deepciscothroat 12/5/2012 | 12:09:25 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Wiles,
is this just about 10G to the wiring closet, or is there a bigger trend afoot: VoIP, Wireless, etc (your last paragraph).

Real isssue is that much of this market is commoditizing -- which actually plays better for us then the apsirants.

Density or denseness. Never doubt the supervisoir engines at work

PacketGuy 12/5/2012 | 12:09:29 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' True_10_Gig:

Please write in English - I don't like to work so hard to read a post!

It's good to see .18 micron products in the 10Gb. space. Smaller traces means better density and less cost (eventually). The 10 Gb. market is still small - Force 10 promised the board $10 million in Q1 but only delivered $5 million. I can't see them being a $100 Million compay by the time that Cisco/Foundry/Riverstone/Extreme ship products. To see the future, look at the past. Force 10 will be acqired by a big telco that wants to play in this new market. Their valuation will depend on their execution over the next 2-3 quarters, and if they can land customers outside the lunatic fringe (National Labs, University cluster computers, etc.).

Foundry will be the most formidable competitor for Force 10 for customers that buy on technology, and of course cisco will gain market share when they finally ship, even though the product will be expensive and offer mediocre performance when compared to the alternatives. But cisco is cisco, right?!

Extreme puzzles me. Anyone else remember their big 10Gb. marketing splash last year at Interop? Where are the products? They are donating lots of equipment again to InteropNet, and they have provided the badge holders this year. The way these spend marketing $, you would think they were profitable!

fabric_man 12/5/2012 | 12:09:30 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' 100% agree - this is out-of-control marketing and makes the whole industry look bad. Homey don't play that.

When's the last time you talked to a customer when you *didn't* have to say "this is Cisco math" or "this isn't Cisco math"? It takes two minutes per meeting to explain that I'm not double-counting or, God forbid, quadruple-counting the numbers. If I had a dollar for each of those two minutes, I could retire now.

Sheesh ...

- fabric_man

Please stop the insanity. Intelligent trade publications like LightReading should be able to force vendors to disclose their capacity numbers using a reliable metric, like full-mesh test performance results.
True_10_Gig 12/5/2012 | 12:09:30 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Lipo'd,
ah'll make dis reel easy like, so's that even youse can understand it

much-ass grassy ass is a box, git it, a box an not a technology dat has no gigabit ethernet modules un no switch fabric redundancy un no hitless management module failover un no shippin product till q3 er so

ah kin tell you what peepole will think but it ain't gonna be kind
wilecoyote 12/5/2012 | 12:09:30 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Uh, let's see: why is the new 6K not a product?First, because it has not shipped yet. This was classic Cisco to pre-announce that product and delay a market they're very, very late to. It's just too embarrassing to admit that Constellation two has been scrapped because that's fodder for angry shareholders gunning for John's job.

Classic Cisco delay the market tactics. Man they're good. Actually, not that good because their customers aren't as stupid as Cisco thinks they are, and they are going elsewhere. That is a fact. Force10 is having a field day right now in the high end, and the Cisco announcement actually accelerated the momentum for them because now the customers have seen the stripes and it's the same old leper (d).

And look at Foundry turning in solid numbers every quarter. They are taking share from Cisco: FACT.

This "new" Cat is not going to be in the market until Q4 at the earliest and by then, they'll be pulling their customary "one more quarter" nonsense. Then they'll fire someone or reassign him, and get one of the mafioso "untouchables" on the project. They'll get something out but by then the major customers will be so pissed off and look like such suckers because these are old tricks and old dogs, that they'll go with someone else just to tell Cisco once and for all "f_ck off" for screwing your customers.

Big opportunity for Foundry to replace Cat 2k thru 6k in large enterprises, and with a partner or with MG, take out the 65k. Man it is so doable. Go Foundry!

Iipoed 12/5/2012 | 12:09:31 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Go buy some Cisco 6500s. No real redundancy unless you pay an arm and a leg and still its is a blocking architecture. But since you talk like you work for cisco (make no sense and only negative sell) you probably still believe in the Cat 5000 which you cisco guys sold 5 years past the point it was obsolete.

At least with foundry you get straight answers and the only true migration strategy in the industry that is cost effective with no degradation of performance.
True_10_Gig 12/5/2012 | 12:09:31 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' hooooweeee! sumbitch shore did drop a my-t stinky 'un on all dem poor anal-lysts and make-my-stock-go-broker with this ole lead wait. and just what the sam-hell difference is there bewtixt that MG8 and MG40? looks the same, smells the same, runs the same software, uses the same hardware...when we come accross sum-tin down here in the south that looks an smells like horse sh*t, we shore as snot don't eat it cuz we know its sh*t thru-n-thru. still no redundency. what service provider worth his salt is gonna stick one of these here inta his network. wha happ'ns when the switch fabric fails? wha happ'ns when the management module fails? how long it take dat system to reboot and make the network all stable like? i jest don't by it. nope, i jest don't by it at tall.
slickmitzy 12/5/2012 | 12:09:32 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande'
Sorry for my ignorance, but why does the
Cat6k with the new linecards and supervisor 720
not considered as a "real" product ?

metroshark 12/5/2012 | 12:09:33 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' First, Cisco announced 720Gb/s switch fabric capacity for the new Cat6500 upgrades, even though they admit they can only support 16 10GigE ports at wire-speed.

Not to be outdone, Foundry announces 1.2Tb/s switch fabric capacity, but according to their own marketing material, they might be able to support a maximum of 32 10GigE ports at wire-speed. No mention of whether this requires some local switching on the line card.

Please stop the insanity. Intelligent trade publications like LightReading should be able to force vendors to disclose their capacity numbers using a reliable metric, like full-mesh test performance results.

Dounble counting the fabric bandwidth used ot be a pretty common trick. Now, some vendors are already moving toward a "quardruple counting" metric. If we don't stop this right now, soon, we will see switching fabric capacity quotes in the tens of terabits range as marketing department finds new creative ways of counting bits multiple times to look better in competitive charts.
Iipoed 12/5/2012 | 12:09:34 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' WC-astute post, I would like to see Foundry follow your advice on an acquisition, doubtful though.

Having worked there for 4 years I have a great deal of respect for Bobby Johnson. Keep in mind he did not get a degree marketing but is magna cum laude in engineering. In the past Foundry has really not developed any significant partnerships, no reason to think anything will change.

The Mucho Grande is their future, it is not a product, it will develop as the chassis based BigIron did with the fastiron and netiron etc.

Interested to hear on people's response at InterOP this week and their perception of what Foundry was showing
light-headed 12/5/2012 | 12:09:38 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' i thought that "el mucho grande" was just a secret fdry codeword for Bobby's ego.

just kidding... you gotta love the big johnson!
wilecoyote 12/5/2012 | 12:09:39 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' I read this as a positive for Force10. It shows that Cisco, Extreme and Foundry all see the opportunity in 10G and are compelled to pre-announce products. Anyone who doesn't see this is kidding himself and anyone who believes these guys have product is naive. Furthermore, anyone who wants to build from the core of their enterprise with an eye on long term investment, on a re-packaged 65K "may not get fired, but won't get promoted either."

Cisco doesn't have a competitive product for the high end and their announcement proved it. And Mucho Grande is nowhere near being ready. By the time they finish their first trial and ship their first mucho grande for revenue, Force10 will be a $100m company and I/T guy who bet on a product that's twice as large as the E1200 with half the services and much lower GigE density (where all the action is right now--no one needs 30 ports of 10GigE), will look like a dumb ass.

Finishing the chassis is the first step. It will be some time before Foundry has something they can actually ship for revenues.

I bought some of their stock a couple of weeks ago, so I'm betting on them to make a play in 10G. They have to do something before their load balancers run out of gas in the market and Dell/Extreme consumate their deal. I bet Bobby Johnson has something up his sleeve, it's just not mucho grande. I think MG is a red herring for something else they're planning, like an acquisition of a WiFi company for example.

stuartb 12/5/2012 | 12:09:40 AM
re: Foundry Unwraps 'Mucho Grande' Between this and the price war started by Riverstone. this probably spells the end of Force10 IMO.

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