DENVER -- Greenfield Networks Inc., a startup formed by executives from Cisco Systems Inc.'s Catalyst switching group and Marvell Technologies, is out to prove to a skeptical world that plenty can be done in enterprise and carrier Ethernet switching that is not subject to commodity pricing.
So, the company this week will unveil the Packetry family of packet engines, switch fabrics and multiplexers, demonstrating support for Internet Protocol Version 6 and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) features in a switching architecture.
For the stackable workgroup Ethernet switch, the market is focused on port density and price per port. To address the central switch and WAN-edge market segments-where ASICs still reign-Greenfield founders knew they could not rely on marketing slides with theoretical virtual private network and QoS features.
Harish Belur, vice president of network architecture at Greenfield, said that the key to supporting high speeds while also providing hard-wired support for IPv6 and Multi-Protocol Label Switching is not to add bandwidth, but to provide expandable external data buffers. For search tasks, Greenfield also can work with external ternary content-addressable memories (TCAMs) and is working with TCAM vendors NetLogic Microsystems Inc. and Integrated Device Technology Inc. on system-level solutions.
Gary Smerdon, Greenfield's president and CEO, brushed off criticism that IPv6 is not yet vital. The Pentagon requires IPv6 support in new systems, and market developers in China call IPv6 more important than 3G.
The datapath processing device in the new family is the G525 packet engine. In addition to supporting unicast and multicast routing for both v4 and v6, the G525 supports link aggregation.
The G750 is a shared-memory switching fabric device that acts as the packet queue manager and QoS manager for the network, using external buffers when needed.