The Brocade FastIron SX series of switches delivers industry-leading price/performance value in a campus aggregation and core solution. These powerful switches provide a scalable, secure, low-latency, and fault-tolerant IP services infrastructure for 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) enterprise deployments. Organizations can leverage a high-performance, non-blocking architecture and an end-to-end high-availability design with redundant management modules, fans, load-sharing switch fabrics, and power supplies.
Organizations strive to remain competitive and demand network infrastructures that are resilient, secure, and able to do more with less. The Brocade FastIron SX series of Layer 2/Layer 3 switches provides a superior scalable foundation for increased operational efficiency and faster response to business opportunities today and tomorrow.
The FastIron SX series extends control from the network edge to the core with intelligent network services, including superior Quality of Service (QoS), predictable performance, advanced security, comprehensive management, and integrated resiliency. Additionally, the FastIron SX series offers compatibility in a common operating system, and a shared interface and power supply modules reduce the cost of ownership by minimizing operational expenses and improving Return on Investment (ROI).
The FastIron SX series has an extensive feature set, making it well suited for real-time collaborative applications, IP telephony, IP video, e-learning, Wireless LANs (WLANs), and raising the organization's productivity. The FastIron SX series delivers wire-speed performance and ultra-low latency, which are ideal for converged network applications such as VoIP and video conferencing. These platforms present the industry's most scalable and resilient PoE design, with a robust feature set to secure and simplify the deployment of an edge-to-core converged network. In addition, the FastIron SX series supports high-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) for enterprise backbone deployments.
Solution designed for high-quality and reliable network convergence
The FastIron SX series provides a scalable, secure, low-latency, and fault-tolerant infrastructure for cost-effective integration of VoIP, video, wireless access, and high-performance data onto a common network. The system architecture features a scalable and resilient PoE design and a low-latency, cell-based switch fabric with intelligent traffic management to ensure reliable and high-quality VoIP service. A rich suite of security features, including policy-based access control, IP source guard, dynamic ARP inspection, and DHCP snooping, work in unison to control network access and shield the network from internal and external threats. The FastIron SX series establishes a new class of convergence-ready solutions, enabling organizations to implement a secure, reliable, scalable, and high-quality infrastructure for total network convergence.
Resilient design ensures business continuity
A FastIron SX networking solution is built for high-value environments. The Brocade FastIron SX features MCT, enabling two FastIron SX chassis to appear as a single logical switch at Layer 2 in active/active mode and delivering uninterrupted traffic flow in the event of node failover. Switch fabric failover preserves network connectivity in the event of a switch module failure. Automatic management failover quickly restores network connectivity in the event of a management module failure without interruption of traffic forwarding. In the event of a topology change due to a port or facility failure, Layer 1 and Layer 2 protocols - such as Protected Link, Metro Ring Protocol (MRP), IEEE 802.3ad, UDLD, VSRP, and Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol - will restore service in sub-second time, protecting users from costly service disruption. Enhanced spanning tree features such as Root Guard and BPDU Guard prevent rogue hijacking of spanning tree root and maintain a contention- and loop-free environment, especially during dynamic network deployments. These high-availability capabilities enable network deployments of a highly reliable network infrastructure that is resilient to, and tolerant of, network and equipment failures.
Future-proofing the network with IPv6
Migration to IPv6 is inevitable, but by starting with the deployment of IPv6-capable hardware, organizations can make the transition more controlled and less disruptive to the network. Japan and Europe are aggressively deploying IPv6, and deployment in North America is on the rise. In fact, some government agencies are mandating the purchase of IPv6-capable switches and routers. Therefore, it is important that enterprises and service providers plan to deploy IPv6-capable devices to capitalize on this inevitable change. The IPv6-capable FastIron SX series enables organizations to either deploy IPv6 today or future-proof their networks to support IPv6. These high-performance platforms deliver security, convergence, and complete IPv4/IPv6 visibility using embedded sFlow for a robust edge-to-core IPv6 solution.
Advanced QoS and low latency for enterprise convergence
The FastIron SX series offers superior Quality of Service (QoS) features that enable network administrators to prioritize high-priority and delay-sensitive services throughout the network. FastIron SX switches can classify, re-classify, police, mark, and re-mark an Ethernet frame or an IP packet prior to delivery. This flexibility lets network administrators discriminate among various traffic flows and enforce packet-scheduling policies based on Layer 2 and Layer 3 QoS fields. Once classified, the traffic is queued and scheduled for delivery. Three configurable queuing options provide the network administrator with flexible control over how the system services the queues. Weighted Round Robin (WRR) queuing applies user-configured weighting for servicing multiple queues, ensuring that even low-priority queues are not starved for bandwidth. With Strict Priority (SP) queuing, queues are serviced in priority order, ensuring that the highest-priority traffic is serviced ahead of lower priority queues. Combined SP and WRR queuing ensures that packets in the SP queue are serviced ahead of the WRR queues. Combined queuing is often used in VoIP networks where the VoIP traffic is assigned to the SP queue and data traffic is assigned to the WRR queues. The FastIron SX switches utilize an advanced cell-based switch fabric with internal flow-control, ensuring very low latency and jitter performance for converged applications.
Flexible bandwidth management
The FastIron SX switches support a rich set of bandwidth management features, allowing granular control of bandwidth utilization. On ingress, extended ACLs can be used in combination with traffic policies to control bandwidth by user, by application, and by VLAN. On egress, outbound rate limiting can control bandwidth per port and per priority queue. These features allow the network operator fine-grained control of bandwidth utilization based on a wide range of application and user criteria.
Complete solution for multicast and broadcast video
The use of video applications in the workplace requires support for scalable multicast services from the edge to the core. IGMP and PIM snooping improves bandwidth utilization in Layer 2 networks by restricting multicast flows to only those switch ports that have multicast receivers. In Layer 3 networks, support for IGMP, IGMP Proxy, MLD, PIM-SM, PIM-SSM, and PIM-DM multicast routing optimizes traffic routing and network utilization for multicast applications.
Advanced full Layer2/Layer 3 wire-speed IP routing solution
The advanced Brocade FastIron software operating system supports a full complement of unicast and multicast routing protocols, enabling users to build fully featured Layer 2/Layer 3 networks. Supported routing protocols include RIPv1/v2, OSPF, PIM-SM/DM, BGP, and Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) for improved network performance. To achieve wire-speed Layer 3 performance, the FastIron SX switches support Brocade Direct Routing (BDR), in which the Forwarding Information Base (FIB) is maintained in local memory on the line modules. The hardware forwarding tables are dynamically populated by system management with as many as 512000 routes.
Comprehensive security suite
The FastIron SX series supports a powerful set of network management solutions to help protect the switch. Multilevel-access security on the console and a secure Web management interface prevent unauthorized users from accessing or changing the switch configuration. Using Terminal Access Controller Access Control Systems (TACACS/TACACS+) and RADIUS authentication, organizations can enable considerable centralized control and restrict unauthorized users from altering network configurations. The FastIron SX series includes Secure Shell (SSHv2), Secure Copy, and SNMPv3 to restrict and encrypt communications to the management interface and system, thereby ensuring highly secure network management access. For an added level of protection, network managers can use ACLs to control which ports and interfaces have TELNET, web, and/or SNMP access. Organizations can also specify an action in case the MAC or 802.1x authentication times out. Because of its standards-based design, this solution can be augmented with access control software and external appliances for enhanced access control operation. For example, an external NAC appliance and/or software can be used in combination with the FastIron SX series, providing host posture verification and remediation. This design allows organizations the flexibility to build best-of-breed solutions for their access control infrastructure and not be locked into a single offering.