HP's Green Switch Modules Support Energy Efficient Ethernet

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HP this week refreshed its high-end chassis Ethernet switches with modules that conform to the IEEE's Energy Efficient Ethernet standard for reducing power consumption.

The modules, 10 in all, are for HP's 5400zl and 8200zl Ethernet switches. Through compliance with the IEEE 802.3az standard, the line cards lower the total cost of ownership of the switches by 51%, HP claims.

Switches and other networking equipment can consume 10% or more of the energy needed to power IT systems, analysts say. The IEEE Energy Efficient Ethernet standard is intended to reduce power consumption of IT devices by automatically adjusting energy use based on actual network traffic between switches and other networked devices.

During low activity, Energy Efficient Ethernet-enabled products enter a "sleep mode" that uses less energy than idling at full power, but allows the connected devices to re-engage when data transmission occurs. Non-EEE-compliant switches offer limited correlation between energy consumption and actual traffic flow.

The University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab says EEE can reduce the power consumption of Ethernet PHYs by 80%.

Not only do the modules lower the power consumption and TCO of the 5400 and 8200 switches, they also double 10G port density, HP says. The modules allow both switches to now support 96 10G ports – Gigabit Ethernet density remains the same at 288 ports.

The modules will replace all current 5400 and 8200 modules over time, HP says. Compliance with the EEE standard requires new ASICs, which necessitates a swap out of the existing 5400 and 8200 modules.

But existing 5400 and 8200 line cards can coexist with the new EEE modules in the switch chassis, HP officials say.

A bundle of a 5400zl chassis along with the new EEE modules costs $7,800. An 8200zl bundle costs $12,000. These bundles are available now.

In the future, the EEE standard will be applied across servers, laptops and wireless access points, further reducing energy consumption and IT costs, HP says.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

This story, "HP's Green Switch Modules Support Energy Efficient Ethernet" was originally published by Network World.

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