True to form for an edition of Interop, the show floor here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas is chock full of rack-mounted network connectivity gear. Whereas hubs and routers were the stars of years gone by, today's floor is dominated by Ethernet switches of all types and sizes -- from the very small for home and small business use, to the wireless, to carrier grade equipment.
While canvassing the show floor one day prior to the event's start, we found Woven Systems, a manufacturer of Ethernet switches that's claiming three unique selling propositions for its gear (and you thought all Ethernet switches were created equal). According to Woven marketing veep Derek Granath, Woven's switch is the highest capacity 10Gbit switch on the market, scaling to as many as 144 ports. Second at a cost of $1500 per port, Granath claims that Woven offers the lowest price per port for a 10Gbit switch. Bear in mind that when networking vendors talk about the cost per port of their gear, they're usually basing their claims on a fully populated enclosure. The initial investment just to get the enclosure and the management modules is divided across the total number of ports. The more ports to divide across, the lower the cost per port. So, if you've got the highest density switch as Woven claims to have, you get the benefit of dividing the initial investment across more ports!
Finally the third advantage of Woven's switches, according to Granath is that when you connect Woven's switches together, they form a multipath mesh topology whereby all the paths can be used simultaneously and backbone traffic (the primary application for a 10Gbit switch) is automatically balanced across them. Using packet-preprocessors, Woven's switch analyzes path latency and based on what it finds, and intelligently reroutes traffic across the mesh path with the least amount of latency. To see Granath talk about (and show us) the switch, check out the video above.