October 15, 2012

The Little Switch That Could: Summit X440 Test Results from Tolly Labs


Sometimes the small can cast a very large shadow.

At Extreme Networks when we set out to build the best Ethernet switches in the world, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. However, with the recent VCE Vblock Ready certification from VCE on top of stellar ratings from the Lippis Report, it looks like we hit the mark with the BlackDiamond X8.

On the smaller side of the spectrum, the challenges may be even greater. Bill Mitchell, former head of GM design, once famously quipped that “styling a small car is like tailoring a dwarf.” While we agree that the budgetary constraints on what was designed to be a cost effective edge switch do make for some interesting engineering challenges, like Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf who proves it is possible to not only be well tailored but also cast a very large shadow in “Game of Thrones,” we find beauty and charm in the very small as well as the very large.

Please read the Tolly Test Report

That is where the Summit X440 comes in. Our customers told us that a unified edge switch providing intelligent network services to both wired and wireless end devices was what they wanted. Like our other switches from the BlackDiamond X8 on down, they wanted the Summit X440 to run the same ExtremeXOS operating system, use the same CLI and APIs. They wanted it to be power efficient (76 watts at full capacity for the 48 port The Summit X440-48p-10G) , so we built them either fanless or with variable speed fans and other designs like managed PoE/PoE+ (PoE+ support confirmed by Tolly!). They wanted it at a reasonable price so we carefully cut cost and waste while keeping reliability and performance.

We knew that we had built a good switch, but we wanted some outside validation. We had one of our TMEs, Frank Jimenez, get in touch with the Tolly folks and we got the Summit X440 into the Tolly labs. The results were just like we expected: 100% of theoretical throughput combined with low power consumption and low latency.

Don’t take our word for it, please, read the report.

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Extreme Marketing Team

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