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Independent Tests Demonstrate That Foundry Networks' Metro Ethernet Solution Supports Key 'Carrier-Class' Requirements with High Availability, Quality of Service and Security; BT Exact's Rigorous Lab Testing Confirms Features and Performance of Foundry's Solution For Providing E-Line and E-LAN Metro Ethernet Services.

Foundry Networks(R), Inc. , a performance and total solutions leader for end-to-end switching and routing today released an independent test report from BT Exact, BT's research, technology and IT operations business, validating Foundry's solution for carrier-class Broadband Ethernet services modelled on the Metro Ethernet Forum's E-Line and E-LAN definition for point-to-point and multipoint-to-multipoint connectivity across service provider networks. BT Exact develops advanced communication technologies for British Telecommunications plc (BT) and has decades of practical experience in the deployment of large-scale, carrier-class networks.

Foundry's NetIron(R) metro routers and FastIron(R) Edge switches passed BT Exact's rigorous tests, demonstrating features and performance including:
 -- High availability for large-scale ring topology deployments, including
 failure recovery of less than 700 milliseconds while using standard
 Gigabit and 10GbE interfaces
 -- First hardware based high-performance Metro Ethernet solution to read,
 honour and re-write 802.1p bits while using Super Aggregated VLANs
 (SAV) to scale Layer 2 VPNs
 -- MAC Address Port Security to intelligently prevent unauthorized access
 and Layer 2 Denial of Service (DOS) attacks

BT Exact tested Foundry's service provider solutions using switches and routers configured with Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and Ethernet-over-SONET connections. "Foundry Networks' solution incorporates a number of key features that BT Exact considers to be valuable for network operators looking to deploy Ethernet services," said Tony Dann, head of IP evaluation services at BT Exact.

Foundry Networks provides network infrastructure for some of the world's most demanding telecommunications networks including NTT, the London Internet Exchange, and the Amsterdam Internet Exchange.

The focus of BT Exact's testing was Layer 2 Ethernet service provider solutions, concentrating on key carrier requirements for high availability, QOS scalability and security including SONET-like failure recovery mechanisms for 1 Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE rings, sub-second protection with or without Spanning Tree Protocol, hardware based QoS end-to end with Super Aggregated VLANs and network security against unauthorized access and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

High Availability For Real-time Deployments

High availability is a primary goal for carriers offering E-Line and E-LAN data services. BT Exact tested and validated several ASIC and software innovations that deliver SONET-like failure recovery mechanisms with and without Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) for different network topologies. For instance, several Rapid Spanning Tree (IEEE 802.1w) failure scenarios were found to have sub-second recovery. Failure recovery of less than 700 milliseconds was reported for a six-node ring running Metro Ring Protocol (MRP) in mixed media environments with Gigabit Ethernet, 10GbE and SONET/SDH links.

Delivering QOS While Scaling

Scaling Layer 2 Ethernet services and keeping QoS intact is another challenge for carriers who oversubscribe their network to fully leverage the core and metro Ethernet bandwidth. For oversubscription and SLAs to coexist, Foundry classifies traffic types so that high priority (delay sensitive) packets get priority over lower priority (best-effort) packets. BT Exact tested Foundry's solution for reading, honouring and mapping QoS values of network-wide traffic while scaling VLANs. Foundry can scale VLANs using an innovation called Super Aggregated VLANs (SAV) to extend the number of 802.1q based VLANs beyond the previous limit of 4096 through aggregating traffic from multiple VLANs for a single customer into a single provider VLAN. BT Exact testing showed that 802.1p values can be trusted and copied to the CoS field in the SAV VLAN tag, allowing service providers to honor customer QoS agreements end-to-end.

"Our dedication to continually adding innovative new features and functionality to our Metro Ethernet solutions is paying off, as demonstrated by this validation of our product's performance from BT Exact," said Chandra Kopparapu, vice president and general manager of the Multi-Layer Switching Business Unit for Foundry. "This is an important validation of our carrier- class features and the end-to-end QoS solution service providers can deliver by using our SAV for scaling VLANs. We achieve this level of QoS using hardware innovation and embedded intelligence in our ASICs versus a software approach that can add latency and hamper reliability."

Carrier-Class Layer 2 Security

Protecting the network against unauthorized users looking to disrupt network services with denial of service (DOS) attacks, is a must for service providers. Unlike traditional ISP traffic which is IP-only traffic, Layer 2 Ethernet services can be multi-protocol requiring traffic primarily to be handled at the Media Access Control (MAC) Level. Implementing security at Layer 2 requires special handling of network data. Foundry offers several mechanisms for restricting network access based on Layer 2 Ethernet information including, MAC Address Port security which intelligently prevents unauthorized access to the network and MAC address filtering. In addition to those verified by BT Exact, Foundry safeguards also include hardware based Layer 2 Access Control Lists (ACLs), Control Plane Security (CPS) for unknown, Multi-cast and Broadcast forwarding; and the ability to handle customer Spanning Tree Protocol packets independently using SuperSpan. A summary of BT Exact's test results is available online at

About Foundry Networks

Foundry Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of high-performance enterprise and service provider switching, routing and Web traffic management solutions including Layer 2/3 LAN switches, Layer 3 Backbone switches, Layer 4 - 7 Web switches and Metro Routers. Foundry's 6,200 customers include the world's premier ISPs, Metro service providers, and enterprises including e-commerce sites, universities, entertainment, health and wellness, government, financial, and manufacturing companies. For more information about the company and its products, call 1.888.TURBOLAN or visit

About BT Exact

BT Exact is BT's research, technology and IT operations business. It specialises in telecommunications engineering, leading-edge network design, IT system and application development and has extensive expertise in business consulting and human factors. Its knowledge helps its customers across BT Group and in selected other businesses gain maximum advantage from their investments in communications networks and IT systems, develop new capabilities and open new opportunities.

BT Exact brings together the technological expertise of BT's research laboratories and the operational experience of the teams that design and operate BT's IT systems. Backed by a team of over 6,000 technologists, it is active and influential in setting global standards.

BT Exact builds on the insights and expertise developed by its research to address the demands of the next-generation internet, as well as advanced data services, information and network security, and software systems to support communications networks worldwide.

BT Exact has people based worldwide -- including locations across the UK and in Asia, continental Europe, and North America.

For more information about BT Exact, please go to

NOTE: Foundry Networks, NetIron, FastIron, BigIron and the 'Iron' family of marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Foundry Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All others are trademarks of their respective owners.
 Press Contacts:
 North America Europe
 Jill Shanks Tom Herbst or Alex Lacey
 Foundry Networks Kaizo
 408.941.7190 +0207.580.8852

 Jenny Liu
 Foundry Networks Hong Kong

 Investor Contact:
 Jason Golz
 Financial Dynamics

 Further information
 BT Exact
 David Pincott, Pirate Communications, T: +44 (0) 207 760 7052,
 Mob: +44 (0) 7866 261198 or email:

 Justine Manche, Pirate Communications, T: +44 (0) 207 760 7053,
 Mob: +44 (0) 7811 164724 or email:

CONTACT: in North America, Jill Shanks of Foundry Networks, +1-408-941-7190, or, or in Asia/Pacific, Jenny Liu of Foundry Networks Hong Kong, +852.2845.3818, or; or in Europe, Tom Herbst, or Alex Lacey,, both of Kaizo, +0207.580.8852; or investors, Jason Golz of Financial Dynamics, +1-415-439-4532, or; or David Pincott, +44 (0) 207 760 7052, or mobile, +44 (0) 7866 261198, or; or Justine Manche, +44 (0) 207 760 7053, or mobile, +44 (0) 7811 164724, or, both of Pirate Communications for BT Exact

Web site:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 2, 2003
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