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Independent research firm In-Stat has found that 3Com’s local area network (LAN) switches are up to 60% more energy efficient, or ‘green’, than competitors’ products.

By deploying an industry-leading switching solution from 3Com, customers can save money – and help the environment – by using significantly less electricity to power their high-performance networks.
The report, ‘Green Networking Equipment: Who Leads and Who Lags’, says there are “significant differences in the energy efficiency of similarly equipped switch equipment” and that “as many businesses develop ‘green’ initiatives … IT managers will be forced to absorb some degree of responsibility for their organisation’s power usage”.
The report confirms the success of 3Com’s programme to reduce energy consumption while increasing network functionality.
“Businesses worldwide, and not least in South Africa, are looking for effective ways to reduce energy use, both to save money and to conserve resources,” says 3Com regional sales director for Africa, Gavin Zackey.
“Through innovative design, 3Com’s newest products use up to 78% less power than previous switches. It’s gratifying that In-Stat recognises 3Com’s industry leadership in this important area.”
Making their networks more energy efficient is fast becoming a top priority for CIOs. In a survey of IT executives published by CIO magazine in March 2008, 75% of respondents cited either reducing operating costs or a commitment to social responsibility as the driver for making their IT operations greener.
3Com’s David Law, chairman of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working group, says: “At its March 2008 meeting, the IEEE P802.3az Energy-efficient Ethernet Task selected a Low-Power Idle proposal for both 1000Base-T and 100Base-T. Work on selecting proposals for the remaining objectives will continue at the upcoming May meeting in Munich, Germany. Standards approval is targeted for March 2010.”
In-Stat calculated the energy efficiency of 24-port and 48-port switches from leading vendors’ portfolios and 3Com products were the clear leaders in energy efficiency in both categories.
A comparison of the fabric capacity (Gbps) per watt of 24-port Gigabit Ethernet fixed, managed Layer 2 and 3 switches found that 3Com far outpaced the rest of the industry by delivering approximately 3.25 Gbps per watt. No other vendor delivers as much as 2.0 Gbps per watt, according to In-Stat.
Among 48-port Gigabit Ethernet fixed, managed Layer 2 and 3 switches, 3Com again leads the field and is the only company able to deliver as much as 2.0 Gbps per watt.
3Com is working continuously to deliver products that are even more energy-efficient. A key element of the company’s green plan is the 3Com Open Services Networking (OSN) strategy. Applications run on Open Services Modules (OSM) embedded within networking platforms, which makes it easy for enterprises and service providers to deliver a variety of enhanced services without having to deploy numerous single-task appliances that complicate network management, take up valuable facility space, and consume excessive power.
OSMs are currently available for 3Com router platforms and are currently scheduled for switching platforms later this year.
Over the past 18 months, 3Com has refreshed its Ethernet switching portfolio to take advantage of innovative energy-efficient components and designs. The company’s research shows that upgrading older switches can deliver significant energy savings.
For example, customers running a 3Com Switch 4070 Gigabit small campus core switch who upgrade to the 3Com Switch 5500G switch will decrease energy use by 29%. Likewise, moving from the Switch 4400 Fast Ethernet edge switch to Switch 5500-EI family devices will enable businesses to reduce energy consumption by approximately 60%.