A while back, I commented on Cisco's Nexus announcement, challenging its capacity and reliability claims.
Unlike the Nexus, it supports a reliability scheme that is not restricted to 10 GigE links; Nortel's approach is based on Multi Link Trunking technology that is a key differentiator of Nortel's entire Ethernet solutions. The VSP 9000's virtualization capabilities are second to none- Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group says. "this switch is way ahead of its time in handling virtual environments.' And it supports VRF-Lite supporting multiple routing domains on a single VSP 9000, without MPLS complexity. Nortel claims it has designed VSP to scale to 100 Tbit/s in a quad switch cluster config.
The technology is great. But why did Nortel announce this a full year ahead of GA?
I can see three possible objectives:
1) Hold onto existing data center customers and get some trials going
2) Continue to demonstrate technology innovation to increase the value of Nortel's enterprise business
3) Provide some lead time to develop data-center-skilled go-to-market partners.
No mean task, but John McHugh, who lead Norte'ls data business, is bullish about the business.