HP has finally filled in the dark void in their networking product lines. They have the datacenter and campus level switches, but hasn't had an offering in the Top-of-Rack product space, until now. On Wednesday, HP unveiled the 5900 series switches aimed directly to top-of-rack uses.
The 5900 is a high-density 24- or 48-port 10Gb switch. The 48-port switch (5900AF) also includes 4 x 40Gb interfaces for demanding applications, and also supports the new IRF (Intelligent Resilient Framework) specification allowing up to 4 5900's to be managed as a single switch.
Probably the largest eye-opener in my opinion is the ultra-low latency that HP expects from the switches. Approximately 1 microsecond of store-and-forward latency for frames. I would surmise that this low-latency switch is the reason that HP plans to release FCoE support in the future.
The datasheet for the 5900AF (48-port) shows the total Switching capacity of 1.28Tbps with a max forwarding rate of 952Mpps. Definately a top-of-rack switch capable of handling large loads.
HP plans to make the 5900-series switches available in the first half of 2012.