3Com Offers Upgradeable LAN Switch

By Matt Carolan  |  Posted 2002-04-03

3Com Corp. unveiled on Tuesday a lower-cost addition to its SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 family aimed at enterprises that dont yet need enhanced traffic management features.

The SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 SE is a stackable 10/100 LAN device. It supports up to eight Gigabit Ethernet uplinks in a stack in either copper or fiber, with a total of 192 10/100 ports.

The technology includes high-bandwidth link aggregation, with links able to be established on different units in the stack. There is also a redundant power option.

The new SE switch is "future proofed," 3Com officials said, because it is software upgradeable to advanced features, such as Layer 4 traffic prioritization. Optimization for voice traffic can be established by using the switch in conjunction with 3Coms NBX IP-based business telephone solution.

3Com already sells SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 family switches in 24 and 48 port models with software installed for enhanced traffic management. Right out of the box these can prioritize voice traffic or block gaming traffic on the local network.

Yet, some customers, said Doug Hyde, marketing manager for 3Com, want wirespeed capabilities and what amounts to Layer 2 switching, without any of the multilayer traffic prioritization. "But yet, theyre kind of wondering whether theyre going to need it down the road or not," he said.

"You pay a bit more to postpone a decision," said Hyde. Buying a SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 with 24 ports and software pre-loaded costs $1595, whereas the new SE switch not pre-loaded with software is priced at $1,295, and the software upgrade costs $495.

The SE switch is available immediately. The software upgrade is expected to be available in the second half of 2002.

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