Dell Unveils New Switches

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2003-04-30
LAS VEGAS—Dell Computer Corp. unveiled three new PowerConnect managed network switches, including a new family of devices offering 24 or 48 Fast Ethernet ports.

The PowerConnect 3324 and 3348 Fast Ethernet switches, introduced at the N+I show here, will be available this summer, said Kim Goodman, vice president and general manager of Dells networking business. Meanwhile, the PowerConnect 5212 is available immediately, starting at $1,199.

The 5212 is a 12-port Gigabit Ethernet switch aimed at mid-sized and large companies that need high-performance connectivity to such resources as servers or Gigabit connectivity to desktops. It also comes with management and security features such as SSL/SSH encryption of management traffic, dynamic VLans and integration into Dells OpenManage IT Assistant.

The 3324 will start at $549 and the 3348 at $999, and both will offer two built-in copper Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports with option fiber connectivity. Users can also stack the 1U systems via a Gigabit stacking module, enabling them to manage up to 192 Fast Ethernet ports as if they were one system, said Urlich Hansen, senior product manager for Dell networking.

Currently Dell switches offer Level 2 switching capabilities, Goodman said. In the second half of the year, the Round Rock, Texas, company will add Level 3 capabilities, she said.

The switches are designed to offer enterprise capabilities and a low price, Goodman said. For example, the price for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity per port for a Dell switch is about $100, she said. The industry average is about $350, according to Goodman.

She also said her unit is using the classic Dell strategy of bringing enterprise, standards-based technology to small- and mid-sized businesses. Bigger companies with remote offices or large internal departments usually follow, attracted by the performance and price, Goodman said.

Dells switches are aimed at meeting the networking needs of SMBs and remote offices, and give larger companies edge connectivity, she said.

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