Switch Brings Gigabit Ethernet to Desktop

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-04-29
Nortel Networks announced Monday two new switches in its BayStack product line, including a new entrant to bring Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop.

The BayStack 380-24T switch supports 24 10/100/1000BaseT auto-sensing ports and is Nortels first foray into bringing Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop, said Todd McDole, the companys director of product management, in Santa Clara, Calif. The switch includes four mini gigabit fiber links back to the core network.

The switch is addressing the increasing interest in Gigabit on the LAN as more desktops ship with Gigabit NICs (network interface cards) and enterprises consider pushing such high bandwidth out to desktops, McDole said.

Nortel also introduced the BayStack 470-48T stackable switch, which supports 48 10/100BaseT ports along with two Gigabit slots. The Layer 2 switch can stack up to eight high and includes integrated stacking connectors, which leaves both Gigabit slots free for connectivity, McDole said.

Both switches are scheduled to ship in June. The BayStack 380 starts at $7,995, and the BayStack 470 starts at $4,495.

Both switches also are focusing on QOS (quality-of-service) features. They have incorporated features of a separate BayStack switch, the Business Policy Switch, which allows QOS features such as packet classification and prioritization, McDole said. The BayStack 470 will have the complete set of QOS features, while the 380 will have a subset, since it already has auto-sensing capabilities up to Gigabit speeds, McDole said.

At the same time, Nortel has announced three new Gigabit uplink modules for the Business Policy Switch, aimed at bringing high-throughput QOS capabilities to customers with an installed base of BayStack 450s and Business Policy Switch 2000s.

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