3Com Adds to LAN Switch Line

New switch adds a fiber uplink to 3Com's line of Layer 2 managed wiring closet switches.

3Com Corp. on Monday filled in a missing link in its SuperStack line of Layer 2 LAN switches.

The new SuperStack 3 Switch 4228G adds a fiber uplink to the 4200 line of Layer 2 managed wiring closet switches.

The new 4228G provides 24 10/100 Ethernet ports along with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) ports for the fiber uplinks.

Up to four units of any of the models in the 4200 line can be stacked together without requiring additional configuration, and switches dont have to be restarted as new ones are added. With the new unit, the 4200 line can be stacked to provide up to 194 ports as a single, managed IP entity.

3Com hopes to set its 4200 line apart by emphasizing the standards support in the line. Version 2.0 of the control software that works across the family includes one of the earlier implementations of the IEEE 802.1w Rapid Spanning Tree protocol.

"It provides very fast network recovery. In a network with the older Spanning Tree Protocol, if there is a network failure, it will take a few minutes to come back on line. With Rapid Spanning Tree, it is one to two seconds," said a 3Com official in Marlboro, Mass.

Version 2 of the software also supports IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Protocol, IEEE 802.1Q VLAN Tagging and IEEE 802.1p traffic prioritization.

3Com believes that its 4200 line is less expensive than competitive switches from Cisco Systems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company, and that it is comparably priced to Dell offerings but easier to use, according to the 3Com official.

The new SuperStack 3 Switch 4228G is available now, along with Version 2.0 of the 4200 lines software. It is priced at $920.