3Com is answering Dells entry into the network device market with the 3C1670108, an eight-port, unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet-capable OfficeConnect switch that shipped earlier this month. My brief test of the 3C1670108, which is priced at $150, shows the Dell-3Com switch fracas could get interesting.
The 3Com entry-level switches are best suited for budget-conscious small and midsize companies that dont need advanced configuration management.
The switch I looked at had one Gigabit Ethernet port for an uplink or to connect to a server and eight ports of 10/100M-bps Ethernet in a simple-to-connect device. Once installed, the switches are meant to be forgotten.
However, because the switches are unmanaged, IT managers must make sure they are used in low-security areas—there are few ways to implement security policy on the devices.