Enterasys Enters SMB Space

Enterasys Networks Inc. is shifting its focus to SMBs with a new Layer 2 LAN switch.

Enterasys Networks Inc. is shifting its focus to SMBs with a new Layer 2 LAN switch that brings advanced security and traffic classification features to small and midsize businesses.

The Matrix V 2 stackable switch provides rate limiting or classification of Layer 2, Layer 3 and Layer 4 traffic to ensure that more mission-critical or delay-sensitive traffic such as voice over IP gets through. The rate-limiting function works for both inbound and outbound traffic.

The 24-port switch, which includes two expansion slots for stacking or faster uplinks to a backbone, authenticates users based on the IEEE 802.1x authentication standard. The switch also uses other authentication methods, such as media access control port locking, and it supports access control lists as well as Secure Sockets Layer, Secure Shell and Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service servers.

The Matrix V 2 supports 10/100BaseTX links, and up to eight units can be stacked to provide up to 192 ports. Its stacking ability is unique compared with competitive offerings from Cisco Systems Inc.s Catalyst 2950 line, said Stan Stevens, product manager for the Matrix V 2, in Andover, Mass.

The Matrix V 2 also competes with Nortel Networks Ltd.s 450 T24 switches and 3Com Corp.s SuperStack 4400 switch line. Stevens said he believes the Matrix V 2 is unique in its ease of configuration—especially for traffic classification setup. Enterasys applies extensive testing before switches are sold to ensure stability, he added.

Enterasys also brought high-availability functions to the midmarket switch, including support for optional power redundancy as well as support for industry-standard link aggregation.

For early customers at Western Kentucky University, the new Matrix V 2 switches provide the compact form factor they wanted, combined with "the higher-end features were used to in bigger switches," but more cost-effectively, said Dave Beckley, director of network computing and communications for the university, in Bowling Green. Those higher-end features include SNMP management, console access and some quality-of-service support.

Pricing for the switch, available now, starts at $1,195 for 24 ports and two expansion slots. A bundled version with two 1,000BaseT uplink ports costs $1,295.