Enterasys Offers SMBs a More Stable LAN Switch

Enterasys' Layer 2 stackable LAN switch brings advanced security and traffic classification features to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Enterasys Networks Inc. on Tuesday will shift is product line refresh focus to the midmarket with a new Layer 2 LAN switch that brings advanced security and traffic classification features to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The new 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, also authenticates users based on the IEEE 802.1x authentication standard. The switch also uses other authentication methods such as Media Access Control (MAC) port locking, and it supports access control lists as well as Secure Socket Layer, Secure Socket Shell and RADIUS servers.

The Matrix V 2 supports 10/100Base-TX links, and up to eight units can be stacked to provide as many as 192 ports. Its stacking ability is unique compared with competitive offerings from Cisco Systems Inc. in its comparable 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 450 T24 switches and 3Com Corp.s SuperStack 4400 switch line. Stevens believes it is unique in its ease of configuration—especially for traffic classification setup—and Enterasys applies extensive testing before switches are sold to ensure their stability.

"Our hardware and firmware go through the same extensive testing as all our switching and routing products. We think it is much more stable than any other products in its class," Stevens said. Competitors that OEM LAN switches for the SMB market do not apply the same level of testing, 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.

The switch, available now, starts at $1,195 for a 24-port switch with two expansion slots. A bundled version with two 1000T uplink ports is $1,295.