IBM is beefing up its network portfolio with new products aimed at easing network management and integration issues.
Among the latest offerings from the company are a Gigabit Ethernet switch; a multi-service switch that works across frame relay and ATM; and the IBM Access Utility for small-to-medium sized businesses requiring a VPN.
The 8371 wire speed layer 3 Ethernet switch allows Ethernet desktops in a wiring closet to connect into an ATM backbone. It has 16 fixed 10/100 autosensing ports and expansion slots that allow customers to configure either Gigabit Ethernet or OC-12 uplinks.
A software upgrade in June will add OSDF capabilities to the switch, enabling it to communicate with routers.
"The 8371 is an important annoucement to fill out IBM's Ethernet connectivity," said Brendan Hanningan, an analyst at Forrester Research, "and it is an entirely IBM developed box."
IBM refused to reveal pricing details for the 8371 product, which will ship in April.
IBM has also launched the IBM 8274 Nways LAN RouteSwitch Model GRS, badged from Xylan, that offers customers wire speeds across all the major LAN architectures including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Token Ring and native ATM.
It is a nine-slot chassis device that also offers Layer 3 routing and support for virtual LANs and firewalls.
"The best part about this platform is the ATM switching model (ASX) and the Token Ring switching module (TSX), which provides uplinks from traditional LAN networks to a high-speed ATM or Token Ring backbone," said an IBM spokesman.
The 8274 Nways LAN Routeswitch model GRS will be available in April and is priced from $299 (#180) per port.
IBM also announced the IBM Access Utility, which offers small to medium businesses thin server, VPN and voice and data features. It will ship this month, priced from $4,400 (#2,667).
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