Dell is offering cut-price network switching products as it launches its long awaited networking products in the UK and Europe.
The PowerConnect range of layer-two local area network switches, which will connect PCs and servers at wire speed, will be up to 50 per cent cheaper than rival products.
Dell is using third-party Taiwanese vendor Delta to build the products, but will design and develop them itself. From today they can be bought alongside servers, desktops, notebooks and storage products.
Keith Humphreys, an analyst at EuroLAN Research, described the products, of which two million ports have been sold in the US, as "meat and potatoes", adding that Dell will be going for the higher end of the SME market with customers that can support themselves.
When the range was launched in the US 14 months ago it originally comprised four products aimed at the SME market. This has been extended to eight, and includes the enterprise sector as target customers.
"We are bringing the Dell Direct model into the networking market and this is what helps us deliver high performance products at up to 50 per cent less cost," said Kim Goodman, global vice president of the networking products division at Dell.
Humphreys explained that the Dell model is not the same as for PCs and servers because there is no build to order.
However, Des Lekerman, managing director at networking reseller Eurodata Systems, said that networking technology is about more than just price, and suggested that the Dell offering will only be attractive to very small offices because of its lack of support services.
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