IBM has set out its strategy on high speed Token Ring networking. The company said it will deliver a 4/16/199 native PCI client/server adaptor in the second half of next year and has also introduced better bandwidth on its TokenPipe and Multilink.
TokenPipe now includes dedicated Token Ring and fault tolerant capabilities for switch-to-switch with a claimed total maximum of 128Mbps using 64 half duplexed/128 DTR.
DTR, said IBM, is fully compatible with its existing IBM Token Ring end stations and hubs and can replace existing bridges and backbones with a switch. IBM is also expected to include 100Mbps token ring switches.
The announcement from IBM follows closely on the heels of similar products from both Cisco and Olicom.
Cisco announced its 3900 stackable switch with 20 ports and two expansion modules and will introduce a copper interface module for its Catalyst 5000 enterprise switch by the end of the year.
Olicom will ship its CrossFire Token Ring switch next month, complete with redundancy features and internal stacking unit.
The reason for the announcements is because many large businesses have standardised on Token Ring in the past. Re-wiring their entire enterprises with an Ethernet solution would be either too expensive or impractical.
IBM has spearheaded an industry-wide initiative to standardise 100Mbps and Gigabit Token Ring, which met earlier this month.
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