3Com steps up

3Com releases a family of terabit switches for the high-end enterprise space, in a bid to make up lost ground in its battle with Cisco.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  November 17, 2004

3Com has introduced the 3Com Switch 8800 family of terabit switches. The 3Com Switch 8800 series will anchor the company's broad LAN switch product portfolio and sees the company move back into the high-end switching market it has been absent from in recent years. The Switch 8800 family is expected to ship in Q105 and comes in three sizes. 3Com Starter Kits, which include a chassis, fabric, power supply and fan, start at US $26,000 for the smaller 7-slot system and range up to US $36,000 for the full capacity 14-slot system. “As the most powerful core switch 3Com has ever offered, the Switch 8800 delivers feature-rich, interoperable networking while significantly reducing the cost-to-acquire, own and operate equation,” says Mehmet Balos, vice president of global marketing and corporate communications, 3Com. “This offering is intended to directly address customers’ expressed, continued frustration with competitive solutions that employ proprietary protocols, force vendor lock-in and are overpriced,” he says. To further its commitment to the enterprise market and provide a complete Switch 8800 install solution for customers, 3Com has launched the 8800 Service Package, which combines implementation services, a year of high availability on-site support, and multiple days of post-installation consultation. “This major innovation in switch technology demonstrates 3Com’s commitment to investing in advanced research and development so that we can provide a full offering for our customers,” says Wael Fakharany, regional manager at 3Com Middle East. “Given the demand that we see in the Middle East for high-end networking and solid on-the-ground support, we’re confident that this is a very attractive solution for large enterprises in the region,” he adds. Rounding out 3Com’s 10 Gigabit performance networking solutions to complement the Switch 8800, 3Com has extended the reach of its Switch 7700 and SuperStack 3 Switch 3780 from the network edge to the core with new 10 Gigabit modules. “Our approach is to apply advanced engineering to reduce complexity, innovate in a standards-based framework for optimal customer flexibility and support the choice of best-of-breed applications and services,” says Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Vice President of Product Management, 3Com. “The new 3Com Switch 8800 rigorously adheres to these objectives and is the terabit switch that gives large enterprise customers superior high density 10 Gigabit and Gigabit at line rate performance,” he adds. 3Com has steadily been developing new enterprise-class solutions and investing in the capabilities to offer business customers superior business value and differentiated products and services. The Switch 8800 and the 10 Gigabit uplinks for the Switch 7700 and Switch 3870 are significant aspects of 3Com’s long-term enterprise strategy to compete at the highest levels. 3Com has applied dual load-sharing switch fabrics to the Switch 8800 so that adding resiliency will also double switch performance, which 3Com says fully utilises the switching capacity and investment in the system. The Switch 8800’s 1.44 terabit backplane delivers outstanding speed and port density – up to 24 10 Gigabit wirespeed ports and 288 Gigabit wirespeed ports – but can support a second generation fabric and modules to double the switch’s performance yet again. “With the 3Com Switch 8800, we have a solution that system integrators and Gold Partners worldwide can use to win major large enterprise deals, supporting thousands of users on a voice/data converged network platform,” adds Balos. “Enterprise customers can efficiently integrate the Switch 8800 into multi-vendor networks, such as a Cisco-heavy network, and gain application optimization and enhanced productivity,” he says. The converged Switch 8800 platform will allow enterprise-wide applications, such as new enterprise-scalable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based converged applications with the 3Com VCX V7000 IP telephony system, which scales to ten of thousands of users. 3Com has developed new network management capabilities to securely manage the entire enterprise network for voice/data convergence and user-optimized networking. Network access is protected by 3Com’s advanced security technologies, using IEEE 802.1X and other security measures to create a highly secure enterprise infrastructure. Adding 3Com’s new security switches, namely the Switch 6200 and 7200, gives customers the choice of a consolidated platform to manage standards-based security applications across the network.

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