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Asanté builds Gigabit at the edge

Jun 22, 20042 mins

* Asanté Technologies introduces two Gigabit Ethernet switches

Asanté Technologies this week unveiled two Layer 2 Gigabit Ethernet switches as part of its IntraCore family.

With the new switches, Asanté is trying to pack lots of 10/100/1000M bit/sec Ethernet connections into a compact box at the network edge. In a one-rack-unit box, the IC36000 Series includes one switch with 48 ports of Gigabit Ethernet and another with 24 ports.

Four modular fiber ports allow users to add 1000Base-SX or 1000Base-LX fiber-optic connections. Asanté says these could be used either to trunk together Gigabit Ethernet connections to the core of a network or to aggregate remote wiring closets or buildings.

Asanté said the switches employ rate limiting to protect against network congestion, keeping bandwidth limits on overindulgent users. The also support VoIP and IP multicasting.

Packets can be separated into distinct classes of service, as well. When switch traffic is congested, the class-of-service designations determine what gets sent first. The switches allow such prioritization by traffic type, so that real-time voice can get through first, for example.

Asanté said it would later release and sell separately the IntraCore Management Utility, Windows-based software designed to manage hundreds of IntraCore switches. The software would let administrators automatically discover Asanté switches and schedule firmware updates and other functions for groups of switches.

The switches are available today. The 48-port IntraCore 36480 costs $4,950. The 24-port IntraCore 36240 costs $2,475. The management utility is expected to ship later this quarter.

CLARIFICATION: In last week’s newsletter, “HP adds switches as part of larger offerings,” I should have mentioned that the new switches also have “dual-personality” ports in addition to the fixed ports. The ProCurve Switch 5304xl has four such ports, and the Switch 5308xl has six. As HP pointed out to me, these ports give the user a choice of using either an RJ45 or a mini-GBIC to make a Gigabit connection.