• United States
by Steve Taylor and Joanie Wexler

Quick Eagle adds link-redundancy, QoS options to access routers

Feb 10, 20042 mins

* Quick Eagle enhances access router with bells and whistles

Quick Eagle has been one of the companies to challenge Cisco in the branch-office router arena, offering low-cost alternatives for sites that don’t require many bells and whistles and don’t want to pay for them.

But Quick Eagle seems to now be experiencing what Cisco has faced (on a much grander scale) for years: Different customers want different combinations of router software features. So how do enterprises get what they want without the software-bloat and multiple router operating system-version problems that can make large-scale implementations a nightmare to manage?

“As you get customers, it’s hard to stay in the niche [because of additional customer demands],” acknowledges Alan Rice, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Do you step out – or step further into it?”

Quick Eagle apparently decided to step further in – in particular, to compete more closely with the multifunction features of the Cisco 2600 branch-office router. Quick Eagle recently announced the 4300 Access Router Series, scheduled to ship in early March.

The 4300 products, which include internal DSU/CSUs, will displace the 4240 and 4230 routers, announced in September 2002, Rice says. The new devices add support for the BGP-4 routing protocol so that you can dual-home separate connections to different ISPs. You must pay $250 extra for the BGP-4 support.

To keep software version control in check, Quick Eagle has one operating system in play at any time. Enterprises can add fee-based, optional features using a software key. Eventually, Rice explains, options get incorporated into the main operating system and users can use the software key to upgrade to the updated platform free of charge.

Below are a few details on the new models:

* The 4330 (list price: $1,395) – Like its 4230 predecessor, this device supports a single Ethernet port. But the port has been upgraded from 10BaseT to 10/100 Ethernet. The device supports an optional second T-1/E-1 port ($500). It also supports a traffic-shaping option ($500).

* The 4335 (list price: $1,795) – The same features and fee-based options as the 4330 apply here, except the base configuration includes two 10/100 Ethernet ports. The second Ethernet port might be used for redundant failover to a backup VPN link by connecting to a DSL, cable, or last-mile wireless modem (likely with a VPN appliance between router and modem). The second port could also be used to load-balance LAN traffic.