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.