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3Com jumps back into router arena

Sep 29, 20032 mins

Latest Cisco news.

3Com jumps back into router arena

By Phil Hochmuth

Network World, 09/29/03

3Com will revive another of its previously abandoned enterprise network lines this week as it launches a series of WAN routers for enterprise branch and central offices.

The 3Com Router 5000 series is designed to connect corporate sites, from small branch to large regional offices, with a variety of WAN links. The gear is also part of 3Com’s strategy to offer a complete network product menu – from network interface cards to switches and routers, IP telephony and security gear – with a common management platform across the portfolio.

Observers say the router launch is a good step in 3Com’s road back into large corporate networks, although image challenges linger because of the company’s retreat from that market several years back.

In addition to supporting a variety of WAN options, such as T-1, frame relay and ISDN, the new 5000 series boxes also include integrated IP Security VPN functionality, and firewall capabilities with stateful packet inspection and traffic filtering. 3Com says quality of service also has been added into the 5000 series router software, letting delay-sensitive WAN traffic – such as voice over IP – be tagged and prioritized.

The new product line includes the 5009, with a single WAN interface module slot for small branch offices, the three-slot 5231 for regional offices, and four-slot 5640 and eight-slot 5680 for consolidating WAN links at a company’s headquarters. WAN modules for the 5000 series include full and fractional T-1/E-1, Primary Rate Interface, ISDN and 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet products. All 5000 series modules are interchangeable.

The 5000 series launch is a reprise of 3Com’s earlier PathBuilder product line, which included WAN routing, VPN and firewall products for midsize and large organizations. This line was discontinued in 2000, along with 3Com’s CoreBuilder LAN switching line.

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