VARs: Enterasys Switches A Hit


Solution providers are touting Enterasys Networks' new line of enterprise switches as both an upsell opportunity and a foot in the door to new customers.

The Matrix N-Series line of switches features new distributed forwarding engines, distributed architecture and backward compatibility with existing switch lines such as the E-Series,a key selling point, solution providers said.

"One of the reasons Enterasys customers stay so loyal, despite the problems [Enterasys] and [other vendors] in this space have had, is because they want to protect the investments their customers have already made," said Steve Thorpe, president of Adaptive Communications, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based VAR that specializes in network infrastructure and information security. "The new line is fully compatible with the old one, and the technology slides right into the chassis. This allows us to go back to the customer and upsell."

For Amir Sohrabi, executive vice president of MSPX, an Arlington, Va.-based solution provider that specializes in wireless, storage, security and convergence solutions for data, voice and video, the N-Series' best feature is its new distributed architecture.

With the distributed architecture, the chipset and processors are on each blade, rather than having all the processing power on the backplane. This eliminates the possibility of a single point of failure by distributing processing power on each blade.

"If something happens, it only affects that specific blade and not the whole chassis," Sohrabi said. "That has a huge effect on the quality of service. Also, the distributed forwarding engine is key for application-driven networks. This gives us a great opportunity to sell to customers that need robust networks for voice and video over IP and data."

The N-Series also has a role-based multilayer packet classification, which allows customers

to categorize network traffic by not only traffic types but also its role to the network, including providing additional power to business-critical applications such as CRM and ERP, for example.