Nortel Brings Intelligence To The Edge With Two New Switch Lines

Wireless access and distributed applications such as instant messaging, video and IP telephony with unified messaging have created a need for more intelligence at the edge of the network, said Diane Schmidt, director of marketing for Ethernet switching at Nortel, Brampton, Ontario.

"Today's LAN model isn't designed to serve these applications," Schmidt said. "They are designed for predictable traffic with intelligence at the core."

Nortel's adaptive campus LAN initiative is designed to accommodate the new breed of applications, she said. To that end, Nortel last week introduced new edge switches designed to allow medium to large enterprises to take better advantage of collaboration and mobility applications by adding intelligence and security features.

Bob Inpyn, president of Team One Networking, a Nortel partner based in Roseville, Calif., said Nortel's new offerings are what his customers need. "They are really putting their engineering behind what the customer demands," Inpyn said. "The growth in wireless has led to a need for intelligence at the edge and power over Ethernet."

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The new stackable BayStack 5000 switches have been given greater intelligence, resilience and performance to accommodate distributed applications, Schmidt said. The switches provide Layer 3 routing, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the desktop, improved stacking performance, and nearly 32 times the throughput of its predecessor, she said. The switches also feature Nortel's new Flexible Advanced Stacking Technology, or "FAST Stack," design, which automatically redirects all traffic around any box within a stack that is not performing properly.

Two models of the 5000 series are slated to be available in September. The BayStack 5510-48T, with 48 10/100/1000 ports, is priced at $6,995. The BayStack 5510-24T with 24 10/100/1000 ports is priced at $4,995. A power over Ethernet model is scheduled for January 2004.

The new Passport 8300 Ethernet switch is a modular Layer 3 routing switch featuring power over Ethernet that is designed for enterprise wiring closets. The switch features high-density Gigabit connectivity, QoS, sophisticated management features, and hot-swappable redundant switch fabrics.

Also available in September, the Passport 8300 comes in either a six-slot or 10-slot chassis with four blade options: the switch fabric, a 48 10/100 port blade, a 48 10/100 port blade with power over Ethernet and a 24 10/100/1000 port blade.