Nortel Enhances Alteon Switch Line

As businesses integrate their networks with those of customers, suppliers and partners, secure access to applications from anywhere on any device becomes more important, said Greg Merritt, vice president of enterprise portfolio marketing at Nortel, based here.

To deliver a consistent experience to users, networks have to provide application awareness and control, Merritt said.

To that end, Nortel is introducing enhanced versions of its Alteon application switches and adding SSL encryption and SSL VPN capabilities to the lineup, said Atul Bhatnagar, vice president and general manager of Nortel's Ethernet switching business.

SSL VPNs, also called clientless VPNs, allow users to securely access applications from any browser, eliminating the need for VPN client software.

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The new switches take application control beyond load balancing, said Chris Hanson, vice president of technology for Vandis, an Albertson, N.Y.-based solution provider. "These offer complete and total application control," he said. "They have the ability to look deeper into the application and enhance performance and make decisions based on specific content."

Slated to be available later this month, Nortel's Alteon Application Switch 2424 is designed to optimize application delivery, Bhatnagar said. The switch, which will cost $28,495, features 24 10/100 and four Gbit ports in a 1U form factor, supports up to 2 million concurrent sessions and can process more than 51,000 Layer 7 sessions per second with zero session loss, he said.

Another version of the 2424, the Alteon Application Switch 2424-SSL, adds SSL processing and SSL VPN integrated security apps. The new switch will cost $31,995 and is slated for availability in April. It can process up to 16,000 SSL sessions concurrently and manage up to 2,000 SSL transactions per second, Bhatnagar said.

In addition, Nortel is introducing the $29,995 Alteon 8661 SSL acceleration module for its Passport 8600 routing switch line, and is offering the enterprise-class features of its Passport line to midsize businesses with the launch of the Passport 1600 Routing Switch portfolio. The BayStack 380 24F, a switch equipped with all Gbit fiber ports that provides Layer 2 data center aggregation, is scheduled for availability in March and will carry a list price of $6,995.