3Com Adds Resiliency

The vendor's new Switch 7700R has an eight-slot modular chassis that includes two switch fabric slots. By adding an optional second fabric, customers can boost the resiliency of the switch, which provides one-second failover between the switching modules.

The 7700R, 3Com's highest-performing switch to date, achieves speeds of up to 96 Gbps and is 10-Gigabit Ethernet-ready.


Switch 7700R, with eight-slot chassis, is 3Com's highest-performing switch.

The new product follows 3Com's June release of the Switch 7700, a seven-slot modular core switch also sourced from Huawei.

3Com is also unveiling Switch 7700 Advanced Feature Software, an optional add-on for both switches that adds enhanced routing, security and resiliency features.

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Since the 7700 does not feature dual-fabric slots, customers have had to purchase two switches to achieve redundancy, a more expensive proposition, said Steve Baker, CTO of IP Convergence, a solution provider in Argyle, Texas. "This will get us into some Fortune 100 accounts easier."

While the new high-end features and low price point make the 7700R an attractive competitor to products from Cisco Systems, partners said 3Com will need to produce more powerful, higher-density switches to really take on its main rival.

The joint venture between 3Com and Huawei, which began in November, provides 3Com with its first lineup of high-end switches and routers in three years.

"A move up in the enterprise will help us move up in the enterprise channel as well, allowing us to attract a different type of enterprise partner than maybe we have had in the past," said John Bilton, director of U.S. channel sales at 3Com, Marlborough, Mass.

However, partners said they are encountering some resistance from customers to buying 3Com's enterprise products for the network core.

"I'm just not sure if customers are ready to consider 3Com in that part of their network yet," said Glenn Perkal, vice president at solution provider Integrity Networking Systems, Albuquerque, N.M.

The Switch 7700R, scheduled for availability by month's end, is priced at $25,995. The redundant fabric module is $9,995. 3Com's Advanced Feature Software, slated for availability at the end of February, is $4,995.