NBase-Xyplex bets business on the channel

NBase-Xyplex is convinced the Australian networking market can take another player, but will wait until next year before opening an office here.

Guy Avidan, NBase's president, told Computerworld last week the company is attempting to build market share through two selected channel partners as part of its first step outside OEM business.

The company is represented locally through distributor-resellers Digital Networks Australia and Proactive Communications Solutions.

The specialist LAN switching and router company has developed a reputation as a technically strong, innovative player in the networking arena. NBase was formed in 1993 as a division of MRV Communications.

Company executives believe now is the time to broaden its reach and offer end users alternative solutions, Avidan said.

In particular, the company is basing its product offerings on the IP Switch, designed to speed up router-based enterprise environments, and the new Linux router. In fact, Avidan said the company is surprised by the interest already generated by what he says is the first router for the much-hyped open-source operating system.

"We never appreciated the noise, the havoc this machine would create," he said.

The NBase OSR8040 is a 40Gbit/sec, 18-slot chassis with 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet modules.

In addition to routing algorithms and protocols, users can write specialised quality-of-service applications, enhanced security or Web caching services on a Linux-based router such as the OSR8040, NBase-Xyplex says.

The product is likely to generate interest in the carrier and ISP community, notes Kathryn Korostoff, president of Sage Research in Massachusetts, because they like to write their own programs.

Linux will give them flexibility they're not accustomed to with proprietary router operating systems, she says.

OSR8040's Linux operating system brings a level of programmability and flexibility to routing that proprietary operating systems -- such as Cisco's IOS or Nortel's BayRS -- analyst John Freeman of Current Analysis, said.

The OSR8040 can sport up to 128 10/100 ports, 32Gbit Ethernets and 64 ATM or packet-over-Sonet OC-12s.

The OSR8040 costs $US300,000, and ships in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, on the likelihood that the company may become a takeover target -- as did competitor Xylan which Alcatel acquired -- Avidan said that as a technically focused company, "still nobody thinks to sell the company.

"Still, if someone offers a lot of money, you can't refuse," he said.

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