Alcatel launches workgroup switch

Alcatel has launched an all-Gigabit switch aimed at high-end workgroups or for connecting servers or clustered nodes in a data center.

The fixed-configuration OmniStack 6300 lets users deploy Gigabit Ethernet with security and traffic management features to desktops and servers at a lower cost than similarly configured competitive switches, Alcatel says.

The switch comes with 24 copper 10/100/1000M bit/sec ports, plus four fiber-based 1G bit/sec Ethernet ports for uplinks (for each fiber port activated, a copper port must be deactivated). While it is a Layer 2 switch, it supports traffic management and security features that use Layer 3 and Layer 4 packet inspection. These include Layer 3 Differentiated Service quality-of-service capabilities and access control lists (ACL) based on Layer 3 and Layer 4 TCP/IP data.

The box supports Layer 2 features such as 802.1x port authentication, virtual LANs and media-access-control-based ACL filters - which let administrators permit network access only to users with registered wired or wireless network interface cards.

Redundancy and failover features on the box include 802.3ad link aggregation and multiple spanning tree support. Link aggregation can be used to trunk uplink ports, which creates a multi-Gigabit virtual pipe. Multiple spanning tree lets the box connect to multiple uplink switches without the need for Layer 3 routing capabilities; this lets the box recover from uplink failures more quickly, the company says.

At about US$100 per Gigabit port, the OmniStack 6300 costs approximately 25 percent to 50 percent less than competitive switches with similar features, speed and port counts. All-Gigabit versions of Cisco Systems Inc.'s Catalyst 2900 and Foundry Networks Inc.'s FastIron Edge Switch are comparable products.

The OminStack 6300 is available now for US$2,500 (AUD$3,320)

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