SMC looks to put Layer 3, GigE into midsize nets

SMC Networks Inc. recently released a chassis-based switch that could help boost a midsize business' network with Layer 3 switching and Gigabit Ethernet without busting its IT budget.

The SMC9712G TigerChassis is a 12-slot modular switch that can house up to 96 10/100M bit/sec connections, or 24 copper Gigabit Ethernet connections, or twelve fiber-based Gigabit links. The device supports Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching on each port, and has a total switching capacity of 24G bits/sec.

Standard switch features include 802.1Q virtual LAN support, and four packet classification queues (802.1p) for traffic prioritization. The device can also act as a full hardware-based router, with support for RIP Version 1 and Version 2 and OSPF routing protocols. The switch can also be managed with SNMP and remote monitoring management protocol.

Eigth-port 10/100 Mbit/sec modules, and dual-port 10/100/1000M bit/sec and gigabit interface converter modules are available for the chassis. Single-port 1000Base-SX and LX fiber modules can also be added for long-distance runs or high-speed uplinks using legacy FDDI fiber infrastructures in a company's facility.

The SMC9712G will compete with midrange chassis switches such as 3Com Corp.'s Switch 4005 and Hewlett Packard Co.'s Procurve Switch 4121A. The new SMC switch is another product in a recent barrage of low-cost Gigabit Ethernet switching gear which has emerged from network vendors other than the traditional large enterprise market players, such as Cisco Systems Inc., Enterasys Networks Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., Foundry Networks Inc., Extreme Networks Inc., Alcatel SA and Avaya Inc.

The SMC 912G is available now in the US starting at US$3,120.

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