Nortel Buffs Up Passport

WASHINGTON (01/28/2000) - Enhancements to Nortel Networks Corp.'s Passport line of WAN switches are intended to help users better support e-business and multiservice voice/data applications.

At ComNet 2000 here last week, Nortel rolled out a low-end addition to the Passport line as well as new software releases for the mid-range Passport 4400 and high-end 6400. The new offerings are designed to cost-effectively bring multiservice networking to small offices; add voice-over-IP support for larger offices; and improve transport of IP over ATM.

For small and midsize businesses and remote branches, Nortel unveiled the Passport 2430. The 2430 is priced at $1,400, which makes it slightly less expensive than competitor Cisco Systems Inc.'s 1600 router, which costs $1,495; and much less expensive than the Cisco 1700, which costs $2,195.

The Passport 2430 features an autosensing 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet LAN connection and two WAN adapter module slots. WAN modules include serial, ISDN Basic Rate Interface, V.34 modem, T-1 and fractional T-1, E-1 and fractional E-1, and an integral 56K bit/sec DSU/CSU.

The switch also runs Nortel's BayRS routing software, which features IP and the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) network and routing protocols. It also supports data compression, traffic prioritization, and filtering and firewalling capabilities.

The Passport 2430 will be available Feb. 15.

New software for the Passport 4400, meanwhile, is called Release 4.0. It adds voice-over-IP support to the switch's existing voice-over- frame relay capability. The package also includes support for the OSPF routing protocol, enhanced IP traffic prioritization and a Web-based configuration tool for SNA devices.

The 4400's higher-end cousin, the Passport 6400, gets a new software release as well. Release 7.0 lets 6400 users improve IP/ATM interworking by mapping IP class of service to ATM quality of service. The software works with a two- and three-port OC-3 and DS-3 ATM module for the switch.

Release 7.0 also features the virtual router redundancy protocol for routing table backups; and improved performance of the Border Gateway Protocol 4 routing protocol used in service provider networks.

Release 4.0 of the Passport 4400 software and Release 7.0 of the Passport 6400 software come bundled with the purchase of the switches.

Nortel Networks: www.nortelnetworks.com.

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