New enhancements to Bay's Centillion switching software architecture include Layer 3 network protocol switching capabilities, IP multicast control, protocol sensitive virtual local area networks (VLAN) and integrated IP/Asysnchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) routing.
Like its competitors, Bay plans to take IP switching from the data linking Layer 2 level of communications, to Layer 3, the network protocols layer, combining traditional LAN and WAN functionality in one chassis.
As intranets are more widely deployed in corporate environments, changes in the networking infrastructure are necessary as traffic patterns change and incorporate the wide variety of Web-based information such as multimedia content.
The new Centillion software with new Layer 3 capabilities will be available for the Centillion 100 LAN and System 5000 WAN switch lines. Administrators will now be able to upgrade to Layer 3 performance with current Layer 2 switches.
The Centillion 100 is a six-slot multi-LAN/ATM switch with an ATM core. The new switching architecture in the System 5000 can be added via a simple backplane upgrade. Four new EtherSpeed modules and two ATMSpeed 155 will be available.
The EtherSpeed modules include 8 to 16 switched Ethernet ports, enabling up to 176 ports in one chassis. Two modules include switched 10 megabit and 100 megabit Ethernet ports. The ATMSpeed modules include LAN Emulation and support for up to 48 ATM ports.
Bay will also support protocol-sensitive VLAN's, allowing the addition of IP without changing the network's structure. IP will also be integrated with ATM via the Integrated Private Network-to-Network Interface (I-PNNI), easing the management burden for administrators who only view one protocol, not two. Integration will also ease routing selections and improve performance.
The new Centillion Layer 3 switching, IP multicast control, and protocol-sensitive VLAN capabilities are expected to be available by June 1997. Integrated IP/ATM routing is due by the end of 1997.
A Centillion-enabled backplane for the System 5000 costs $4,995. Modules for the 5000 with Centillion switching capabilities are as follows: a 16-port 10 Base-T EtherSpeed for $7,495; a 8-port 10 Base-T EtherSpeed Master Control Processor (MCP) for $8,495; a 14/2 10 Base/T/100 Base-TX EtherSpeed for $8,395; a 14/2 10 Base-T/100 Base-FX EtherSpeed for $9,395; a 4-port ATMSpeed/155 for $8,995; and a 4-port ATMSpeed/155 MCP for $10,995.
Initial hardware modules are due in one month, with new modules expected within three months.