The updates are the first since IBM's huge overhaul of its networking line last October. The company has made a huge thrust in the internetworking area recently, augmented by agreements to resell products from Xylan (XYLN) and Cascade Communications (CSCC). IBM continues to add functionality to its line of networking gear in the face of stiff competition from networking leader Cisco Systems (CSCO).
The announcement next month is expected to include:
By next year, the fruits of a joint development agreement with Xylan will result in a next-generation Token Ring switch with wider slots for switching modules and higher port density, so the box can handle a higher traffic load. The "wide body" model is expected to support Ethernet, FDDI, and frame relay to ATM modules, according to IBM officials.
The flurry of activity for IBM next month is intended to show current Big Blue shops that the company is focused on delivering the latest networking technology for customers. Cisco has made a lot of money selling its internetworking equipment to traditional IBM customers because its products support IBM's mainframe computer traffic.