The new remote access hardware, dubbed the 8000, fits into the middle of the resurgent Santa Clara, California-based company's product strategy to grab a piece of a booming market dominated by the likes of Ascend Communications and 3Com (via the acquisition of U.S. Robotics). Other Bay systems cover the low- and high-ends of the remote access market.
"In order to have a good remote access play, you have to cover a range of markets," said Virginia Brooks, director of network research for the Aberdeen Group. She cited small offices, mid-range networks, and enterprise provider accounts as targets.
"The requirements of these groups are different," she said. "This is the type of effort Bay is making. They are really jumping in with both feet, especially on the high end of things.
Coupled with the announcement of the box is new integration of RADIUS, a widespread software protocol that ensures security during dial-up connections. The BaySecure Access Control RADIUS server, due to ship next month for Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT-based networks, enables users to authenticate themselves through a central database when dialing in from a remote location. A Unix-based version will be delivered in November.
The 8000 remote access concentrator includes support for both 56-kbps modem standards, with a pledge to offer a free software upgrade once a unified standard is finalized. It also integrates ISDN (integrated service digital network) primary rate interface, T1, and E1 links into one chassis. Up to 48 modems can be added to the box.
"I think there is room for Bay to grow here," Brooks said, "but I think they're going to have to have really solid relationships with the service provider community to make it work."
Bay officials said the new offering will fit into large provider operations that want to offer a dispersed presence to customers and enterprise corporate networks that do not need the density of high-end units like Bay's 5000.
The 8000 will ship in October with a list price of $19,995 and a configuration of 48 modems. The BaySecure Access Control RADIUS server is priced at $4,500, or $8,000 for a primary and back-up server.