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Speed boost for old networks

Two Net gear companies debut equipment to help companies migrate from legacy Token Ring technology to high-speed ATM pipes.

Two Net gear companies will debut new equipment this week intended to help companies migrate from legacy Token Ring technology to high-speed ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) pipes.

Bay Networks and Madge Networks will both roll out new Token Ring switches this week, hoping to gain a piece of what should be a lucrative upgrade market.

Token Ring technology is a dominant pipe in older IBM networks using the Systems Network Architecture (SNA) model. Several networking companies, including Cisco Systems and Bay Networks, have been successful selling into Big Blue shops looking to upgrade from older technologies.

The Bay Networks gear, all of which will ship in July, consists of a new $10,995 16-port Centillion 50T Token Ring switch for workgroups that can support more port density or an ATM module with an expansion slot in the box chassis. Also included are two new modules for the S5000 platform that tie Token Ring LANs (local area networks) into other LAN media and WAN connections, such as ATM. Two eight-port switching modules for the Centillion 100 switch will also debut that increase the port density of those boxes.

The new C100 modules are priced at $6,995 and $8,995, and the new S5000 are priced at $8,995 and 10,995. New LAN emulation services are offered with all the new gear, serving as the software "glue" that ties Token Ring to ATM networks.

Madge will also get into the Token Ring act, introducing a new 36-port Smart Ringswitch Plus model that will be available in August for $27,400 and offers ATM connectivity through a new uplink module for the entire RingSwitch line. The company will also introduce a family of 20-port Token Ring shared hubs, with prices starting at $2,595.