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More gear for mobile ranks

Perle Systems is launching a new switching device targeted at businesses with large stables of mobile workers.

The flood of remote access gear continues.

Veteran Canadian firm Perle Systems (PERLF) will launch a foray for enterprise remote access networking dollars next week with a new switching device targeted at businesses with large stables of mobile workers.

The market for remote access hardware is so hot because workers within corporations are increasingly taking their duties everywhere. That forces administrators to address employees' need for a reliable remote connection to the internal corporate network, or "intranet."

Perle said it has combined the reliability of central office switches that carry voice calls with the price and performance of data networking gear. The box, called the 833AS, can handle up to 48 K56Flex digital and analog modems in one chassis through ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connections.

International Data Corporation recently released a study that predicted client-side remote access software revenue will more than double by the year 2001. For every client looking to dial in, there has to be a back-end piece of hardware to handle the connection.

Perle, in its third decade of operations, will ship the new switch in the first quarter of next year, with configurations starting at $9,600. The box comes with a grouping feature that allows administrators to group modem ports for dial-in, dial-out, and call-back functions, as well as specific applications.