Networker Cabletron Systems (CS)
announced the latest additions to its all-in-one hardware today.
reported by CNET's NEWS.COM, the company debuted new Token Ring modules
for its MMAC
Plus switching chassis, rounding out an existing
multislot box that already supports FDDI (distributed data interface),
Ethernet, and ATM (asynchronous transfer mode).
There is a large installed base of Token Ring customers--many are customers
of IBM which invented the technology--who count
on Token Ring in
large corporate enterprise networks. But industry observers say many
managers of Token Ring-based networks are looking to move to a next-generation
technology, such as high-speed ATM or Gigabit
Token Ring technology can send traffic across a LAN (local area network) at
either 4 mbps (megabits per second) or 16 mbps, a far cry from even 100
mbps Fast Ethernet speeds.
Switch maker Xylan may come closest
to offering technology similar to the systems that Cabletron will unveil.
The company recently added ATM capabilities to its OmniSwitch, rounding out
a chassis that already
supports FDDI, Token Ring, and Ethernet.
"All our MMAC Plus products were built to intercommunicate," said Frank
Hayes, program manager for LAN switching at Cabletron. "We've been pretty
strong in Token Ring all along. I think it's time to get real with your
customers and give them all the options."
The company will release two types of modules: a 16-port dual-slot Token
Ring switching module that can offer a total of 112 ports of the technology
within one chassis, or a 24-port, micro-segmented module targeted at desktop
The new modules, which will ship in August, will add to Cabletron's Token
Ring presence in the networking market. Company officials say 15
percent of Cabletron's business comes from Token Ring networking.
A 16-port version of the SmartSwitch module costs $29,995. Two MicroLAN
modules, offering a total of 24 Token Ring ports, cost $12,995 each.