Tech Industry

Cabletron drives into hot markets

The company adds desktop switching boxes and remote-access modules to keep up in the highly competitive small-business and remote-access markets.

Cabletron Systems (CS) will address two of the hottest markets in networking this week with rollouts for desktop connections and remote corporate users.

To bolster its presence in small businesses, the company announced two new switches to handle the needs of networked PCs and server systems.

The move addresses a Cabletron shortcoming in a small-business market that is booming as more and more "mom and pop" organizations decide they need to take advantage of networking technology to be competitive. Others, such as 3Com, Bay Networks, Intel, and Cisco Systems, are fighting a fierce pricing battle for market share and name recognition.

"It's kind of a battle of features and price more than anything else," said Martin Lowry, a desktop switching program manager at Cabletron. "In terms of having our bases covered, we had all of them covered except the desktop. It rounds out our switching products."

As part of a new desktop-focused product line called SmartStack, the company will offer a 10-mbps Ethernet switch with 25 ports and a 100-mbps Fast Ethernet switch with 16 ports. The Ethernet switch is available now for $75 per port and the Fast Ethernet switch will ship in February for $243 per port.

Separately, the company added remote-access capabilities to its "all-in-one" switching chassis for LANs, the MMAC-Plus. The hardware already supports most network pipes, such as 10-mbps, 100-mbps, and 1,000-mbps Ethernet, Token Ring, and FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface).

The new modules will ship in January 1998, with two basic modules coming in flavors that support ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), T1, E1, and 56Kflex modems. Pricing starts at $16,995.