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Cisco, 3Com corner network market

The two networking giants, Cisco Systems and 3Com, continue to augment an already exhaustive portfolio of products.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) and 3Com (COMS) will leave no stone unturned.

The two networking giants continue to augment an already exhaustive portfolio of products. Cisco introduced new routing hubs that are optimized to provide Internet access for the small office-home office (SOHO) market. 3Com unveiled a new switch, a new hub, and a new module for the 100MB Fast Ethernet market that should be attractive for networks reaching the 10MB Ethernet barrier with their applications.

Cisco's new 770 line of SOHO routers consists of four models that include ISDN routing capabilities and a 4-port Ethernet hub. Two models also include two analog phone connections so that a user can share a ISDN basic-rate-interface (BRI) line. The new 770 line supports a new feature of Cisco's Internetworking Operating System (IOS), Port and Address Translation (PAT), that allows a single Internet Protocol address to cover an entire local area network.

This conserves addresses and offers firewall capabilities, since only one network address is made available over the public network using the PAT feature in the Internetworking Operating System. The new models include Web-based configuration software to make it easy for SOHOs to get up and running with the new equipment.

3Com continues to lead the Fast Ethernet market on a per-port basis and continues to strengthen its line of products. The new SuperStack II Dual Speed hub offers 10MB and 100MB connectivity for networks migrating from Ethernet technology using a phased approach. The box comes in 12-port and 24-port autosensing models that can detect whether incoming traffic is 10MB or 100MB.

The company also introduced the SuperStack II Switch 3000 TX, a 12-port version of the popular Fast Ethernet switch that is targeted at networks currently experiencing bottlenecks. And for enterprise switching needs, 3Com also debuted a 7-port Fast Ethernet module for the ONcore switching family.

3Com's new Superstack II Dual Speed Hub is scheduled to ship next month for $2,399 for a 12-port model and $4,199 for a 24-port box. The 12-port SuperStack II Switch 3000 TX is priced at $750 per port. The 7-port Fast Ethernet FastModule for the ONCore switching chassis is available now for $5,595.

Cisco's 770 line of SOHO routers are available immediately at prices starting at $749. Multiprotocol routing and data-compression features are also available as software upgrades starting at $150.