New Intel switches, routers aimed at mid-size nets

IDG News Service

San Francisco—Continuing its push into the networking systems business, Intel Corp. last week announced the release of a new switch and routers designed for medium-size networks.

Michael Duffy, head of Intel's wide-area network (WAN) operations, said the new products enable the company to offer end-to-end solutions for applications such as secure electronic commerce.

"When you combine these routers with other products from Intel, you can provide secure end-to-end service," Duffy said. "Secure commerce with federal agencies is becoming a requirement, and we want to make sure we are providing the right products to run those applications."

The product launch is Intel's latest foray into a market the vendor believes will serve the booming growth of networking and Internet commerce, company officials and industry analysts said.

"Intel is very serious about networking; we want to play a very significant role in enabling that community," Duffy said. "Our mission is to be the building block supplier to the Internet economy."

Duffy cited two Intel acquisitions the company believes will enhance its network systems products: Shiva Corp., which produces direct dial and virtual private network products, and XLNT Inc., which gives Intel a technology design center for developing switching products, he said.

Intel's interest in networking shows no signs of ending, according to Paul Strauss, a senior analyst with International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass. "I suspect there will be more [networking] products and acquisitions," he said.

Intel's new switch, the 6000 Series Switch, is a modular Gigabit Ethernet device that allows the aggregation of workgroups and servers on local-area networks. The switch offers up to 32 Gigabit Ethernet ports for high-density gigabit switching or up to 96 Fast Ethernet ports for aggregating high-performance workstations, according to the company.

Intel plans to upgrade the switch next year to enable it to more efficiently manage network congestion through bandwidth reservation, server load balancing and dynamic data filtering, the company said in a statement.

The Intel 6000 Series Switch Chassis and the eight-port Gigabit SX Module will be available Sept. 28 and are priced at $13,995 and $18,995, respectively. For $2,999, users can purchase telephone support, parts replacement and warranty packages for ongoing support, including the installation of a service pack for the Intel 6000 Series Switch that provides on-site installation and two incidents of phone support.

Meanwhile, the Intel Express 9500 and 8200 router family allows network administrators to connect branch offices and regional sites to each other and to central sites.

The Intel Express 9510 and 9520 routers, available immediately, support WAN protocols and offer hardware-based compression speeds of up to 2 megabits/sec on WAN ports to help maximize data throughput on the WAN links.

Prices for the 8200 router line were not released.

The products are schedule to be available by the end of the year.

The Express 9510 and 9520 routers are priced at $1,449 and $1,749, respectively.

Intel will sell these products to its federal customers through four resellers, Duffy said.

The four companies authorized to sell Intel products to federal agencies are Entex Federal, Vanstar Government Systems, GE Capital Information Technology Solutions and Comstor.

-- Brad Bass contributed to this article.

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