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3Com Turns On The Switch To Advance VoIP And Security

3Com this week plans to launch a line of SMB and branch office LAN switches that add advanced features for VoIP and security.

The Switch 4500 family of Layer 2/3 stackable switches includes optional PoE, automated voice VLAN configuration for multivendor VoIP environments and support for quarantine capabilities from 3Com’s TippingPoint security division.

The new switch lineup is the fruit of 3Com’s joint venture with Chinese networking giant Huawei Technologies and fills out 3Com’s LAN portfolio targeting companies with 50 to 500 users, said Joel Daly, product marketing manager at 3Com, Marlborough, Mass.

With its new automated VLAN assignment capabilities, the switch family can detect and identify the type of device it is connected to, automatically separating PCs into data VLANs and IP phones into voice VLANs. The new switch can provide the automated capabilities for several vendors’ IP telephony lines, including Cisco Systems, freeing customers to mix 3Com switches into non-3Com VoIP deployments without losing automation features, solution providers said.

“It’s intelligent from the standpoint of understanding the IP phone that’s plugged into it and can react to that phone. It saves [configuration] time,” said Eric Handorf, general manager at AC&C Network Services, an Anaheim, Calif.-based solution provider.

On the security front, Switch 4500 supports the 802.1X user authentication standard as well as RADIUS Authenticated Device Access, which allows only approved devices to attach to the network. In addition, 3Com has included support for quarantine capabilities from its TippingPoint intrusion-prevention solutions.

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