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Data, Voice, and Video Convergence Drives New Switch Design

Corporate networks now carry a variety of data, video, and voice traffic. Consequently, many small and medium businesses can have difficulty trying to manage such a wide breadth of applications. One vendor has packaged a number of convergence functions into a new family of switches so businesses can more easily support these complex networks.Enterasys Networks unvieled the Enterasys SecureStackC3 that support Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet access. The devices automatically discover, classify, and prioritize voice, video and data traffic, such as IP telephony and video conferencing applications. An optional IEEE 802.3af power over Ethernet (PoE) feature works with network devices that require external power, such as wireless access points, VoIP telephones, and IP security cameras.

The switch also includes some integrated network management features. The product identifies and classifies incoming traffic and discovers attached users, applications and devices. The switch authenticates users via 802.1X, Web or MAC authentication and enforces priority or security policies. Pricing for the device starts at $145 per port.

The new switch provides a decent level of functionality at a reasonable price. Enterasys has been one of many vendors plodding along with minimal market share. To improve its position, the company has gotten bigger via acquisition and has been melding Siemens significant the assets. This change was designed to add voice functionality to Enterasyss data networking heritage, so it not surprising that the new switch line emphasizes converged networks. Whether or not Enterasys gains more market share is unclear, but the company seems to be honing its marketing message.

How much of a role is convergence playing in your networking plans? How video and voice traffic is running on your data networks? What do you think of Enterasys as a supplier?