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Stackable Switches for Low-End Needs

Stack 'Em Deep

The SMC6824M stands out among economy-class managed switches. It packs a lot under the hood of its chassis architecture, which scales to eight stacked units (a respectable 192 ports) managed under a single IP address. Yet it remains economically priced--$599.99 to start--even despite the onboard 9.6-Gbps switching fabric. Compare that with the Cisco Catalyst 2950's 8.8-Gbps switch that lists for $995.

The SMC6824M's stacks are easily managed via a Web interface or direct console connection. Additionally, the product offers security features you would expect to find in an enterprise-ready switch, including SSH, SSL, RADIUS, HTTPS (HTTP Secure), variable HTTP port and typical passwording options.

The console connection through a conventional DB9 link on the front of the 1U switch means

TigerStack III

click to enlarge

no fumbling around behind the switch in busy closets when direct-connecting for management. Aside from the stacking interface boards, the SMC6824M's two expansion slots will accommodate a variety of Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet network interface boards in both copper and fiber. The switch offers a redundant power-supply assembly for high availability.

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