Fore buys Ethernet trailblazer Berkeley Networks

Fore buys Ethernet trailblazer Berkeley Networks

Fore Systems this week snapped up Berkeley Networks, a maker of Windows NT-based routing switches, for an estimated $US250 million.

The acquisition will bring large-scale Gigabit Ethernet backbone switches to Fore's ATM-based product line. It will also put highly innovative packet-switching technology in the hands of a company better known for mastering ATM than for branching out.

The vendor plans to extend Berkeley's application-aware solutions, which allow its switches to route and forward packets based on application type, across both ATM and Ethernet product lines. According to Fore, the technology will allow for integration of a wide range of new capabilities for directory-enabled networking, policy-based network management, and firewall switching.

Fore said ATM integration enhancements for the Berkeley switches will be released in the first quarter of next year.

In announcing the takeover agreement, Fore did not indicate the future of its partnership, announced in May, with the networking division of Intel. The companies announced collaboration on the development of packet-based and cell-based products.

The acquisition of privately-held Berkeley is expected to be approved next month.

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