Surprise: IBM announced last week it will be rolling out a home-grown family of low-end Ethernet hubs and switches.
Seeking to increase its presence in an area it has long neglected, IBM will offer a half-dozen pieces of Ethernet hardware for small to medium businesses and enterprise workgroups. IBM claims this family of Ethernet hubs and switches will give a starting point to IT staff who want to enter the Ethernet world at the bottom and grow the network up.
Traditionally a provider of more high-end products, IBM is now willing to start competing in the commodity end of networking. Not only that, the products are as blue as they come.
"The technology's pure IBM developed," said Donald Hailey, vice president of development for IBM's networking hardware division. IBM also plans to add a family of Gigabit Ethernet products within the next year, said Hailey.
The current rollout includes:
The 8275 Ethernet Desktop Switch, with 11 10Base-T ports and support for RMON remote and Web-based management accessThe 10Mbps/100Mbps 8245 Ethernet Stackable Hub that can autosense which speeds to work at, and comes with 12 or 24 ports. The hub also supports RMON and SNMP capabilitiesThe 10Mbps 8242 Desktop Hub, with eight or 16 ports8274 Nways LAN RouteSwitch with support for Ethernet and Fast Ethernet, as well as Token Ring, ATM and other protocols. It can also handle policy-based VLANs and IP routingThe 10Mbps/100Mbps BASE-T autosensing 8277 Nways Ethernet RouteSwitch, which can also be used as an edge device.
IBM also announced a new low-cost 8239 Token-Ring Stackable Hub aimed at its existing token ring customers who want to expand their networks cheaply. The 8239 supports SNMP and RMON management capabilities, and as many as eight hubs can be stacked together, providing 256 combined ports.