3Com unveils stackable switches

3Com unveils stackable switches

3Com last week announced four new stackable switches for bringing lower-priced Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet to mid-sized businesses and enterprise wiring closets.

The new additions to the SuperStack II 3300 line have a range of features, including integrated stacking matrices, a price of around $US80 per switched 10/100/1000Mbps, Ethernet port, and copper-based Gigabit Ethernet ports on some models.

"Gigabit Ethernet is now not just for big boys," says Keith Baker, marketing manager for the SuperStack product line.

Baker says the new 3300 offerings will appeal to small- and medium-sized businesses that previously could not afford Gigabit Ethernet, as well as enterprises looking to extend gigabit connections to the desktop.

"[Large enterprises] now don't have to lay that expensive fibre to desktop," to support bandwidth-hungry enterprise applications such as voice and video, Baker says. "Companies can start using their existing Category-5 cable to have full gigabit bandwidth to the desktop immediately."

All four of the new switches also have a built-in stacking matrix module - an add-on which had to be purchased separately on earlier 3300 models.

All of the switches include RMON, SNMP and Web-based management and come with 3Com's Transcend Network Supervisor software for free.

All models have 24 ports of 10/100Mbps Ethernet and the integrated stacking matrix, but they differ on the uplinks. The 3300TM has a single 1000BASE-T port for connecting the switch to a copper-based infrastructure and costs $US1995; the 3300SM has a 1000BASE-SX multimode fibre port and costs $2350. Without gigabit uplinks are the 3300XM, which costs $1345, and the thin 1U-sized 3300MM, which costs $2350.

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