More GbE Switches for SMBs

By SmallBusinessComputing.com Staff | Posted August 15, 2003

Joining Linksys and SMC in a spate of small office, home office, and small- to medium-sized business-focused Gigabit Ethernet introductions this week, Marvell this week introduced the Link Street 88E6183 10-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) QoS switch, a product the company touts as the industry's first highly integrated GbE switch with enterprise features for managing SMB and SOHO networks.

The managed switch offers high integration of enterprise networking capabilities, including network security, network management support, and four-level quality of service (QoS) for converged voice/video/data networks and multimedia distribution over the network. — at a price that caters to its target market.

"The Marvell Link Street 88E6183 Gigabit Switch is the ultimate solution for SMB and SOHO networking, providing advanced security capabilities for business LANs [local area networks] and wirespeed throughput for voice/video/data networking," states Russell Yin, Senior Product Marketing Manager for SOHO and Remote Office Network Products. "Our latest switch introductions deliver best-in-class security performance to protect business networks against security threats, while building on the Marvell four-queue Quality of Service switch and managed switch architectures."

The 88E6183 switch includes Layer 2 security networking functions based on the Media Access Control-based authentication protocol (IEEE 802.1X), a feature that enables customers to implement the Port-Based Access Control specified under the standard as well as maintain specific-client MAC address authorization tables for authenticating and authorizing only known clients to access the LAN.

Advanced QoS features supported include IPv4 and IPv6 QoS and QoS packet classification (802.1p) with four priority queues, which enable network traffic management for high-bandwidth applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and multimedia. The device also supports broadcast storm protection and bandwidth rate limiting, allowing better network control among LAN clients given available network bandwidth. Additionally, the switch enables three ports to be selected as SERDES ports or as fiber ports, each of which can drive a fiber module directly.

Other advanced features include:

  • Single-chip integration of a 10-port GbE QoS switch

  • Ten integrated triple-speed 10/100/1000 SERDES ports

  • IEEE 802.1X MAC-based authentication

  • Port-based virtual local area networks (VLANs) supported in any combination

  • High-speed switch fabric

  • QoS determined by port ID, IEEE 802.1p and multimedia traffic tags, IPv4 Type of Service (ToS), Differentiated Services (DiffServ), IPv6 Traffic Class, 802.1Q VLAN ID, destination MAC address, and source MAC address

  • Support for port-based VLANs and up to the full 4,096 802.1Q VLANs

  • Extensive remote monitoring (RMON) statistics counters

  • Link aggregation for any number of ports (port trunking)

  • Port mirroring

  • Multiple address data bases (up to 16)

  • IEEE 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol Support

  • Chip configuration through SMI ports (MDC/MDIO) or by low-cost Serial electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM)

  • Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) low power dissipation (typical 1.5W)

Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems that focuses on the consumer and SOHO markets took the wraps off its new line of compact desktop and rackmount unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet switches on earlier this month. The EtherFast Gigabit Switch product line is designed to meet the needs of consumers and small businesses that are looking for a cost effective way to migrate from 10/100Mbps Ethernet to 1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet. About a week later, following the lead of Linksys, SMC delivered on its commitment to bring "Gigabit to the Desktop" with the launch of its first new products in a line of unmanaged Gigabit switches.

Analysts have indicated that GbE switches continue to be the strongest Ethernet switch growth segment, expected to reach $10 billion by 2007. The SOHO market is expected to be a large part of the growth due to the increasing number of multiple-PC households that drive the demand for Internet services delivered to the home or apartment buildings. Marvell, Linksys and SMC are targeting this growing market, delivering high bandwidth, enterprise class solutions to home and small offices.

Adapted from Practically Networked.com.

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