Alcatel debuts Gigabit switch family for converged networks

December 7, 2004 Calabasas, CA -- Alcatel today announced the availability of its new OmniSwitch 6800 family of 1U-high, layer-three Gigabit switches. The new switches feature 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and are designed to meet the needs of enterprises making the transition to Gigabit Ethernet at the desktop.

Dec 7th, 2004

December 7, 2004 Calabasas, CA -- Alcatel today announced the availability of its new OmniSwitch 6800 family of 1U-high, layer-three Gigabit switches. This new range of Alcatel switches feature 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) uplinks and are designed to meet the needs of enterprises making the transition to GbE at the desktop, while providing users with advanced security and continuous availability.

According to the company, two of the new Alcatel OmniSwitch 6800 switches are designed to meet workgroup network needs with a capacity of 384 users per stack, Gigabit and 10-GbE uplinks, full operating system support for network intelligence, and support for Alcatel's CrystalSec data security services. A third model offers all fiber links for workgroup aggregation and core networking applications.

"With vital telemedicine and medical research applications running on our network, our first priority is 100% uptime--which means having advanced security and continuous switching," reports Darryl Daily, network administrator for the 17,000-user network at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "The OmniSwitch 6800 fills a key hole in our network today, serving as an aggregator of workgroup traffic with the features to stop virus attacks before they impact our network."

The OmniSwitch 6800 switches support Alcatel's dynamic virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), Host Integrity Check, and Automated Quarantine Engine data security features, which identify and isolate viruses and network attacks before they wreak havoc on the network. Continuous switching is ensured through redundancy in power supplies and uplink ports. With the OmniSwitch 6800's "virtual chassis" stacking capability, no switch is a single point of failure and the entire stack can be managed and configured as a single unit with a single IP address.

"Historically, enterprise networking focused on a constant push to meet users' bandwidth needs, but with Gigabit Ethernet, the focus is shifting to providing support for new services, especially in the areas of security and mobility, with the expectation that bandwidth needs will catch up," explains Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager of Alcatel's network infrastructure activities. "With the industry's widest uplink support and advanced network intelligence, the OmniStack 6800 is the foundation for next-generation Gigabit networks that will bring these new services to the enterprise and its users."

The OmniSwitch 6800 is designed for workgroup networks that feature either 48 or 24 triple-speed (10/100/1000) Ethernet copper ports with up to four combo ports that are user-selectable for copper or fiber. Eight switches can be stacked using a 40-Gbit stacking bus that is self-healing and continues operating even if one of the switches in the stack fails. The OmniSwitch 6800-U48 features a slot for an optional one- or two-port 10-GbE uplink module. Up to eight uplink modules can be supported in a stack for a total of 160 Gbits/sec of uplink capability. The OmniSwitch 6800-U24 is designed for aggregating up to 24 workgroups to a core switch, or in a smaller network, serving as the core switch with 10-GbE connections to a server. The switch has extensive connectivity flexibility, with 24 small form-factor pluggable (SFP) ports that provide flexibility for different fiber cable and connector types, and a slot for a one- or two-port 10-GbE uplink module.

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