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									Special A d ve rtising Section

                                         Gigabit Ethernet:
                        How Far Will It Go?

                                                                By Julien Gorbach

                 Is The Distance Issue A MAN-Made Problem?
                 For users looking to use Gigabit Ethernet beyond the LAN, there’s good news and bad news. The good
                  news is that the technology says you can. The bad news is that the specification says you can’t. Gigabit
                    Ethernet products just started to seriously emerge this year and almost all were designed for LAN-
                       based GbE use. But a variety of vendors have started toying with Metropolitan Area Network
                         (MAN) and even some WAN usage. For businesses where it makes sense, the distance limits are
                            little more than irrelevant technicalities.
                                      The possibility of Gigabit Ethernet extending beyond the 5-kilometer IEEE limit puts
                                    it into direct competition with ATM for those lucrative MAN implementations. At the
                                          heart of this “MANly” distance issue are the precise technical means by which the
                                                data is sent through the fiber. Fast Ethernet uses LED (Light Emitting Diode)
                                                      to send messages within its pipe, while Gigabit Ethernet opts for laser
                                                            because only laser can flash fast enough for Gigabit speed. IEEE
                                                                    has therefore established a new set of standards, specify-
                                                                              ing the distance limitations for transmission
                                                                                                         Continued on pa GE 3

October 1,1998                                                                                       Network Computing    GE 1
                                                                                                     Special A d ve r tising Section

          along single mode and multimode fiber. Users who        five kilometers,” he said. “The fact that there is no
          try to push their equipment beyond the distances        standard is no reflection on the technical ability to
          that equipment was built to support may find their      do that.”
          networks plagued by jitter, differential mode delay
          (DMD) and a host of other woes that can loosely be      The ATM Factor
          termed “modal noise,” said Steve Stange, product        Arguments for and against longer-distance options
          manager for Transition Networks.                        are the next stage in a now-familiar debate—
               The IEEE distance limits range                               whether Gigabit Ethernet will success-
          from 220 meters—for 62.5 micron,                                  fully encroach upon traditional ATM
          1000BASE-SX multimode fiber—to 5                                  territory. Proponents of using Gigabit
          kilometers, for 9 micron 1000BASE-LX                              Ethernet beyond the LAN point to the
          single mode fiber. Most of the options                            need for more bandwidth, the huge
          for multimode fiber, though, offer a dis-                         installed base of Ethernet LANs, cost
          tance of 550 meters.                                              effectiveness, and a growing market of
                                                                            fiber carriers. Advocates for keeping
          Standards and Variations                                          Gigabit Ethernet chained up in the LAN
          But while IEEE has been busy trying to lay down         backyard talk about standards and interoperability,
          the rules, vendors have been rolling out some           the deep penetration of SONET and Quality of
          unorthodox solutions. Bay Networks, MRV                 Service (QOS).
          Communications, Extreme Networks and other
          companies are offering single mode distances as
          far as 100 kilometers.                                      “The difference between typical devices
              “I think what we have is an observation that
          there is an awful lot of margin in the specifica-           and the worst-case models used in the
          tions,” said Bob Grow, vice-chairperson and                 standards are so vast that, in virtually
          technical liaison for the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance.
          “The difference between typical devices and the             all cases, people can plug equipment
          worst-case models used in the standards are so vast         in and run it at longer distances than
          that, in virtually all cases, people can plug equip-
          ment in and run it at longer distances than are spec-       are specified in the standard.”
          ified in the standard.”
              The committee did not try for longer distances          Over the next few years, home and small busi-
          because they saw themselves as focused solely on        ness owners will flock to MANs for Gigabit Ethernet
          LANs, said Geoff Thompson, chairman of the IEEE         bandwidth access, said NBase Communications
          802.3 Working Group. A LAN has been understood          marketing vice president Mannix O’Connor.
          to be no greater than 2 kilometers, he said.                As a sign of the growing desire for connectivity
              “Nobody proposed that we change the scope of        to the home, he cited the increasing variety of
          our standards group, so we didn’t,” Thompson said.      services being offered, such as xDSL, ISDN and
          “You’ve got to choose what you’re going to work         cable modems.
          on. Are you going to work on something that there’s         And the small businesses are choking. “You
          a ready market for, that lies within the scope that’s   have to open up the pipe,” O’Connor said. “The way
          already been established, or are you going to spend     companies have connected remotely is with T1. T1
          your time discussing what the new scope should          is 1.5 MB. So here you have a network in your busi-
          be?”                                                    ness and it’s going at 100 MB per second
              Thompson agreed with Grow that, just because        normally. In order for an office to reach its other
          IEEE did not rule on longer distances, it does not      office across the state, it’s got to go across a 1.5 MB
          necessarily mean it would be difficult to do. “We,      line. Now it’s one hundredth of its full capacity and
          in fact, raised the distance from three kilometers to   customers are paying $3,000 a month for it.”

October 1, 1998                                                                                          Network Computing     GE 2
                                                                                                         Special A d ve rtising Section

             Homes and small businesses could obtain               time delivery, bandwidth and security, as well as other
         Ethernet connectivity by leasing access from a carrier    features—or whether they want a “dumb pipe.”
         company. “Generally, the people that we see using             “The feeling among people,” Zagaeski said, “is
         [long-distance Gigabit Ethernet] either own their own     you can’t get that same level of quality from an
         fiber or have access to dark fiber through some sort of   Ethernet network running that distance using TCP/IP.”
         lease arrangement with a telco and so are able to build       Fabbi said that when it comes to management
         their own MAN,” said Dave Roberts, director of prod-      issues, ATM wins hands down. “ATM is set up much
         uct management for Bay Networks’                                     more effectively from a service level per-
         Accelar routing switches. “In many cases,                            spective to handle multiple connections and
         that can be cheaper than a SONET or ATM                              multiple customers. All the billing, all the
         service that’s purchased from a telco as                             security aspects, all the connection control
         well. For smaller links, within a 50 kilo-                           aspects are much more mature on the ATM
         meter radius approximately, ‘gig’ can be an                          side. Plus you have no distance issues at all
         ideal choice.”                                                       with ATM.”
             Ironically, while users’ familiarity with                            Gartner Group analyst Mark Fabbi,
         Ethernet is becoming a trump for Gigabit                             who is decidedly skeptical about Gigabit
         over ATM, the situation is reversed with fiber            Ether-net’s viability as a MAN approach, said that not
         carriers. “The independent telephone companies are        many service providers are likely to go with some-
         more familiar with an ATM network than they are           thing that is not standards-based.
         with Ethernet,” said Tony Beam, director of Systems           “SONET is relatively mature and has a lot of
         Marketing for AMP. “Also, the ATM network can pro-        features that people like. The problem is that it’s about
         vide—and was designed specifically to handle—             three to eight times more expensive than doing it with
         voice, data and video.”                                   Gigabit Ethernet,” he said. “Not everyone is going to
                                                                   say, ‘Hey, because Gigabit is a lot less expensive, I’m
         More Bang for the Buck?                                   going to do it,’ but there are a lot of people who will.”
         But is long-distance Gigabit Ethernet simply more             O’Connor adds that he’s not terribly worried about
         bang for the buck? Giga Information Systems senior        the standards. “Standards are always an issue,” he said.
         industry analyst Paul Zagaeski doubts it, mostly          “But, in this case, just the fact that you can do it saves
         because options for obtaining bandwidth are becom-        the people who own fiber so much money—because
         ing increasingly differentiated and accommodating.        they don’t have to run more fiber—that they don’t care
             Among other choices, users will be able to decide     about standards. They’ll just say, ‘I’ll buy it. I’ll do it.’”
         whether they want managed service—guaranteed

October1, 1998                                                                                                Network Computing     GE 3
                                                                                                       Special A d ve rtising Section

                             In the Field: Two Schools Learn
                                    Their GbE Lessons
          Ken Sorensen was living every IT manager’s nightmare.     was a major advantage over ATM.
              Though the Butler University director of                  “I set up eight backbone switches in a day,”
          Networks and Systems had argued that                                  Fleck said. “One guy. That’s kind of
          rapid growth was making the Indianapolis                              nice. And the funny thing is, you plug it
          school’s Fast Ethernet woefully over-                                 in and it works. When I took my ATM
          loaded, he had been unable to upgrade.                                certification course, it was half-a-day to
              The symptoms were clear. Professors                               just make two boxes talk together.”
          would sit in their offices with students                                  Cost was also a major incentive.
          and try to sign them up for classes, only                             Sorensen pegged his upgrade cost at
          to be subjected to frozen screens. Some                               about $50,000 and estimated that ATM
          resorted to holding conferences at odd                                would have cost about $200,000. Fleck
          hours to try and take advantage of light traffic,         paid close to $75,000, projecting an ATM cost of
          while others reverted to pen and paper.                   about $300,000.
              Meanwhile, in Long Island, N.Y., Director of              Training was also a major factor for both, and
          Technology Vincent Fleck was shopping around for          Gigabit Ethernet’s “comfort food” Ethernet back-
          an enterprise that would enable him to connect the        bone was very persuasive.
          five schools of the West Hempstead Union Free                 Quality of Service is typically an ace-in-the-hole
          School District. The network for the 2,200-student,       ATM argument, particularly for a network manager
          K-12 school system would have to handle stream-           who needs to run extensive voice and video. But Fleck
          ing video, video-conferencing and voice-over-IP.          already had Fast Ethernet NIC cards in his desktops.
          The video-conference capabilities would connect               “When I got ATM certified,” Sorensen said,
          students, remote teachers and classmates via over-        “one of the ‘gotchas’that I found—and I found it to
          head monitors and interactive desktops.                   be a big ‘gotcha’—was when I wanted to do
              West Hempstead’s multimedia needs have been           streaming video and I’ve got an ATM backbone
          driving a lot of the network requirements. “The           like OC12 and the server has an ATM NIC. If I’m
          PowerPoint presentations that I see these teachers        requesting the service from my desktop, which has
          using are often 20 Mbytes because they have lots of       an Ethernet card in it, there is absolutely no Quality
          music and video clips in them,” Fleck said. “In           of Service. That’s because if [the request] starts in
          some of our labs, we actually record video and            Ethernet, ATM assumes that it is data when it does
          incorporate it in presentations so the files get          that translation, just by the mere fact that it starts in
          huge.” He added that education for the younger stu-       the Ethernet world.”
          dents is particularly bandwidth-intensive. “It’s              Butler’s 3,911 students have 1,400 worksta-
          amazing. Kindergarten kids are very visually-based        tions, 65 percent of which are Macintosh. Most of
          and all the multimedia traffic takes up a tremen-         the traffic is TCP/IP and Appletalk, though a small
          dous amount of room. So a 5-year-old might very           amount is ITX and DECnet. Student machines,
          well be slowing down the network.”                        which have Microsoft Office applications plus
                                                                    E-mail and Web browsers, are fed to six Dell 4100
          Two Schools, Same Concerns                                servers running on NT.
          Sorensen and Fleck are among the first wave of Gigabit        Neither Sorensen nor Fleck said they were con-
          Ethernet pioneers and they both were attracted by the     cerned about being among the first to buy into the
          same issues: installation ease, cost and training.        new technology. “It seemed to be a very simple
              Fleck was able to complete his district-wide          progression, and it’s only going to get cheaper and
          wiring in less than one month, with the box setup tak-    more heavily used,” Fleck said. “I feel like I’m the
          ing a few days. Sorensen put his upgrade time to just     first one on the block to get Gigabit, but many will
          a few hours. For both, the ease of Gigabit installation   follow. I’m sure.”

October1, 1998                                                                                              Network Computing    GE 4
                                                                                                      Special A d ve rtising Section

                                     A Tricky Transition For A
                                       Magic Enchantment
          Gigabit Ethernet both enables and demands a host              Giga Information Systems analyst Paul Zagaeski
          of new features and control capabilities, but ana-         seemed to agree. “Just because you think all you’re
          lysts expect many users will woefully                                doing is adding bandwidth by adding a
          underestimate and oversimplify the                                   Giga-capable device, don’t be fooled that
          migration path. Although the speed and                               that’s a simple upgrade, despite the fact
          throughput improvements make the                                     that you’ve got some evidence that it was-
          road worth taking—and the business                                   n’t hard for somebody,” he said. “You’re
          advantages make the destination essen-                               still adding complications to your net-
          tial—some users seem to be blind to the                              work and you have to figure that into the
          difficulties of the trip.                                            process of doing the network.”
              As Confucius’s LAN Administrator
          said, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with com-           Twice the Technology
          fortable shoes and a six-pack.” (Early translations        One of the reasons migration is more difficult than it
          raise the question of whether “miles” was origi-           seems at first is because users are actually
          nally Mbps, but scholars disagree.)                        making the transition to two new technologies, not
              The nature of the migration could impact many          one. The introduction of Layer 3 switches served as a
          areas of the network. The vastly increased throughput      catalyst for Gigabit Ethernet, but some argue that the
          will require much more sophisticated management.           simultaneous emergence of the two technologies is a
                                                                     fortunate coincidence with some unfortunate conse-
                                                                     quences, at least for the near future.
                                                                         “It makes things more complicated because the
    We’re talking about a switched network                           decision about migrating doesn’t just center on the
    and some of these newer applications                             routing function,” Zagaeski said. “It also includes
    (represent) a whole level of complexity                          upgrading the capacity of the network. You’re mak-
                                                                     ing decisions about two things at the same time.
    that’s never existed before.”                                    And this is one of the reasons that’s contributed to
                                                                     the last couple of quarters of performance for all
                                                                     the leading networking vendors being rather
                                                                     (weak). Because this is a more complicated migra-
                                                                     tion, customers have been a little bit more reluctant
          Core switches will replace software-based routing and      to adopt these new products. They’ve got to think
          introduce new capabilities such as traffic prioritiza-     about it and test them and work through a longer
          tion, bandwidth allocation, load-balancing and             decision cycle than any of the vendors” projected.
          access control.
                                                                     Change, Change and More Change
              “Any time you’re talking about making significant
                                                                     The equipment change-outs themselves are not
          changes to your network, that’s not a straightforward
                                                                     rocket science. Users must check their wiring and
          process,” said IDC analyst Esmeralda Silva. “Even
                                                                     lay new fiber in accordance with IEEE’s Gigabit
          though it’s still Ethernet, you’re doing things with the
                                                                     cabling standards. They will most likely install
          technology that you’ve never done. We’re talking about
                                                                     10/100 cards in their desktops and replace 10-Mbit
          a switched network and some of these newer applica-
                                                                     workgroup switches with 10/100 switches. In their
          tions (represent) a whole level of complexity that’s
                                                                     servers, they will have to make NIC replacements.
          never existed before.”

October1, 1998                                                                                             Network Computing    GE 5
                                                                                                     Special A d ve rtising Section

         If users have implemented a Layer 2 switch, they         orities based on different types of users. “If you’re a
         will need to replace that with a Layer 3 route switch    president of a company, you’re going to want to
         that runs Ethernet at either 100 Mbit speed or           have different access than one of your employees,”
         Gigabit Ethernet speed. If it’s a chassis-based          Silva said. “If you’re an MIS manager, you want to
         switch, they might just be able to put in Gigabit        make sure that if your CEO wants to get onto the
         Ethernet blades, but if the backplane cannot sup-        Internet, he’s going to get out there quickly.” And
         port the Gigabit modules, they will have                             Silva added that security concerns will
         to get rid of their box.                                             also increase as users grant network
             Such will be the case with pretty                                access to remote users.
         much all chassis that were made more
         than two years ago, when vendors started                              Promises to Now be Delivered
         shipping boxes that could be upgraded to                              Layer 3 switches will enable users to take
         Gigabit. Since then, analysts said, ven-                              advantage of VLAN capabilities that ven-
         dors have become more sensitive to their                              dors have been promising for years, but
         customers’ concerns and are now ship-                                 could not deliver until now. “The reason
         ping boxes that are scalable. Many ven-                               for that is you needed to go between sub-
         dors are offering trade-ins on their obsolete chassis.   nets, so if you had a dumb Layer 2 switch, how is that
             Even if the device can handle Gigabit, it may not    switch going to communicate with your router?”
         be able to fully populate the entire chassis with        Silva said. “So you needed Layer 3 switching going
         Gigabit because the internal speed of communications     between subnets. And that’s one of the things people
         within the chassis may be limited.                       were talking about three years ago that we are only
                                                                  just now beginning to be able to do.”
         I’d Rather Switch Than Route                                 As intelligent switching technologies develop,
         The most important exchange for the majority of          administrators should be able to hone their network
         users will be the replacement of software-based          management and control. Load-balancing switches
         routers with Layer 3 switches in the core. With the      are supposed to allow users more efficient alloca-
         implementation of Gigabit, users will be opening         tions of network resources. The new Web-based
         up the floodgates at their workgroup switches and        management tools provide administrators with
         pushing the pressure through the backbone, down          more information about what is happening in their
         to the core.                                             network, while simultaneously automating or sim-
             This pressure—combined with the traffic              plifying many set-up tasks, such as updating or set-
         pouring from centralized servers, bloating applica-      ting routing tables.
         tions and the gradual but steady increase of                 Those management advances are critical when
         extranet traffic—will bring death to the software-       network changes as extensive as a move to Gigabit
         based router. The Gartner Group predicts that 70         Ethernet are being considered, Silva said. Such
         percent of all software routers will be replaced         changes make extensive management much more
         within three years. Layer 3 switches, which have         difficult and equally essential. “What people want
         the routing software capabilities like traffic priori-   to be able to do is see what’s going on in their entire
         tization and bandwidth allocation baked into their       network. Things like Web-based management tools
         ASICs, are five to 100 times faster and 20 times         are obviously helping to do that,” he said.
         cheaper than traditional software-based routers.             In order to take advantage of new features, users
             Most customers do not have tremendous                are going to have to grapple with some serious
         requirements for multimedia, but they do have            challenges up-front.
         applications from SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle and             Users need to be aware of what protocols the
         products like Microsoft BackOffice, all of which         Layer 3 switches do and do not support. They may, for
         require real-time operation, Silva said.                 example, be in trouble if they are running Cisco’s
             Network administrators will also want to set pri-    EIGRP and want to move to another vendor.

October1, 1998                                                                                            Network Computing    GE 6
Special A d ve rtising Section

              “We have a saying, ‘Old protocols never die,’”       be critical. You want to be sure that you’re testing
          said analyst Zagaeski. “There will always be the pres-   all of your systems, including interface cards and
          ence of these older protocols that have to be            drivers. Test how this stuff works and if it’s going to
          accounted for. And if you’re buying a Layer 3            give you the things that you need.”
          switch—it may be fast, but if it doesn’t support             There is virtually no debate in the analyst com-
          SNA or DECnet or whatever you might have, you’re         munity that Gigabit Ethernet implementation is a
          out of luck. You can’t use that switch in                            question of when, not if. The commercial
          that part of your network.”                                          need for the larger pipe is not debatable,
                                                                               nor is the viability of the Gigabit
          Being Bugged by Debugging                                            Ethernet approach.
          Users who do frequent frame and data                                     Any transition as substantial as this
          captures are going to find the speed a                               one is going to involve major network
          mixed blessing. Now that the traffic is                              changes. Many users may be tempted to
          flowing ten times faster, users will fill                            let themselves buy into the vendor hype
          disk space ten times sooner when using a                             that the transition will be as easy as
          sniffer or a probe, said Alan Marcus,                                upgrading a Fast Ethernet connection, but
          marketing director for Campus LANs at Cisco,             few will honestly believe it.
          adding that there is no quick-fix for this problem.
              “In a one-second link, you’ll have a gigabit
          worth of bits. That’s a lot. In eight seconds, you’ve        “In a one-second link, you’ll have a
          filled up an entire gigabyte. How many probes or
          sniffers out there have a gigabyte of memory?” he
                                                                       gigabit worth of bits. That’s a lot. In
          asked. “At 10 Mbits, you just turn it on and capture         eight seconds, you’ve filled up an
          everything and then sift through it, but with
          Gigabit, you have to be a little bit smarter in what
                                                                       entire gigabyte. How many probes or
          you’re looking for in your network in order to               sniffers out there have a gigabyte of
          debug it.”
              But the main reason analysts are portraying
          migration as complicated is that users and vendors
          have been caught offguard because of the new
          nature of the technology.                                    Although many users will wait the better part of a
              “The first six to nine months of 1999 will be        year for the technology to mature, some question how
          when the more sophisticated technology users test        much of a delay is needed, given the extensive transi-
          out a lot of these new features,” said Gartner Group     tion process. For many users, the question boils down
          analyst Mark Fabbi. “How well do they work? Do           to: “Can I afford to be a GbE pioneer? Or can I afford
          they scale well? Can they be supported? How well         not to be?”
          do servers work across this? Is there any advantage
          in doing this?”
              Silva advises proceeding with caution. “Words
          of advice would be that Gigabit Ethernet is
          straightforward only if you know all the ins and          This special report was prepared by the editorial
          outs of the technology. That’s why establishing a         department of CMP’s Custom Publishing unit, which
          strong relationship with your supplier is important       is solely responsible for its content. The editorial
          because you want to be able to have access to engi-       staff of Network Computing was not involved in
                                                                    its creation.
          neering resources. Service and support are going to

GE 7    Network Computing                                                                                            October 1, 1998
Special A d ve rtising Section

         Selected GBit Ethernet Products
                                                workgroup and high-density core         5000 Switch, CoreBuilder 7000
                                                solutions. The 3Com Gigabit             High-Density Switch and
                                                Ethernet product suite includes the     CoreBuilder 9000 Enterprise Switch.
                                                Gigabit EtherLink® Server Network       These products, combined with             Extreme Networks leads the third
                                                Interface Card, SuperStack II® Hub      our award-winning Transcend®              wave of LAN switching with
                                                1000-SX, SuperStack II Switch           Enterprise Management package             record-breaking Wire-Speed IP
3Com Corporation, the leader in                 1100, SuperStack II Switch 3300,        and superior service and support,         Routing performance and Policy-
Ethernet solutions for 25 years, is             SuperStack II Switch 3800,              comprise the industry’s most              Based Quality of Service—from
proud to extend its expertise to                SuperStack II Switch 3900,              complete Gigabit Ethernet solution.       desktops to the network core.
Gigabit technology. Now we’re                   SuperStack II Switch 9000,              To learn more about 3Com’s Gigabit        The result is a switched Gigabit
bringing you the industry’s most                SuperStack II Switch 9300,              Ethernet offerings, visit our web site    Ethernet system that reduces net-
comprehensive Gigabit Ethernet                  CoreBuilder® 3500 Layer 3               at:          work ownership costs and scales
strategy, encompassing server,                  High-Function Switch, CoreBuilder       ethernet.                                 performance well into the future.

 VENDOR NAME                            PRODUCT NAME                      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION                                      PRICE              RELEASE DATE
 3Com see above                         CoreBuilder 9000                  Enterprise switch chassis                                $35,000                Aug.‘98
 Accton                                 CheetahSwitch Gigabit-4002        GE switch                                                 N/A                   N/A
 Addtron                                ADS-824M                          Managed 24-port 10/100BaseTx Ethernet switch              $1,500                Sept.‘98
 Allied Telesyn International           AT-9108                           8x1000BASE-T Gigabit ports                                $17,000               July ‘98
 Alteon Networks                        ACESwitch 180                     10/100/1000 Megabit Ethernet server switch               $15,000                Mar. ‘98
 Anritsu                                MultiFlow 1000                    Chassis-based LAN multi-layer switch                      $3,000                3Q ‘98
 Bay Networks                           Accelat 1050 Series               10/100/1000 stackable wiring-closet routing switch        $7,500                July ‘98
 Berkeley Networks                      e8                                8-slot modular chassis-based GE routing switch            $3,200 per port       May ‘98
 Brocade                                SilkWorm Express                  8-port fiber channel gigabit switch                       $16,000               April ‘98
 Cisco Systems                          Catalyst 8500 series              Modular enterprise switches with connectivity             $20,000               June ‘98
                                                                          at both Layer 2 and 3
 Compaq                                 Model 5422 GE Switch              GE switch                                                $23,710                Mar. ‘98
 Extreme Networks see above             Summit1                           GE switch                                                $18,000                N/A
 Foundry Networks                       BigIron 4000                      L2/L3/L4 data center switch                               $40,000               Aug.‘98
 Hewlett-Packar d                       ProCurve Switch 8000M             GE Switch (2 GE modules and 8                             $4,000                July ‘98
                                                                          10/100 Ethernet modules)
 Hitachi Internetworking                HS300                             LAN switch with 2 GE ports and 24 Fast Ethernet ports    $6,000                 Sept.’98
 Intel                                  Express Gigabit Switch            Offers 32-gigabits per second                             $12,000               June '98
                                                                           nonblocking wire-speed throughput
 LANNET                                 LGE2000                           Switch module for the LANswitch Plus                     $5,000                 Dec.‘98
 LanOptics                              LANmaker 6000                     Workgroup switch with 12 Gigabit ports                    $1,200                Q3 ‘98
                                                                          and/or 96 10/100M ports
 Lucent Technologies                    P550 Cajun Switch                 GE switch                                                $15,000                Nov. ‘97
 NBase                                  GFS 3012                          GE switch                                                $2,000                 June ‘98
 Network Peripherals                    NuWave FG-24 MG                   Stackable Layer 2/3 10/100 Mbps-to-GE switch              N/A                   4Q ‘98
 NeoNetworks                            StreamProcessor 1000              Routing switch                                            $15,000               4Q ‘98
 ODS Networks                           LANBlazer 7000                    GE switch with 10/100 Mbps                                $55,000               Jan.‘98
 Packet Engines     see next page   ±   PowerRail 5200                    Routing switch                                            $3,500                Oct ‘97
 Performance Technology                 Nebula 8000 Fault Tolerant        10/100/1000 GE switch                                     $4,600                July ‘98
                                        Backbone Switch
                                                                                                                               Special A d ve rtising Section

        Selected GBit
        Ethernet Products
                                                                                          Packet Engines, Inc. develops net-working solutions delivering
                                                                                          gigabit performance and enterprise reliability. The company, a
                                                                                          founding member of the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, provides

        At-A-Glance                                                                       high-performance gigabit networking products including
                                                                                          enterprise routing switches, hubs, network interface cards, and
                                                                                          intellectual property licenses.

 VENDOR NAME                    PRODUCT NAME                       PRODUCT DESCRIPTION                                         PRICE              RELEASE DATE
 Plaintree                      WaveSwitch 9200                    GE switch                                                   $10,000                 Aug.‘97
 Richard Hirschmann Gmb         GRS 1403                           Gigabit routing, switch                                     $55,640                 3Q ‘98
 Samsung                        SmartEther SS6224                  24-port 10/100Mbps workgroup switch                         $3,300                  2Q ‘98
 Telecommunications America
 Sun Microsystems               SunSwitch                          Switch                                                      $10,000                 Apr. '97
 XLNT                           Millennium 4000                    GE switch                                                   N/A                     May ‘98
 Xylan                          X-Frame                            Layer-3 switch with 23 gigabits of switching capacity       $2,500 per port         Nov. ‘98

 Cabletron Systems              SmartSwitch Router                 8/16 Slot switching router                                  $500 per port           Jan.‘98
 Emulex                         LightPulse LH5000                  Gigabit digital fiber channel hub                           $2,600                  Aug.‘98
 Gadzoox                        Gibraltar GL                       6-port gigabit-speed fiber channel hub                      $4,000                  June ‘98
 Torrent Networking
 Technologies                   IP9000 Gigabit router              Gigabit-scaled Internet-class router                        $55,000                 Apr. ‘98

 Integrated Device Technology   IDT SwitchStar                     1.24 Gbps switch chipset                                    $100                    Oct.‘97
 MMC Networks                   GMUX                               Enables GE connections to the                               $200                    Apr. ‘98
                                                                   AnyFlow 5500 network processor
 PMC-Sierra                     Gigabit and 10/100 Ethernet        16-port GE chipset                                          $120 per port           3Q ‘98
                                switching chipset
 Solidum Systems                PAX packet                         Packet description language,compiler                        N/A                     Sept.‘98
                                classification technology

 Bell                           Bell Gigabit                       Test software                                               $10,000                 June ‘98
 Fluke                          Fluke DSP-2000                     Digital cable analyzer test tool                            $5,500                  Mar. ‘97
 LANQuest Group                 Net-WRX                            Traffic generator to test products                          $2,500                  Nov. ‘97
 Netcom Systems                 GE SmartCard model GX 1405         Generate,monitor, and capture GE traffic                    $33,500                 1Q 1997
 Network Associates             Sniffer Pro Gigabit 1.0            Provides full duplex analysis                               $28,450 for             July ‘98
                                                                   of 100Bse SX connections                                    hardware,
                                                                                                                               $10,550 for

 OKI Semiconductor              MAC8110                            8 port 10/100 Mbps MAC                                      $45                     Aug.‘97
 SEEQ Technology                SEEQ 8101                          GE frame formatter/controller MAC                           $35                     Dec.‘97

 Adaptec                        Duralink Port Aggregation Software Switch independent trunking technology                      $200                    Aug.‘97
 IBM                            IBM Netfinity GE SX Adapter        GE adapter for servers                                      $1,000                  Sept.‘98
 D-Link Systems                 DGE-500SX                          GE NIC                                                      $700                    3Q ‘98
 Jato                           JT 1001                            10/100/1000 Mbps integrated network accelerator             $60                     Oct.‘98
 Phobos                         XP1000                             High-end GE card                                            $1,700                  July ’98
                                                                                                                                      Special A d ve rtising Section

       Selected GBit
       Ethernet Products                                                                           ITT Cannon Network Systems and Services manufactures the
                                                                                                   highest performing structured cabling systems and infrastruc-

       At-A-Glance                                                                                 ture solutions available. Guaranteed to support all media pro-
                                                                                                   tocols including the emerging Gigabit Ethernet standard, ITT
                                                                                                   offers error free networking at the lowest cost of ownership.

VENDOR NAME                           PRODUCT NAME                       PRODUCT DESCRIPTION                                         PRICE                RELEASE DATE
Silicon Graphics                      GE adapter PCI                     GE bus adapter                                              $2,100                  June ‘98
Team ASA                              Stallion GE                        GE NIC adapter                                              $1,600                  Jan.‘98
ZNYX                                  RAINlink Software                  Provides failover, trunking                                 $200                    Apr. ‘98

Galileo                               GT-48006                           Two port 10/100 MBPS Ethernet bridge/switch controller      N/A                     N/A
VLSI                                  GEM VNS67502                       GE MAC                                                      $45                     Aug.‘98
XaQti                                 XQ11800FP-XMAC II                  GE MAC                                                      $40                     Oct.‘97

AMD                                   GigaPHY                            GE physical layer device (serializer/deserializer)          $15                     1997
Applied Micro Circuits                S2053                              GE Transceiver bipolar device                               $26                     Sept.‘97
Cielo Communications                  GBE1250LH                          1300nm 10km 1000Base-LX fiber optic GBIC transceiver        $440                    May ‘98
Digi International                    Giga Twist                         Media conversion and redundant transceivers                 $750 per port           July ‘98
Finisar                               FLX 2000-1.25                      30km link extender for remote access                        $15,200                 4Q ‘98
Fujikura America                      Optical and copper transceivers    Allow host to communicate                                   N/A                     4Q ‘98
Fujitsu Compound
Semiconductor                         GE IC                              Transceiver                                                 N/A                     1996
G2 Networks                           Blue Jay                           GE electro-optical transceiver                              $100                    Dec.’97
LSI Logic                             GigaBlaze G10 SeriaLink Core       1.25 Gbps CMOS serial transceiver core                      N/A                     N/A
Synergy Semiconductor                 SY69135                            GE transceiver                                              N/A                     4Q ‘98

Canary Communications                 GFC-5555                           1000Mbps SX (SC) to 1000Mbps SX (SC) converter              $1,700                  2Q ‘98
Transition Networks                   Transition Networks’               Single mode to multi-mode media                             $2,200                  N/A
                                      GE Media Converter                 converter for 1.25 Gbps

3M                                    The Volition Cabling System        Passive fiber-optic cabling system                          $80 per data line       Jan.‘98
Alcatel                               Gigatek                            Class E channel cabling system                              N/A                     July ‘98
AMP                                   AMP Netconnect Quantum             Cabling system that supports GE                             N/A                     Oct.‘97
                                      cabling system
Corning                               SMF-28                             Single mode fiber                                           N/A                     N/A
Boston Optical Fiber                  OptiGiga                           High-bandwidth plastic optical fiber                        N/A                     1997
ITT Cannon Network Systems            GigaPath                           Copper-based,structured                                     $150 per port           June ‘97
and Services   see above                                                 cabling system
Vitesse Semiconductor                 VSC850                             1.25 Gb/s 16x32 serial crosspoint switch IC                 $93                     Apr. ‘97

Auspex Systems                        NetServer NS 8000                  Supports GE connections between                             N/A                     4Q ‘98
                                                                         networks and file servers

                     This poster was prepared by the editorial department of CMP’s Custom Publishing unit, which is solely responsible for its content.
                                                The editorial staff of Network Computing was not involved in its creation.

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