Alcatel has filled out its line of 6600 data switches with a series of new, low-cost devices which feature Power over Ethernet (PoE), and resiliency.
The 6602 has been positioned against 3Com's 4228G, the Extreme 200, ProCurve 2600 and Cisco 3550. Alcatel has claimed its offerings beat those of its rivals because they feature virtual chassis, integrated, cost-effective backup power versions, stacking and redundant Gigabit uplinks, plus fault-tolerant dedicated stacking bandwidth.
But despite these features, and pluggable Fibre to the desk, bandwidth is limited to 10 and 100Mbps.
"These switches are at an aggressive price point for the edge switch end of the market," said Neal Tilley, marketing director at Alcatel. "We're also looking at long-term ownership costs: PBXs last 10 to 15 years, and IP replacements must be as resilient as that."
Tilley added that IP networking and IP telephony are growing together, so the resiliency of data networks needs to be beefed up.
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at Norwood Adam, said he is looking forward to large sales of the switches.
"The box itself is exceptionally competitive from a price point of view," Pinon said. "Alcatel is looking to generate market share around a cheap and cheerful box. We're pricing up projects with between 100 and 250 units. People used to buy Alcatel chassis for the core but went to Hewlett-Packard or 3Com for the edge. Alcatel is looking to turn that around."
The new switches offer manageability in the form of Alcatel's AOS software, which is common across the vendor's range of switches and offers unified management. Other aims for the platform are availability in the form of AOS, QoS and virtual chassis.
"Voice is mission-critical, and no one will want a voice network that falls down, or is without the five-nines availability of traditional voice," said Alan Reeve, Azlan's European business development director for voice.
Azlan, Norwood Adam, Rocom and MTV distribute Alcatel in the UK. The latter two firms have a voice bias, and the two former lean towards data.
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