A PlainTree clone, more cost-conscious but not as well documented The FX8616 is a clone of the PlainTree WaveSwitch 100. The only obvious distinction is that the Fibronics product has no buffer on the front of the power supply. Otherwise it shares almost all of its physical characteristics - it is hefty and tall, with a strange protuberance on the left which acts to protect any cables from cabinet doors opening and closing.
The PlainTree version comes with a configuration guide and user manual. The guide gives a wide range of configuration examples, from simple workgroup setups to fault-tolerant enterprise systems, including FDDI backbones. Its user manual is equally good, containing the pin connections for 10BaseT cabling, the serial cables for the management interface, an in-depth explanation of the front panel indicators and a lengthy management section. The Fibronics model, on the other hand, comes with only one manual which contains less information than the PlainTree one.
Fibronics offers the range of expansion modules available from PlainTree or Xyplex, and one assumes it is possible to fit the other modules since the units seem to be identical. The Fibronics unit is the cheapest PlainTree clones, which may not recommend the product to everyone but could make a difference where price is a major end user concern. It is strange to contemplate the commoditisation of Ethernet switches, but that is the inevitable path of technology.
End user price for the configuration supplied: #4,995
Distribution channels: Resellers only
Number of resellers supplied direct: '35 approx'
Volume discount available: Yes
Co-operative marketing available: 'Case by case'
Other vendor promotional activity: Ads, targeting corporates
Accreditation required/available: Required
Var support line: Yes
Customer support line: Through resellers
Contact for sales enquiries: Russell King 01256 468794
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