Olicom delivers a fast switch

Agencies with aging token-ring LANs can plug them into the Fast Ethernet world with the
CrossFire 8730 Translation Switch from Olicom Inc.

The Richardson, Texas, company puts four Fast Ethernet switch ports and 20 token-ring
switch ports into the device. Bundled software translates between the dissimilar frame
sizes and topologies at a claimed near-line speed. Also included is Olicom’s
ClearSession high-availability software, which has a spanning-tree algorithm to detect
transmission faults and reroute within three seconds without hanging the network.

Olicom officials said 4- and 16-Mbps token-ring networks still have 24 million working
nodes worldwide, and agencies that run them are reluctant to give up token-ring’s
fault tolerance. But IP networking has surged ahead, while token-ring has not.

The CrossFire switch complies with the Simple Network Management Protocol and RMON
remote monitoring standards. It can handle up to 63 virtual LANs with hundreds of nodes,
and it supports IP multicasting. Officials said the $13,000 device defers the need to
rewire LANs, encapsulate token-ring packets or buy Layer 3 switches for a transition.

Contact Olicom at 972-907-4641. 


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