Cabletron's stackable token-ring switches let users pick up speed on slownetworks

The stackable SmartStack switches come in four models. The Rochester, N.H., company
also makes a higher-end SmartSwitch 9000 token-ring chassis switch.

“We are targeting the wiring closet,” said Tedd Frechette, Cabletron’s
token-ring product manager. The 20-port SmartStack units combine to provide as many as 224
ports. They will be useful on small network segments of 20 to 30 nodes, he said.

The STS16-20D model, which does Ethernet-style desktop switching, makes full-duplex
switched token-ring connections for 32 Mbps of bandwidth to the desktop.

The main model, the STS16-20RM, has slots for two SmartStack Interface
Modules—translational uplinks to asynchronous transfer mode, high-speed token-ring or
Fast Ethernet backbones.

The STS16-20R and STS16-20D models lack the uplink slots, but they can stack with the
20RM to provide additional ports.

Frechette said shared token-ring has performed so well that, unlike Ethernet, it only
now is starting to need switched bandwidth. The government is a token-ring mainstay
because of its large numbers of IBM Corp. mainframes and Simple Network Management
Protocol networks, he said.

The STS16-20RM switch lists for $8,250, the R and D models for $5,495 and $4,290
respectively, and the fiber-optic switch for $13,195.

Contact Cabletron Systems at 603-332-9400.  

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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