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  1. Technology
April 21, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

BBN Communications Corp, Cambridge, Massachusetts, has a new line of entry-level X25 packet-switching products. Aimed at small to mid-sized customers or those just beginning to build X25 private networks, the products include a packet-switching node, a multiple protocol packet assembler/disassembler and a small-scale version of BBN’s network management system. The firm’s C/3 Packet Switching Node, has the same features as the larger C/30 and C/300 Packet Nodes and is software-compatible with them. The desktop or rack-mountable switch has 12 ports – 10 supporting speeds up to 19.2Kbps and two supporting 64Kbps links. According to Bolt Beranek, the unit will switch 125 packets per second when configured as an access device and 300 packets per second when configured for tandem switching. The switch’s software and configuration file is accessed from BBN’s Network Operations Center network management system. Now going into beta test, the C/3 is expected to cost $19,000 when available in October. The firm’s Advanced C/10 Multi Protocol PAD converts asynchronous, BiSync and SNA/SDLC protocols into X25. The unit supports up to eight line cards, each of which is capable of supporting either eight asynchronous devices or four synchronous devices. The device will support incoming speeds of 9.6Kbps and a single link speed of 19.2Kbps. A dual-link option provides a pair of 56Kbps links to a remote switch. Compatible with IBM’s Network Control Program Packet Switching Interface, the device will accept asynchronous protocols compliant with CCITT X3, X28 and X29 standards, as well as HASP and IBM’s SDLC, 3270, 2780 and 3780 protocols. The Advanced C/10 Multi Protocol PAD, supporting a minimum of two protocols, is expected to sell for $9,350. It will be available in July. The dual-link option is priced at $3,000. Bolt Beranek’s C/7 Network Operations Center is a small-scale version of the company’s C/70 system. It will monitor, control and configure up to 16 C/3 Packet Switching Nodes or a mix of other packet nodes. Housed in a 62 high cabinet, the C/7 collects data on network device status and circuit conditions, displayed on a directly-attached DEC VT100-compatible terminal in real time. The C/7 will also distribute network configuration changes and software updates from a central site and can be upgraded to a C/70. It will also support attachment of two Network Operations Center workstations, devices which cost $24,000 each and are based on an IBM Personal Computer AT with colour monitor that displays geographic and logical maps of the network. Available in May at $125,000, the C/7 comes with a 340Mb Winchester disk drive, tape drive and network management software.

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