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November 7, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

StrataCom Inc has announced that its BPX multi Gigabit-per-second broadband Asynchronous Transfer Mode Switch, announced in January, is now available, and has added some previously-unannounced functionality to it. Simultaneously, the Campbell, California-based company announced an Asynchronous Transfer Mode trunk board for its IPX T1/E1 switch, enabling the IPX to communicate with other Asynchronous Transfer Mode switches at T3/E3 speeds. The additional BPX features include AutoRoute connection management facilities which automatically select the optimum path through the Asynchronous Transfer Mode network, based on criteria such as network usage patterns, the type of traffic being transmitted, and user-defined preferred routing requirements. It does this by keeping track of switch configurations, and through this monitors switches for failed links, automatically rerouting traffic around them. The other major enhancement is OptiClass, which provides 32 classes of service (including the four specified by Asynchronous Transfer Mode standards) for prioritising different types of traffic. Traffic that can be prioritised in this way includes SNA, electronic mail, speech, video and local network-to-local network traffic. According to StrataCom, users further have the ability to alter their preferences for which traffic should take precedence on an on-going basis so that, for example, an important file transfer can be given priority, while subsequent file transfers are not. Finally, StrataCom is also to add Asynchronous Transfer Mode-to-Frame Relay internetworking in the second quarter of next year and says that it also has plans to incorporate interfaces for T1/E1 circuit emulation, HSSI, SMDS DXI, SMDS SNI and OC-3 although it has not given a date for these. The base BPX switch is to cost $27,500, and StrataCom says that increased functionality can be added as needed, up to $500,000 for a fully-featured system. StrataCom has not published a price for the Asynchronous Transfer Mode trunk board for the IPX. The company also announced that US electricity generator Northeast Utilities System Inc is to become the first private network user of the BPX Asynchronous Transfer Mode switch. The value of the order was not given. It is to install two BPX switches onto its existing network of 28 IPX switches, and says it plans to add more as demand dictates.

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