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  1. Technology
June 1, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Santa Clara-headquartered Ungermann-Bass Inc has announced the Access/ATM GeoSwitch 155, an Asynchronous Transfer Mode switch aimed at the high-performance workgroup and campus backbone markets. According to the Tandem Computers Inc company, the GeoSwitch offers 5Gbps full duplex Asynchronous Transfer Mode throughput. It is available with four to 16 ports running at 155Mbps speeds over either single-mode or multi-mode fibre, or Category 5 unshielded twisted pair, data grade telephone wiring. Users starting with the four port configuration can add media modules in four port increments, mixing media modules in the same switch chassis. The GeoSwitch has built-in switched virtual circuit signalling support, while permanent virtual circuits are also supported. In addition, the switch incorporates two in-built Ethernet ports with local network emulation capability to provide Asynchronous Transfer Mode workgroup communications over the corporate network, without a router, for services such as electronic mail and print sharing. The product is SNMP-manageable, and Ungermann-Bass promises full support by its NetDirector system, with additional advanced network management capabilities to be announced in the future. Finally, the company says it will provide a full line of Asynchronous Mode adaptors including Sbus, EISA and Peripheral Component Interconnect.

Congestion management

The new machine is complementary to its Access/LightStream 2010 switch, which is aimed at enterprise Asynchronous Transfer wide area network backbones. The 2010 was launched last year through the Ungermann joint venture with Bolt Beranek & Newman Inc joint venture, LightStream Corp. The two switches offer different levels of functionality, with the GeoSwitch not providing, for example, the protection of service features, such as dual redundancy, featured in the 2010. Also, while the 2010 is a modular chassis, with two switch boards, a management processor board, and plug-in boards for interfaces, the GeoSwitch is more like a stackable, with a single board infrastructure – the additional boards just being for physical interfaces. For this reason, the GeoSwitch has been developed separately from LightStream, because the 2010 didn’t lend itself to re-engineering in this instance, an Unger man said. Ungermann-Bass has received support from strategic partner Fujitsu Microelectronics at the chip level for the GeoSwitch. The GeoSwitch with multi mode fibre ports at 155Mbps will cost $15,920 for the 16 port version, and $9,990 for the four port; four port media modules will list for $4,000. Prices for other media options will be announced later in the year. The switch will be available fourth quarter. On a different tack, Ungermann-Bass and Kanata, Ontario-based Newbridge Networks Corp are to work together to increase interoperability between their product lines. Plans include synchronising their schemes for Network-to-Network Interfaces, including signalling and the exchange of Asynchronous Transfer topology information, and Congestion Management.

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