3Com targets SMEs with double-density port

3Com will double the port density of its Layer 4 Ethernet switch line-up with the introduction of its SuperStack 3 Switch 4400...

3Com will double the port density of its Layer 4 Ethernet switch line-up with the introduction of its SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 48-port device.

Saying it hopes to displace Cisco as the preferred vendor among small and medium-sized users upgrading their networks, the company began shipping a 24-port version of the same switch in June.

One user who has been beta-testing the 48-port 4400 said he intended to replace much of his Cisco equipment with 3Com gear during a planned network upgrade.

Cost would be a key driver, he said. To get a 10/100Mbps Cisco M2924XL 24-port switch with a Gigabit Ethernet module would have cost $2,500 (£1,760) through an online reseller. From the same reseller, a 24-port 3Com 4400 with a Gigabit Ethernet module costs $1,700 (£1,200). The 3Com switch also comes with a lifetime warranty, whereas Cisco offers a 90-day warranty on new purchases.

But Michael Speyer, an analyst at The Yankee Group, said: "That price break is not a big deal to a shop that's committed to Cisco."

3Com jettisoned its large core network switching line last year in reaction to disappointing financial results. Speyer said he believed the company would never again be a heavy hitter at the core of big enterprise networks, but would always have a good position at the edge of networks.

The 48-port 3Com 4400 is available for shipment and costs $3,295.

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