3Com adds Linux application server to networking kit

3Com has devised a new style of application server that runs alongside networking hardware.

Networking vendor 3Com has developed a technology that makes it possible to embed a PABX in a switch or other networking hardware.

The company achieves this trick with its Open Services Networking (OSN) initiative. OSN sees 3Com make it possible to run Linux applications on the backplane of some networking devices. One example of OSN at work is the Asterisk open source PABX running on a switch, a scenario Senior Network Consultant Andrew Hindmarch said is finding favour in companies wishing to deploy one central PABX but which prefer not to install PABXs in all of their remote offices. OSN's ability to let users embed applications like a PABX in other devices, he said, will appeal due to its creation of an alternative application platform that will meet many needs.

Storage is another market the company plans to address.

The company's storage products are currently sold only in China, home to H3C, 3Com's former joint venture with Chinese networking vendor Huawei. H3C designs and manufactures the products.

3Com acquired all of H3C in March 2007 and, according to Peter Chai, the company's Vice-President and General Manager (Asia Pacific) now intends to use its engineering, innovation and manufacturing muscle to compete globally.

One aspect of that expansion plan will see the company create versions of its storage products for international markets.

Full details of the SAN's capabilities and price were not available, but Hindmarch has seen the products and said they can perform "snapshots and rollbacks."

Virtualisation is another feature, with Hindmarch asserting the devices are capable of virtualising other storage arrays devices regardless of the connectivity they use.

3Com's SAN offerings are due to reach Australia in 2008. OSN-enabled devices and certified software are already available.

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