Something of some interest. Alcatel has restructed (lay-offs) to better compete in the enterprise market, but it has been lacking a "real" enterprise switch. This should be welcome news for those of you looking into high capactiy, high-availability, wire speed switches/routers with low cost per port. What do you think?


Alcatel changes the enterprise switch landscape with next generation OmniSwitch family for mission-critical data and voice.

Paris, Feb. 12, 2002 – Alcatel today launched a new generation of network switches built to provide unsurpassed availability and intelligence for medium to large enterprises with mission critical data, voice, and video applications.

These products include the Alcatel OmniSwitch 7700 for the next generation edge, Alcatel OmniSwitch 7800 for the medium enterprise core or large wiring closet, and Alcatel OmniSwitch 8800 for the large enterprise core.

Providing carrier-class functionality at an enterprise cost with easy manageability, Alcatel’s OmniSwitch family provides multi-service infrastructure for IP telephony and mission critical applications. Alcatel engineered the Alcatel OmniSwitch family on the pillars of
availability, security, intelligence and manageability to deliver the industry’s first infrastructure built from the ground up for convergence.

"Increasing network availability is crucial to the acceptance of IP telephony,” said Lawrence Orans, Sr. Analyst at Gartner, Inc. “This means increasing availability not only in the core of the network, but also down to the desktop distribution level.”

At the Edge

The Alcatel OmniSwitch 7000 series is the industry’s first IP wiring closet switch family that is as reliable as the high-capacity switches built for the network core, at a cost similar to products without this high reliability. They benefit from a distributed switch architecture
that provides redundancy of critical hardware and software elements and allows continuous traffic processing in any network condition. This makes the OmniSwitch 7700 and high-density OmniSwitch 7800 ideal edge switches for the real-time requirements
that voice and video put on the network infrastructure.

In addition, Alcatel offers the most sophisticated, comprehensive, easy-to-configure virtual local area network (VLAN) capabilities in the industry. This makes it possible for users to access resources regardless of location, while reducing the time and effort that
network administrators make in implementing moves, adds and changes. With the user authentication option, Alcatel’s VLAN solution secures mobility across the entire network, ensuring wireless LANs can only be accessed by authorized users.

In the Core

Alcatel’s OmniSwitch 7800 and OmniSwitch 8800 bring carrier class availability to the core of medium and large enterprise networks. The OmniSwitch family’s distributed architecture delivers more wire rate services than any other solution on the market today. These
services include wire speed layer 2 and layer 3, quality of service (QoS), access control list, as well as embedded server load balancing for mainstream enterprise requirements.

The Alcatel OmniSwitch 7800 is a medium-sized enterprise core switch that provides a Gigabit Ethernet density up to 192 ports with a throughput of 60 million packets per second (Mpps). The Alcatel OmniSwitch 8800 is Alcatel’s ideal solution for true 10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. It provides a Gigabit Ethernet density of up to 384 ports, with a throughput up to 240 Mpps.

“Alcatel is setting the standard for next-generation, convergence-ready data networks,” said Patrick Liot, president of Alcatel’s e-Business Networking Division. “In this new era of networking, it is more important than ever to evaluate if the network can support
mission critical data and voice. Alcatel’s integration of standards-based IP technologies into one product family demonstrates that Alcatel can fulfill the voice and data needs of end-users—unique in today’s enterprise vendor landscape.”

Alcatel’s new OmniSwitch family runs on common software built on a proven technology base, providing consistent functionalities across the network. Unique features include:

· Distributed architecture: With all traffic processing power distributed to the line cards, Alcatel’s OmniSwitch family provides unmatched availability and wire rate performance for true scalability—protecting enterprises from expensive upgrades.

· Simplified QoS: Alcatel’s OneTouch QoS is the industry’s first simplified tool for implementing QoS. With the simple click of a button, the network manager can enforce QoS behaviors throughout the network to give priority to mission critical applications.

· Distributed multi-layer security: Alcatel’s switches give the ability to create policies based on switch port, VLAN, network layer, and transport layer so that network administrators can tailor security needs to meet the wide range of security requirements for different

Alcatel’s IP Communications solutions integrate seamlessly in multi-vendor environments. They do not force customers into upgrading the data infrastructure to deploy proprietary voice solutions. Much like the Alcatel OmniPCX 4400’s standard-based approach
enables customers to provide voice over any data network, the Alcatel OmniSwitch family allows customers to provide a solid data foundation on any voice and video platform.

Pricing and availability
The OmniSwitch 7700 starts at $11,000, while the OmniSwitch 7800 starts at $16,000. Both products are available in Q2 2002. The OmniSwitch 8800 is available in Q3 2002. All products will be available worldwide.