Adapter Preserves Token-Ring Investments

Into the fierce competition for your company’s networking dollars Madge Networks (Eatontown, N.J.) introduces its third-generation Token-Ring Smart 16/4 PCI Ringnode Wake-on-LAN (WoL) adapter. As part of a cross-industry initiative to reduce total cost of ownership, the Smart 16/4 PCI Ringnode WoL adapter is designed to promote investment protection and lower costs associated with maintaining and supporting a network.

The adapter is also part of Madge’s PCI market support and prepares the market for PC99 guidelines, as dictated by IBM and Microsoft, according to Jeff King, product marketing manager for Madge Networks in the UK. PC99 guidelines indicate what companies must do to support remote network management initiatives, he says.

The Smart 16/4 PCI Ringnode WoL adapter, as well as Madge’s overall progress in the area of Token-Ring technology, finds relevance in the AS/400 market because "AS/400 users typically rely upon PC connectivity to their back-end midrange systems," King says.

"This third-generation adapter will enable our customers to take a simple evolutionary step toward totally-managed desktops," adds Graham Carter, Token-Ring product line manager at Madge. "The Smart 16/4 PCI Ringnode WoL highlights our commitment to enable Token-Ring users to evolve their networks and incorporate new systems without having to worry about network adapter compatibility."

Madge plans to raise the stakes later this year by releasing High-Speed Token-Ring (HSTR) products. The new products include the Smart 100/16/4 PCI-HS Ringnode adapter, as well as 2-port fiber and 4-port copper HSTR modules for the Smart Ringswitch family of Token-Ring switches.

The keys to these HSTR products finding their way into the market are their scalability and competitive pricing, according to Sue Crier, director of Token-Ring product marketing at Madge. "Large customers running mission-critical applications choose Token-Ring due to its inherent benefits," she says. "[HSTR] enables users to move to the next speed without having to do vast amounts of hardware and software upgrading [thanks largely to an auto-speed sensing feature]."

Through its adapters and switches, Madge is preparing the market for HSTR as an affordable alternative, says Andy Rawll, product line manager for Madge Token-Ring infrastructure products. "Customers want the ability to move up in speed," he says.

The launch of the Smart PCI adapter comes on the heels of Madge’s announcement of its "Perspective strategy for Token-Ring," which incorporates Layer 3 switching, enhanced backbone and workgroup switching, HSTR, multiservice deployment and Token Ring-Ethernet integration. The Madge Perspective is actually a service created to demonstrate that Token-Ring users can best accommodate their network needs by enhancing existing Token-Ring investments, rather than changing to Ethernet. A key ingredient to the Madge Perspective plan is to provide users with scalable bandwidth from current 16 Mbps to 100 Mbps, and eventually Gigabit speeds, across the network.