3Com Makes CoS/QoS Available

3Com Corp. unveiled its next-generation ATM application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology and new switching products that deliver end-to-end, policy-enabled, multilayer switching in integrated Ethernet/ATM networks.

The new technology will help enterprises deploy networks based on fast, low-cost Ethernet switching for desktop connectivity and ATM switching for the core of networks. 3Com’s solution provides high-performance switching between Ethernet and ATM, prioritizes the different traffic and guarantees quality of service between the two network technologies.

"Policy-based networking promises to allow enterprise network performance to be optimized in business-oriented dimensions, such as service levels, functional priorities and organizations," says Mark Dykes, principal analyst at GartnerGroup’s Dataquest unit.

Featuring 3Com's third-generation ZipChip ASIC technology, the new products include interface modules for 3Com's SuperStack II Switch 1100/3300 and CoreBuilder 7000HD switches. The new offerings include a selectable OC-3/OC-12 ATM expansion module for connecting to converged networks.

Also announced were interface modules for 3Com's FIRE ASIC-based CoreBuilder 3500 switch, along with enhancements to CoreBuilder 9000 switches that include a Category 5 copper OC-3c interface and support for ATM configurations of the newest CoreBuilder 9000 seven-slot chassis.

The new interface modules enable 3Com SuperStack II and CoreBuilder switches to dynamically perform class-of-service/quality-of-service (CoS/QoS) mappings from end to end in integrated Ethernet/ATM networks.

"Taken together, the new products give users policy and performance features for a wide variety of applications, including business critical and converged applications," says Tim Hale, product marketing manager at 3Com.

End-to-end CoS/QoS makes it possible for network managers to apply policy controls to important performance characteristics of critical applications. For instance, business-critical applications might be given higher priority over regular applications, or "converged" voice/video applications might be assigned the necessary delay and latency values to ensure high transmission quality.

"Vendors that are mapping CoS indicators from Ethernet to ATM are providing a key step toward full policy-based networking implementation," Dataquest’s Dykes says.

This new solution maps industry standard Ethernet's class-of-service priorities, defined by 802.1p and IP Type of Service, to industry standard ATM quality of service and traffic management parameters.