Allied Telesyn takes a new approach with Layer 3

Bothell, Wash.-based Allied Telesyn International Corp. launched the newest product in its line of Rapier Layer 3 switches in June.

Priced lower than its nearest competitors and designed for desktop and workgroup wiring closets, the Rapier 48 Layer 3 switch contains 48 10/100 Base-TX ports and two front-panel expansion bays for gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Built around 200MHz RISC processors and switching ASICs with 32-bit, 33MHz PCI bus technology, the Rapier 48 is a 1.5U, 19″ rackmount unit that can accommodate an external redundant power supply.

According to James Mustarde, senior director of marketing at Allied Telesyn, the Rapier line was launched in October 2000 to meet the need for more intelligent switching and routing in networks.

“Layer 3, I think being heavily influenced by the dot-com explosion in the last year or 18 months, has been through significant exposure and a lot of people see the benefits of Layer 3 switching and routing,” Mustarde said. “And therefore, there is significant demand for this type of technology.”

The Rapier 48 is the fourth switch in the line and was designed with a high level of security, said Mustarde. The Rapier 48 is also based on the IP v.6 protocol, which Mustarde admits is not something most customers need right now.

“We are demonstrating through our actions that we are capable of delivering the latest and greatest in functionality, which most people wouldn’t expect Allied Telesyn to be able to do,” Mustarde said.

The switch is capable of supporting both Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching. Mustarde added many customers are inclined to continue building out their Layer 2 architectures, so they will find the Rapier 48 appealing because of its Layer 2 capabilities and low price point. And because of the price points, he said, the educational space has taken an interest in the Rapier products.

“Smaller businesses that are looking for a switch, router and security solution, not unlike schools, are also finding that the Rapier is a great solution for them,” Mustarde said.

Lauri Vickers, a senior analyst with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Cahners In-Stat Group, agrees the prices, at US$98 per port, are attractive.

“You’re getting good performance at a better price than usual,” Vickers said.

Allied Telesyn has also changed its tune in coming out with cutting edge products before the market has gained momentum, she said.

“Allied Telesyn has historically not been considered to be an innovator. It’s a company that has followed the market, sees where the market’s going and introduce(s) technology to take advantage of the commodotized markets,” Mustarde said. “That’s really not quite the case with Layer 3. Layer 3 is really defining a new approach by Allied Telesyn.”

According to Vickers, Allied Telesyn holds less than one per cent of the fixed Layer 3 switch market. She added its position will likely change, but the poor market has slowed its growth.

The Rapier 48 is available now and carries a price tag of US$4,695, which translates to US$98 per port. Allied Telesyn can be found on the Web at