PureData Inc. recently announced six- and 12-port gigabit Ethernet switches aimed at bringing Layer 3 hardware-based routing to network backbones in small and midsize networks. With optional T-1 and DSL WAN modules, the Layer 3 switches could be used to replace routers in small-business or remote enterprise branch offices. The L6B and L12B offer six and 12 1000Base-SX and LX fibre ports, respectively. Each has a 64Gbps backplane and forwarding rate of up to 20 million packets per second. The L6B costs US$7,000, and the L12B is priced at US$10,000. Both products are available now. For more information, see PureData on the Web at

Compaq Computer Corp. will release “hyperdense” servers less than one server-unit (1.75 inches) high this year, a company executive said last month. The servers will be optimized to reduce ancillary costs for maintenance and power, Compaq said, but did not provide specifics as to how that will be done. Microprocessor companies such as Transmeta Corp. and Intel Corp. plan to aggressively push low-power chips into the server market this year. The low-wattage chips are designed to save space and power. Four companies are planning releases of Transmeta’s Crusoe-powered servers – RLX Technologies Inc., FiberCycle Networks Inc., Amphus and Inc. Compaq is on the Web at

Irvine, Calif.-based Procom Technology Inc. last month announced the launch a network-attached storage (NAS) appliance for enterprise networks. The NetForce 3200C is a two-node cluster in which each NAS appliance will take over for the other in the event of a failure, according to the company. The appliance contains up to 96 drives and uses Fibre Channel for connecting to back-end storage subsystems. The NetForce 3200C supports the Windows Common Internet File System, Unix’s Network File System, as well as Access Control Lists and Windows NT’s multiple master domain architecture. The NetForce 3200C cluster starts at US$319,000 and is available now. Procom is on the Web at