Adtran dishes up another penny-pinching router

Adtran Inc. is moving up the food chain to lure Cisco Systems Inc. access-router customers with a new family of its bargain NetVanta routers.

The NetVanta 4000 line is being introduced with the NetVanta 4305, a three-slot router that can serve as a VPN gateway and supports up to eight T-1 lines, some or all of which it can blend into one logical pipe.

The NetVanta 4000 line lies between the NetVanta 3000, which supports single T-1 access, and the NetVanta 5000, which supports dual T-3 access. Like other NetVanta routers, it is designed to undercut pricing of similarly sized Cisco routers with a trade-off between Cisco’s broader product family, more features and more extensive management vs. Adtran’s lower price.

Adtran says the new router competes against Cisco 3725 routers, which cost US$8,300. NetVanta 4305 costs US$2,500 with no cards and a basic software package. Enhanced software that includes VPN support costs US$995.

The new box has two WAN slots for cards that also fit in the lower-speed NetVanta 1000 and 3000 routers and one larger slot that supports cards designed for the high-speed NetVanta 5000.

Adtran also is introducing three new NetVanta cards. The first is an eight-port T-1 card (US$1,500) that fits in the large WAN slot in the NetVanta 4305 and in the NetVanta 5000. The other two are a large-format High-Speed Serial Interface card (US$1,300) to connect the routers to a separate T-3 DSU/CSU and a small-format, two-port T-1 card (US$650).

The company is upgrading its Adtran Operating System, which supports voice over IP (VoIP), by making it possible for Session Initiation Protocol signaling messages that set up the VoIP calls to cross firewalls readily and to close firewall ports when calls are concluded.

The updated Adtran Operating System includes some basic VPN features that most single-purpose VPN gateways supply as standard features. These include support for network address translation traversal, which makes sure IP addresses are resolved when privately numbered LAN devices make IPSec VPN connections and their addresses get translated to public addresses.

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