Foundry Networks Inc. at Networld+Interop this week launched a line of enterprise access router, VPN and firewall gear for enterprises seeking an alternative to market-leader Cisco Systems Inc. for WAN connectivity and security.

The AccessIron product line includes two access routers with integrated VPN and stateful firewall features that could be used to link a small, medium or large enterprise site to a WAN link or ISP connection. Foundry says it can deliver equal functionality on its AccessIron line compared to Cisco’s 1700, 2600 and 3700 series routers, but at around 30 per cent less cost.

The AccessIron 1200 supports up to 16 fractional T-1 connections, and includes an integrated CSU/DSU. The AccessIron 3200 supports two channelized or clear-channel T-3 connections.

Both boxes support standard WAN connectivity technologies, such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), Frame Relay, as well as Multilink-PPP and Frame Relay. The boxes also support QoS technologies such as DiffSerf, 802.1Q. Standard routing and availability protocols such as OSPF, RIP, RIPv2, BGP4 and VRRP are also supported.

While Cisco’s 1700, 2600 and 3700 series routers have long-dominated the enterprise access-router market, several new competitors have jumped into the market over the last year. 3Com last fall introduced its Router 5000 series of router/VPN/firewall gear, while Enterasys launched its XSR series of integrated router/security boxes earlier in 2003.

Foundry’s AccessIron boxes will compete with gear from 3Com Corp. and Enterasys Networks Inc., as well as routers from ADC, Adtran Inc. and Quick Eagle Networks.

Foundry’s AccessIron routers will be available in July and start at US$2,600.



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