3Com Leaves Enterprise Networking Space

3Com is changing direction radically, discarding its enterprise networking products to focus on consumer, small- to medium-size business, and network service provider products. "We're focusing on markets where we have established a leadership position," explained Eric Benhamou, chairman and CEO. 3Com claims that restructuring will let the company concentrate on high-growth areas in the market. The company will no longer produce its CoreBuilder Layer 2/3 Gigabit Ethernet and ATM LAN switch products or its NetBuilder and PathBuilder WAN switches and routers. 3Com will transfer the CoreBuilder product line to Extreme Networks, which will merge the line with its BlackDiamond and Summit switches and routers. 3Com will transfer NetBuilder and PathBuilder to Motorola and shed the analog modem wing. 3Com will partner with Accton and NatSteel Electronics to create a new corporation for desktop and PC card modems. The company will continue to support its discontinued products. All these changes will take place on June 30. 3Com's new push will be Gigabit LAN products for the low-end market and appliances for firewalls, load balancing, and other network functions. Declaring that the new products will be easy to use, 3Com recently announced a line of preconfigured backbone switches, called Switch 4000. The first product in this line, the Switch 4007 system, has four base configurations: · Layer-2 Gigabit Ethernet, which supports 18 to 54 connections · Layer-3 Gigabit Ethernet, which supports 13 to 49 connections · Layer-3 Fast Ethernet, 10/100Base-Tx, which supports 48 to 192 connections · Layer-3 Fast Ethernet 100Base-Fx, which supports 32 to 112 connections The company plans to develop many of the appliances through alliances; 3Com will ally with Sonic Wall for firewall appliances, F5 for load balancing, and old-school player Inktomi for Web caching. 3Com will also push network telephony, wireless networking, home networking, and broadband access technologies.

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