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First, Compaq Computer cut its teeth selling PCs. Now, the hardware giant is trying to take a byte out of the networking market with its Netelligent 2524/2624 Fast Ethernet repeaters, as well as Netelligent 100 FDDI PCI and EISA network interface controllers.
Compaq's Netelligent 2624 workgroup repeater has 24 Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) ports, and can be stacked three units high, thereby networking up to 72 PCs. The unit includes Compaq's Netelligent Management Software, a Win32 application that integrates with Compaq's Insight Manager 3.0 administration platform.
By contrast, the Netelligent 2524 does not include management software, but is otherwise identical to the 2624.
According to Compaq, the new workgroup repeaters provide an upgrade path for customers using traditional 10Mbps Ethernet.
Compaq is also addressing the FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) arena, which competes with Fast Ethernet. The company's Netelligent 100 FDDI PCI and EISA network interface controllers support fiber-optic and copper connections, and can link servers and workstations to 100Mbps FDDI backbones.
If you're trying to decide between Compaq's FDDI and Fast Ethernet product lines, consider this: Compaq expects most of its FDDI gear to be linked to existing FDDI networks; few customers are deploying new FDDI networks. On the other hand, the company expects high demand for its Fast Ethernet hardware now that customers are finally migrating from 10Mbps to 100Mbps Ethernet.
Netelligent 2524, $2,387; 2624, $4,500