As October and autumn draws close, so another round-up of networking news keeps the warmth in.

Alcatel aims for the stackable edge
Converged IP networks need a very specific set of additional features, claimed Alcatel as it announced its latest OmniStack LS 6200 stackable Ethernet workgroup switches, which are aimed at exactly that market. Features include Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), support for multiple MAC-based VLANs per port for better security, and Layer 2 features such as quality of service and multi-cast VLANs, all of which are available in the OmniStack range.

"There is an enormous market for feature-rich, value-priced Fast Ethernet switches at the edge of today's next-generation networks," said Tom Burns, general manager of Alcatel's enterprise network infrastructure.

Each 6200 switch provides 24 or 48 10/100 Ethernet ports, plus four 1Gbit/s links (two copper and two combo copper/fibre) for uplinks and for chaining to other switches - they can be stacked up to eight high. The switches cost from around £400 for a 24 port non-PoE model, with PoE and DC-powered versions also available.

Raritan's palm-size KVM
Raritan reckons its Dominion KX101 is the first of a new class of portable KVM (keyboard video mouse) technology. The pocket-sized KX101 has the same features as the larger Dominion KVM-over-IP devices, but because each KX101 is attached to an individual server, there is no limit on how many servers can be addressed in a single rack and no need for physical switching.

The switchless nature of KVM-over-IP technology means sysadmins don't get in each other's way when working on servers, Raritan added, plus up to eight users can simultaneously view the same server. The company said the size of the single-port KX101 makes it more cost effective to deploy KVM temporarily, or to remote sites with just a few critical servers. The KX101 lists at 785 Euro, but is cheaper in packs of 12.

IP Office goes cordless
Avaya is updating the software in its IP Office voice and data gateway to support IP DECT cordless phones from IP telephony supplier Tenovis, which it acquired last year. This will allow users to take their desk extension with them while roaming within an office, Avaya said. The company added that the upcoming IP Office version 3.1 firmware will also support its own 4621 IP deskphone.

IP Office combines a small Fast Ethernet switch with a small PBX. Initially the device supported the trunking of analogue voice calls between offices via IP plus the ability to control features such as voicemail from a PC, but Avaya said it plans to develop it to fully support VoIP and IP telephony. Version 3.1 is due in January.

Switchvox takes a smaller SIP
Open source standards such as SIP and Linux are the basis of Switchvox's SOHO device, a complete IP PBX aimed at smaller companies and offices. Switchvox said open standards means even small companies can make use of advanced PBX features such as conference bridging, unified messaging, paging and call centre statistics.

The company added that it has also upgraded its enterprise IP PBX, which costs around £1400, to support the advanced features introduced in the £550 Soho version. Both versions are sold as software preinstalled on a server.

Switchvox works with SIP-compatible handsets and softphones and standard analogue handsets. Calls can be sent over the Internet to VoIP providers world-wide, and to remote corporate offices by peering Switchvox systems using the SIP or IAX protocols. It can also be connected to existing analogue phone lines.