Transition Networks premieres media-conversion platform

Transition Networks Inc. (Minneapolis) has introduced a media-conversion platform that it calls PointSystem. The platform is based on Transition's Conversion Center PS, which is a multiprotocol and multimedia converter-mounting option

Jul 1st, 2000

Transition Networks Inc. (Minneapolis) has introduced a media-conversion platform that it calls PointSystem. The platform is based on Transition's Conversion Center PS, which is a multiprotocol and multimedia converter-mounting option, FocalPoint management software, and a suite of copper-to-fiber media converters.

Initially, the company will make twisted-pair-to-multimode and twisted-pair-to-singlemode converters available, as well as multimode-to- singlemode converters for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Token Ring networks. Within the PointSystem platform, as many as eight Conversion Center PS units can be managed in a conversion cabinet using a base slide-in card in the primary unit and an expansion card in the other units. This setup provides a single management source for up to 135 conversion points. The chassis has 18 slots and two telco ports.

When two or more chassis are used, a second management module can be configured as redundant, providing uptime in the event of management-module failure. According to the company, users of PointSystem will control all management functions using a graphical user interface that eases identification of media-converter type and the slot number occupied. Status indicators provide primary and redundant power status as well as unit power and link indicators. PointSystem supports common networking platforms, including HP Open View, Sun Solaris, and Windows NT.

The platform meets needs that Transition Networks has recognized in the marketplace, according to Cheri Beranek Podzimek, a vice president at the company. "Busy network administrators have asked for products that will keep pace with the changing demands of their organizations-products that are reliable, usable, and flexible, and can be managed easily from a central point," she says. "PointSystem delivers on all of those requirements."

PointSystem began shipping June 16. The Conversion Center PS lists for $595, the primary-function management slide-in card for $395, and the secondary-function management slide-in card for $295. The FocalPoint software package is free.

Legacy products

Transition Networks also recently introduced products appropriate for its existing base of conversion centers, including an RS-422/RS-485 media converter and a 10Base-T-to-10Base-FL converter.

The RS-422/RS-485 converter allows serial-port connections for up to 2 km on multimode and 20 km on singlemode fiber at speeds to 500 kbits/sec. The product allows RS-422/RS-485 industrial environments to enjoy the benefits of Ethernet networking, according to Podzimek. "Network administrators can now integrate industrial networks into the corporate local area network [LAN]," she says. "As businesses become more dependent on e-commerce and just-in-time manufacturing, this integration becomes critical, and a common networking structure is required."

The 10Base-T-to-10Base-FL product is geared at long-haul singlemode networks. It extends these networks' distances to 40 km and enables users leasing dark fiber runs to extend the networks' reach to remote locations without using modems.

"We are seeing demand for long-haul media converters that help network planners leverage the dark fiber already strung, while optimizing the investment they've made in Ethernet networking equipment," Podzimek notes. Like the RS-422/RS-485, this converter is also available in standalone or chassis-based models. The standalone versions can be rack-mounted. The standalone and chassis-based units list for $625 and $620, respectively. For more info, call (800) 526-9267, fax: (612) 941-2322, www.transition.com.

-Patrick McLaughlin

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