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Tasman takes on Cisco with bandwidth-boosting T1 router

Upstart infrastructure vendor Tasman Networks is pushing a T1 router that boosts bandwidth to remote offices. The vendor is competing head on with Cisco, an analyst says, but Tasman's product is cheaper than Cisco's, and a user says it's easier to configure.

As companies push more data-intensive applications to their remote offices, they are forced to increase the bandwidth of the connections to those sites. One company now offers a cost-effective way for companies to boost bandwidth by bundling their T1 connections.

Tasman Networks Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based network infrastructure vendor, has released a T1 router for small and medium-sized remote offices. The Tasman 1004 enables companies to increase their bandwidth without having to spend as much as $7,000 on a traditional router, said Tasman's CEO, Paul Smith.

In this niche, Tasman has a good chance of success against similar products from networking giant Cisco Systems Inc., said Ray Mota, chief research officer with Phoenix-based research firm Synergy Research Group Inc. He said that Tasman's router provides a simpler means of bundling T1 connections for increased bandwidth and it undercuts Cisco's 1751 and 2650 routers on price. Starting at $2,000, the Tasman product is less than half the cost of what Cisco offers, Smith said.

The product's simplicity and price point were largely behind Yipes Enterprise Services Inc.'s decision to include Tasman's product as a part of its metropolitan area networks, as well as in the San Francisco company's own internal deployment. Pierre Lin, Yipes' vice president of network architecture, said that Tasman's price and performance made it a clear choice over Cisco and other vendors.

Lin also said that the Tasman product's performance is exceptional. The router is stable enough so that he can provide his metropolitan area network customers the service level agreements they need. Additionally, the router is relatively simple to configure, even for complex tasks such as segregating bandwidth for different users in the same building.

That simplicity of configuration can be helpful for remote offices, since many don't have fully staffed IT departments, Mota said.

But can a small company such as Tasman really be successful competing head to head with Cisco? Smith estimated that, of Cisco's customers, only about one-third are firmly committed to Cisco products, but that the rest would be willing to consider products from other vendors if they felt they could save money and gain in performance.

Mota agreed that the company has the opportunity to do well, particularly in this tight economy, where return on investment is a high priority. He added that the company's chances will look even better if it can provide resellers with enough incentives to push the product.


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