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DRIVEN BY THE opportunity to secure the role of edge networking devices in enterprise IT infrastructures, a groundswell of networking vendors is beginning to embrace Web services.
Companies including 3Com and Cisco are in the process of developing edge routing devices to embrace technologies such as deep-packet inspection in an effort to meet the emerging demands of Web-based applications.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based 3Com, which in May announced its XRN 10 Gigabit Ethernet VoIP (voice over IP) switch, is in the midst of contemplating the impact of enterprise applications on the next generation of networking equipment.
Although the company's 10/100 Ethernet-based equipment is already "application aware," Patrick Guay, vice president and general manager of 3Com's LAN infrastructure division, said the company is working to unify the code base across its product lines to ease configuration and management issues.
"Applications need to be able to signal their requests from the edge of the network," Guay said.
With 3Com currently in the process of rolling out its SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 SE, Guay said the company is hearing "noise from customers" about the need for application-aware switches.
3Com's first step on this path was to introduce field upgrade, application prioritization, and VoIP management features in the 4400.
"We are …