As small businesses venture into the networked computing arena, the buyers can get very confused about the services and components they need. Unless they're using a VAR, the likelihood is that they're buying their equipment a la carte.
Alternative Local Area Networks has another approach, devising what might be termed a LAN on wheels: A complete, pre-configured computer network that can be bought off the shelf.
The Integrated Intelligent Infrastructure (I3) provides immediate connectivity for multiple PCs, Web site hosting, e-mail hosting, virtual private networking, Internet sharing, data storage, and firewall services through multiple servers and operating systems integrated into a unique package, according to Alan Hunter, founder and CEO of the company inventor of the I3.
Hunter claims The I3 dramatically cuts the costs of a conventional business network by reducing space requirements, telecommunications/transfer costs, and system management costs, and utilizes best-of-breed components including Sun, Cisco, 3Com, Microsoft, Red Hat, and Intel.
The pre-configured network, housed in a 2'x2'x4' mobile rack system, functions as a local area network supporting up to 200 PCs. Featuring wireless connectivity, the I3 can be wheeled into virtually any location, plugged into a power outlet and external data connection, and is instantly up and running.
The usefulness to small businesses is apparent, and large companies may choose such a system for inexpensive test labs, disaster recovery systems, and remote site network infrastructures.
Rather than taking the a la carte approach and hoping that the connectivity will work, I3 is billed as an integrated, standardized infrastructure that can be customized.