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Small Tree Communications Brings IEEE 802.3 Link Aggregation to the Apple Market, Enabling Enterprise Class Network Solutions

April 15, 2004 by Joe DiBenedetto

April 15, 2004 – Small Tree Communications announces the release of its IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation networking software for the Apple Power Mac and Xserve G4 and G5 computers. Link aggregation enables true enterprise class network solutions by bonding or trunking multiple Ethernet ports on a single computer into one virtual interface. This virtual interface provides higher bandwidth, higher availability, and more efficient utilization of the physical links than is otherwise possible. Small Tree Communications is the first and only company providing this technology for Apple computers.

“We are again excited to be bringing new capabilities to the Apple community,” said company President Corky Seeber. “Coupled with Apple’s powerful G5 systems, Link Aggregation provides an enterprise network solution that professional Mac users have been looking for.”

This software is ideal for web, file, digital video and other media server environments because it allows a site to increase the available bandwidth and reliability of the network link from the server. This allows for larger client loads per server with a longer mean time between failures.

“Small Tree’s 802.3ad Link Aggregation product provides the ability to improve digital video networking capabilities while utilizing existing infrastructure” said Gary Holladay, Studio Network Solutions President and Chief Systems Designer. “This product perfectly complements our Macintosh iSCSI product line by providing enterprise server level networking support. Our relationship with Small Tree ensures that our customers are getting leading edge multi-gigabit networking products for the Entertainment vertical.”

Link Aggregation provides increased bandwidth by merging the bandwidth of the individual ports into a single virtual interface. Network traffic is then balanced across the ports which provides increased efficiency and utilization compared to a traditional subnet approach. The aggregated ports appear as a single IP address to the computer and applications, which means no application changes are required. In addition to load balancing, 802.3ad Link Aggregation is a high availability solution that provides automatic fail-over in the event any port or cable fails. All traffic that was being routed over the failed port is automatically re-routed to use one of the remaining ports. This fail-over occurs almost instantaneously and is completely transparent to the application software. A white paper further explaining the features and benefits link aggregation, as well as several examples, can be found on the company’s web site.

The Link Aggregation product works seamlessly with Small Tree Communications’ Multiport Gigabit Ethernet cards that were introduced in January at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. These products are available for immediate purchase worldwide on the company’s web site www.small-tree.com.

Small Tree Communications was founded by a team of high performance networking and kernel designers who are committed to bringing enterprise class networking solutions to the Apple platform. With world class high performance computing experience, Small Tree Communications provides leading edge peripheral products to Apple servers enabling the power Macintosh user to meet a wider range of application demands. In addition to the multiport gigabit cards and IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation software, the company will soon be releasing the first 10Gb Ethernet card for the Mac. Pricing and additional information can be found on the company’s web site at www.small-tree.com, by calling 866-STC-4MAC, or by sending email to info@small-tree.com.


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