3Com yesterday unveiled a network interface card that will offer management and remote features.
The FastEthernet XL PCI 10/100 comes equipped with firmware components that reduce PC costs. The components include Remote Wake Up, which will turn on the machines from an administrative location, and Management Instrumentation equipped with 3Com's Desktop Management Interface 2.0 to help track PCs' status. Also included in the card is a Boot Agent that lets new or misconfigured PCs boot from the network, letting administrators install operating systems and make repairs remotely.
While the features are being touted by the company as a means to prepare for migration to Windows 2000 upon Microsoft's release of the operating system, the cards can be installed immediately for remote PC management and repairs.
One analyst sees the product as a long-awaited competitive reaction. "For 3Com, this is important because Intel has been touting their management and remote control capabilities for almost six months," says DavidPaul Doyle, an analyst with Dataquest. "The competition between these two has been fierce, but this levels the playing field."
Available immediately, the FastEthernet XL PCI 10/100 costs $122.