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Procom Introduces Wireless Appliance

Network storage provider Procom Technology of Irvine, Calif., has announced a new appliance called Taurus that server multiple functions, from server for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) on up to use as a hotspot gateway.

The $1699 base model Taurus comes with 40GB of internal storage -- the product can go as high as 250MB. The base product, which comes in a small 9.3-inch high tower with a front LCD interface, can connect via its two Ethernet switches to the rest of the wired network, and features a patch antenna attached via a short cable for connectiong 802.11b-based clients.

William Long, vice president of product planning and development at Procom, says the antenna as provide improves the radio's pattern of coverage immensely. It will also connect to other types of antennas, such as those mounted outdoors.

The wireless support comes from 802.11b on a half-sized PCI card mounted inside (there are two PCI slots in Taurus). It's user replacable if needed. Though Long says the company will eventually offer an 802.11g version of Taurus, and will likely offer the 11g PCI card as an upgrade for the owners of the 11b model. Security on the units for wireless clients is limited to wired equivalent privacy (WEP); a smart card for admin access, to prevent unwanted modifications.

Taurus runs a Linux operating system, and is configurable via the front LCD or a built in browser interface. The unit will ship with power supply, both crossover and patch cables, full documentation, and a chassis lock key to prevent tampering. The unit will support clients using Windows, Macintosh, or Linux operating systems.