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Cisco Releases Catalyst Switching Products For SMBs

WebProNews
Staff Writer
Published: 2004-09-27

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Cisco Systems launched a suite of new Cisco Catalyst switching products and services specifically designed and priced for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

With this announcement, Cisco is extending its Catalyst switching portfolio to help them deploy converged data, voice and video networks with higher levels of resiliency, security and control.

The offering includes new entry-level extensions to the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series of modular switches, including the new Supervisor II-Plus-TS which allows for integrated connectivity to servers, wireless access points, IP phones, printers or users; the Cisco Network Assistant which offers centralized management of Cisco SMB-Class networks to help simplify deployment and ongoing maintenance; and the new Catalyst 4948 fixed switches optimized for server aggregation.

In addition to the new products, Cisco is also offering new incentives to small business customers that will help them become more agile and competitive. This includes the introduction of a value-priced SMARTnet services and support option to encompass the new product lines and help the network operate efficiently. Cisco is also introducing a new financing program with a streamlined application process offering a 48-hour turn around time as well as a new $99 two-month unrestricted access package to Cisco e-learning programs.

"Small- and medium-sized business staff and budgets are struggling to keep pace with the demands on their networks," said Jim Browning, vice president and research area lead, SMB Research Group, Gartner. "SMBs need ways to decrease the total cost of ownership of their networks while minimizing network staffing requirements."

Announced in April of this year, SMB-Class is an initiative to deliver tailored, networking business solutions to meet the unique requirements of growing businesses worldwide.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Meet SMB Requirements

"As a small business customer, we are looking for products and services that help enable secure and reliable converged networks that allow us to lower our costs, increase productivity and adapt to business change," said Mike Walton, director of information technology, Computer History Museum. "The SMB-Class Cisco Catalyst switching solutions and services meet our needs and help us achieve our business goals."

SMB-Class extensions to the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series include the new entry-level Cisco Catalyst 4503 exclusive Supervisor II-Plus-TS, which features 20 built-in 10/100/1000 Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) ports that increase the scalability of the Catalyst 4503 to 116 ports, and four new SMB optimized line cards including 6- and 24-port configurations. These extensions are designed to uniquely match smaller businesses' size requirements while offering features and functionality previously reserved for high-end platforms. This includes patent pending self-defending security features that help SMBs protect their company resources, data and IP phone privacy.

The modular architecture of the Catalyst 4500 Series offers easier PoE power management, centralized configuration, troubleshooting and control. In addition, modularity offers customers an easy upgrade path to new modules and services, as well as redundant power, fans and hot-swappable components, easing serviceability and delivering higher availability.

Network Management Tool Optimized for SMB-Class Networks

Cisco Network Assistant is a network management application tool designed specifically for Cisco SMB-Class networks and will support SMB-Class switches, routers and access points. This no cost tool provides centralized management, accurate configuration, and simplified troubleshooting assistance for sophisticated and repetitive network management tasks. Cisco Smartports is an integral part of the Cisco Network Assistant and significantly simplify the deployment of Cisco recommended network configurations. With Cisco Smartports, SMB customers can respond faster to network issues, accelerate application and advanced technology deployments and reduce operational complexity and costs resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

High-Performance, Rack-Optimized Server Switching

The Cisco Catalyst 4948 Switch is a one-rack-unit (RU), 48-port 10/100/1000, Layer 2/3/4 fixed switch, offering exceptional low latency, high performance and reliability for low-density, multilayer aggregation of high-performance servers and workstations. Catalyst 4948 Switch features include Catalyst 4500 Series patent-pending security features, including prevention of information and identity theft; hot-swappable dual internal power supplies and fan tray; and wire-speed, low-latency performance for 10/100/1000 connectivity on all 48 ports, independent of security features enabled.

Pricing, Availability and More Information

The Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series SMB-optimized line cards are available now and include a 24-port 10/100 for US$2,495, a 24-port 10/100 PoE for US$3,495, a 24-port 10/100/1000 PoE for US$4,495 and a 6-port 10/100/1000 PoE or SFP card for US$3,495. The Cisco Catalyst 4503 Supervisor II-Plus-TS is US$5,995 and is scheduled to be available in October, 2004. The Cisco Catalyst 4948 is US$13,495 and is available now.

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