COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Cisco Systems Inc. is expanding options for its chassis-based Catalyst switching lines.
The two main themes of the end-of-year assault are: expansion of high-availability features that reach from high to low end; and the broadening of the Power-Over-Ethernet support, a primary theme of the Catalyst Ethernet switches since Cisco first championed power-over-Ethernet (PoE) in 2003.
John McCool, vice president and general manager of Cisco's gigabit switching business unit, said customers are clamoring for security and resiliency features and embedded PoE support. The latter two features are particularly important as the use of voice-over-Internet Protocol becomes more widespread in the enterprise.
For the VoIP market, Cisco has included a new packet phone among its Catalyst switch rollouts. The 7971G-GE is the first IP phone in Cisco's line to support a Gigabit Ethernet connection.
Two new supervisor engines are also among the introductions, one each for the 6500 core switch and for the 4500 modular switch. The Supervisor 32 for the 6500 is a direct response to "customers who wanted resiliency features for the wiring closet, and a Supervisor feature set that was right-priced for the medium range," said Jeanne Dunn, senior director of product technology and marketing.
The board uses CPU rate-limiters to mitigate denial-of-service attacks, and also offers identity-theft protection. The board offers DHCP snooping and IP source address spoof protection called IP SourceGuard. The Supervisor 32 also offers a new Layer 2 subsecond failover protection called Stateful Switch-Over (SSO).
The board can be populated with dual 10-Gbit interfaces or eight Gigabit Ethernet connections.
For the 4500, Supervisor V-10GE also supports Layer 2 SSO. NetFlow support is embedded in the board, and dual 10-Gbit links are offered using multimode LX4 optics.
Alternatively, customers can use quad SFP 1-Gbit interfaces and upgrade to 10-Gbit services later.
McCool said SSO features are one of several high-availability initiatives Cisco is launching. Its 6500 features generic online diagnostics, or GOLD, proactive detection of faults that operates without interrupting IOS operating system processes. GOLD monitors the network for potential memory or system interface problems, alerting the network manager to potential failures.
At the low end, Cisco is offering a new simple stackable line, the Catalyst 3560, which is virtually identical to the 3750, but without support of StackWise.
PoE line cards round out the introduction, including 48-port 1- and 10-Gbit cards for the 6500.
Nearly all of the new products are shipping in December, except the dual-port version of Supervisor 32, which ships in February. The eight-port Supervisor 32 is $10,000 in a bundle or $15,000 as a spare, while the upcoming dual-port version is $20,000.
The V-10GE Supervisor for the 4500 is $19,995. Line cards for the 6500 range in price from $7,000 for a 48-port card without PoE support, to $14,000 for a 96-port card with PoE support.
The 3750 stackables range in price from $6,995 to $15,495, depending on number of ports and PoE support. Their equivalents in the new 3560 stackable line range in price from $4,795 to $9,495. The new Gigabit-enabled IP phone is $845.