Cisco enhances Catalyst switches

Extends product support for 802.11n wireless, 10G, PoE

Cisco this week enhanced its LAN switches with expanded support for wireless, 10G Ethernet and Power over Ethernet.

Cisco announced what it calls enhanced PoE capabilities across its Catalyst line, beginning with the Catalyst 3750-E and 3560-E Series, with the Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 4500-E Series scheduled to follow in the second quarter of this year. With ePoE, customers can power Cisco 802.11n wireless access points from a single switch port, Cisco says.

Cisco also rolled out new fixed 10G Ethernet aggregation switches in its Catalyst 3560-E Series, and added PoE support in its Catalyst 2960 Series switches.

The Catalyst 3750-E and 3650-E wiring closet and aggregation switches were unveiled a year ago. The enhancements are intended to enable customers to better support higher-performance applications and media-rich business collaboration, Cisco says, as well as smooth the migration path to 10G Ethernet and PoE for VoIP deployments.

The addition of ePoE enables single-port power to support the 802.11n Cisco Aironet 1250 access point, eliminating the need for a separate power injector, an additional Ethernet cable or a power cord, Cisco says. Enhanced PoE provides up to 18.5 watts per port on the Catalyst 3750-E and 3560-E switches.

PoE on the Catalyst 2960 is intended to help small and midsize businesses better support mobility and converged voice, data and video applications. Cisco also introduced the Catalyst 2960 Compact Powered Device, which receives power from an upstream PoE port, eliminating the need for an internal power supply.

PD extends the reach of the network beyond the wiring closet for collaborative work environments, Cisco says.

The 10G Ethernet switching additions to the Catalyst 3560-E line include a 12-port 10G Ethernet switch and a 12-port 1 Gigabit Ethernet switch with two 10G Ethernet ports. At one-rack unit footprints, the 3560E-12D and 3560E-12SD switches are targeted at space- and power-constrained environments needing support for real-time converged applications such as Cisco TelePresence, Cisco Unified Communications and "intensive" client-server applications, Cisco says. They also support IPv6 in addition to IPv4.

Enhanced PoE is included in the base software of the 3750-E and 3650-E. The 2960 switches with PoE are priced from US$1,800 to US$3,000.

The Powered Device costs US$795 and will be available in February.

The 3560E-12D costs US$20,000 and the 12SD costs US$16,000.

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Jim Duffy

Network World

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