Cisco powers up router, switches for smart grids

Cisco unveils new switch and router

Cisco this week is unveiling a switch and a router designed to help utilities construct IP-based infrastructures for power delivery, monitoring and control.

Cisco has said it expects the market for smart grid communications infrastructure to be $20 billion annually over five years.

Network World's New Products of the Week slideshow

The new products are the Connected Grid Router 2010 (CGR 2010) and Connected Grid Switch 2520 (CGR 2520). Both run Cisco's IOS software and are based on existing Cisco products for enterprise networks, but support power utility-specific standards and protocols, such as supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA.

The CGR 2010 is based on Cisco's Integrated Services Router, of which 8 million are installed. It features four slots for housing Gigabit Ethernet fiber or copper LAN and WAN interfaces.

The switch, the CGS 2520, comes in two four-slot versions: one sports 24 10/100BASE-TX ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks; and the other features 16 Fast Ethernet SFP ports, eight 10/100BASE-TX and Power over Ethernet ports, and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. These switches are based on Cisco's Catalyst 2000 and 3000 series devices.

Two software images are available for the CGS 2520 -- one for Layer 2 services only and the other for Layer 3 IP services.The products also support cybersecurity features to help utilities comply with North American Electric Reliability Corp. / Critical Infrastructure Protection standards. They include Cisco's Intrusion-Prevention System and Cisco Network Access Control capabilities, MPLS VPNs, firewalls, user/device identity and access control capability.

The products also adhere to IEEE 1613 and IEC61850-3 standards for utility substation environments, including the ability to withstand a broad range of temperatures, as well as extended protection against electrical surges and electromagnetic interference.

For network and power distribution management, both products are designed to capture and analyze information from multiple intelligent electronic devices in the substation. This helps utility operators identify, isolate, diagnose and, in some cases, automatically repair faults.

Citing industry research, Cisco says implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce carbon emissions globally by 12%.

Pricing for both products start at about $6,000. The router will be available in July while the switch will be available in August.

Read more about lans and wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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Jim Duffy

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