Cisco Extends Catalyst Switching Products to Small, Medium and Mid-Sized Businesses

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Cisco Systems, Inc. announced today the availability of a suite of new Cisco Catalyst switching products specifically designed and priced for small, medium (SMBs) and mid-sized businesses. 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.

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 August of this year within Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Cisco SMB-Class is an initiative to deliver tailored networking business solutions to meet the unique requirements of growing businesses worldwide.

Right Sized Business Solutions
Cisco developed SMB-Class to offer integrated solutions which suit the needs of SMB and mid-sized customers, meeting their current technology requirements as well as providing a framework for the development of new technologies in the future, said John Mason, vice president Mid-Market and Medium Enterprises, Cisco Systems, Europe, Middle East & Africa. The new suite of Catalyst switching solutions together with the recently announced Cisco integrated services routers, further proves Ciscos commitment to these markets, and will make it even easier and more cost-effective for SMBs and mid-sized businesses to build secure, reliable, and flexible networks.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Meet SMB and Mid-sized Business Requirements
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/Mid-sized business optimized line cards including 6- and 24-port configurations. These extensions are designed to uniquely match small, medium and mid-sized business requirements while offering features and functionality previously reserved for high-end platforms. This includes patent pending self-defending security features that help SMBs and mid-sized businesses 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 and mid-sized business 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.

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