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Cisco Rolls Out Virtual Switching Products For Web 2.0 Services

The company's Virtual Switching System 1440 makes two Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches look and act like one virtual switch.

Cisco Systems on Tuesday rolled out new offerings for its Catalyst switch product line to help businesses implement real-time communication and collaboration technologies, as well as video and Web 2.0 services.

Cisco believes that the network is at the center of innovation and collaboration, which is why the networking giant created its Campus Communications Fabric, a framework for building interactive campus networks using six attributes: application intelligence, unified network services, integrated security, virtualization, non-stop communications, and operational manageability.

"Business works differently now. Ideas come from everywhere. Negotiations and discussions come from everywhere. To keep pace, you need a different kind of network that can support apps that we haven't seen until now -- like Web 2.0 and telepresence," said Tere Bracco, senior manager of network systems at Cisco, in an interview.

Cisco's new Catalyst switch offerings are part of the Communications Fabric and are designed to accommodate new technologies without disruptive upgrades, while also helping businesses transition to video and Web 2.0, according to the company.

New offerings in the Communications Fabric include the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System 1440, which combines multiple Catalyst 6500 switches into one and scales system bandwidth capacity to 1.44 terabits per second; and the Cisco Catalyst 4500 E-Series with CenterFlex technology, which provides high network performance for rich applications.

"We believe that these are revolutionarily technologies. We're not asking customers to rip and replace, instead we're brining new capabilities to customers already installed," said Walt Blomquist, senior director of marketing for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series System, in an interview.

The Virtual Switching System 1440 makes two Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches to look and act like one virtual switch. As a result, network managers have a single point where they can configure and manage their network. And with 1.44 Tbps of capacity, the network is scalable enough to handle bandwidth-hungry apps like video. Businesses can upgrade to the virtual switching system by swapping out their Cisco Supervisor Engine.

The cost of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching Supervisor Engine ranges from $28,000 to $38,000.

The Catalyst 4500 E-Series with CenterFlex technology is Cisco's next-generation extension to the Catalyst 4500 Series. The CenterFlex technology provides four times the bandwidth per slot to enable services such as unified communications. There are 19 new technology patents filed by Cisco for CenterFlex to enhance security, quality of service, and performance of networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 4500 E-Series with CenterFlex technology costs $19,995.

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