Cisco Goes Back To Basics: LANs - InformationWeek

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Cisco Goes Back To Basics: LANs

Some may look at local area networks as yesterday's news, but Cisco Systems sees opportunity. Cisco on Tuesday launched hardware and software that will let LANs carry voice as well as data. The target market--midsize businesses and branch offices with up to 1,000 employees, which are rife with LAN wiring--is huge.

The bundle is an enhancement to Cisco's Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data line. It's designed to simplify the convergence of business apps running over LANs. It consists of the new Cisco Catalyst 3524-PWR XL switch, a single-rack unit switch with 24 10/1000 switched ports. The software increases the functionality of Cisco's Catalyst 3500 series XL and 2900 series XL desktop switches.

"The switch can automatically detect the types of IP devices--IP telephones, for example--connected to each of its ports," says Richard Martin, a Cisco product manager.

Components of the new bundle can be used by systems administrators to back up telephony connections throughout the office. To do so, systems administrators can create a centralized power-provisioning system with the Catalyst 3524-PWR XL, a redundant power supply, and an uninterruptible power-supply device in secured wiring closets.

The bundle also features cluster management via an online management tool that lets systems administrators view and manage a cluster of up to 16 switches remotely via a standard Web browser. The Catalyst 3524-PWR XL is available now, starting at $3,995. The 2900/3500 XL desktop switches start at $1,995.

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