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Gone are the days when programming a Layer 3 Ethernet switch required special training or certifications. The Cisco SG300-10MP 10-port Gigabit PoE Managed Switch is easy to administer from start to finish, and even provides useful feedback about its status on the network the moment it's powered up.
Designed for any size organization, the 300 Series comprises models from eight-port 100-Mbit units to its high-end 50-port Gigabit enterprise devices. For testing, Cisco sent the CRN Test Center a 10-port unit, with eight powered Gigabit ports for copper, and another two non-powered ports than can handle copper or optical connections with optional GBIC adapters.
The handsome 1U device measures 11 inches wide, and includes brackets for rack mounting and rubber feet for shelf locations. A serial port permits out-of-band command-line administration, when necessary.
Not that Cisco intends its target users -- typical office personnel -- to be whipping out those old DB-9 cables any time soon. With software this easy, there's certainly little reason to do so. Cisco's 300 Series managed switches are designed to be maintained by the end-user, people that are usually more interested in processing orders from their small business's Web site than in mucking around with IT technologies and protocols.