Cisco Unleashes New Stackable Switches

The Catalyst 3750 line features Stackwise, a new Cisco architecture that utilizes a 32-Gbps stack interconnect to collectively manage up to nine individual switches, said Kathy Hill, vice president and general manager of the desktop switching business unit at Cisco.

"It gives customers the ability to manage individual switches as one logical unit, both from the control sense and the data sense," Hill said.

Cisco's push to offer Gigabit Ethernet support in its stackable switches comes in response to the PC industry trend to build the technology into new computers, Hill said.

"This year we'll start to see every desktop have a Gigabit Ethernet connection. If you upgrade your PCs, they're going to have it," Hill said.

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The Catalyst 3750 series switches will give solution providers an entrance point to offer solutions for Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop and help them address the market's need for resiliency and ease of operation, she said.

To provide resiliency, the Stackwise architecture also includes automatic failover capabilities, whereby any switch in the stack can take over for the master switch if it fails, Hill said.

In addition, any switch in the stack that fails or loses power can be swapped out for a new switch, which will automatically configure itself to the same software version and settings as its predecessor, she said.

The line offers Cisco's highest-density stackable Gigabit support to date, with 24 Gigabit ports, she said.

The line also supports both IP v. 4 and v. 6.

Targeted at customers with small and midsize wiring closets, enterprise branch offices and data centers with space constraints, the Catalyst 3750 line is scheduled for general availability in June.

The line includes four products: Catalyst 3750G-24TS with 24 10/100/1000 ports andh four small form-factor pluggable (SFP) uplinks, starting at $6,995; Catalyst 3750G-24T with 24 10/100/1000 ports, starting at $5,995; Catalyst 3750-24TS with 24 10/100 ports and two SFP uplinks, starting at $4,995; and Catalyst 3750-48TS with 48 10/100 ports and four SFP uplinks, starting at $9,995.

Each switch is upgradable to an enhanced multilayer software image.