Cisco Adds To Switch Lineup

The networking vendor added a Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switch to its Catalyst 3750 line of Layer 3 stackable switches, first unveiled in April. The new switch, the 3750G-12S, includes 12 small form-factor pluggable (SFP) Gigabit ports for connecting switches via optical fiber. The switch can also be stacked with up to eight other 3750 switches using StackWise, Cisco's 32-Gbps stack interconnect technology.

"By collapsing aggregation onto the stack, you eliminate the need for fiber between the wiring-closet switch and the aggregation switch, which produces cost savings," said Scott Boynton, senior product line manager for the Desktop Switching Business Unit at Cisco, San Jose, Calif. "It also becomes part of a single point of management."

The Catalyst 2970G-24TS switch is the latest addition to Cisco's 2970 family of stand-alone 10/100/1000 Layer 2 switches for branch offices and small workgroups. The new switch includes 24 ports and four SFP ports, adding the option for fiber connections to the line for the first time, Boynton said.

For solution providers, the new products offer more options for customers to choose from as they make the jump to Gigabit Ethernet, Boynton said.

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Since new PCs are shipping with Gigabit Ethernet cards and existing CAT 5 cabling is capable of running Gigabit Ethernet, the only thing customers need to upgrade is their switches, he said.

While cost is not a barrier to achieving Gigabit Ethernet on the desktop, few customers currently need it, said Michael Kennedy, managing partner at Network Strategy Partners, a networking consulting firm in Boston. "The technology has reached the point where it's not very expensive, so why not do it? However, the applications aren't really there that need that speed," Kennedy said.

The Catalyst 3750G-12S and 2970G-24TS are priced at $7,795 and $5,495, respectively. Both switches are available now.