Cisco Rolls Out Upgraded Metro Ethernet Switches

Delivering Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to enterprise customers is clearly one strategy that today's carriers are eyeing as a means for gaining new revenue streams. To help in these efforts, Cisco has spun its Catalyst 3750 platform, a fixed-port system that resides at the customer premises.

The 3750 comes equipped with 24 10/100 ports as well as two small form-factor pluggable (SFP) ports for Gigabit Ethernet pipes. The systems also provides two additional SFP ports for providing Gigabit Ethernet uplinks into the metro network.

The two uplink ports each deliver three levels of queuing, said Wesley Mukai, manager of product and technical marketing at Cisco. Each port can support 1000 virtual LAN (VLAN) queues, and each VLAN queue has four queues associated with it. Thus, by offering this layered approach, each of the uplink ports can support up to 4000 queues, Mukai said.

The 3750 delivers support for multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), 802.1q and virtual private networking (VPN). It also provides a hot-swappable AC or DC redundant supplies.

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Complementing its work on the 3750 front, Cisco has also made some additions to its existing Catalyst 4500, 6500 and 7600 media platforms. On the 4500 front, Cisco has added support layer 2 VPN capabilities to the Metro Ethernet platform. For the 6500 and 7600, Cisco has crafted a 48-port mixed-media module that allows carriers to implement both fiber and copper connections in the same module.

The Catalyst 3750 and the mixed-media module for the 6500 and 7600 are available now. The Layer 2 VPN capabilities for the 4500 will be available by late February.

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