48-Port Switch Extends Ciscos Reach
In the time since eweek labs finished testing the cisco Systems Inc. Catalyst 3550 24-port product, the company has released the 48-port version.In the time since eweek labs finished testing the cisco Systems Inc. Catalyst 3550 24-port product, the company has released the 48-port version, thus expanding the Cisco product line to fixed-configuration devicesan area where the company has not always led the market. When we tested the 24-port version, we used Spirent Communications Inc.s SmartBit 6000 chassis and SmartFlow test suite to gauge the performance of the box. Our results showed that, as expected, the Catalyst 3550-24 handles wire-speed traffic with no drops or faults. Although we werent able to test the 48-port version (which costs $5,795 with the standard software and $7,790 with the enhanced software) for this review, it is almost certain that the throughput performance of the 48-port version is also wire-speed, as might be expected.
Now that wire-speed performance has been relegated to check-box status on 10/100M-bps switches, the real questions move to an area thats more difficult to quantifymanageability and what well call daily performance. Ciscos Cluster Management feature and increasingly GUI-ified device setup made initial setup and detailed configuration of the virtual private network, access control lists and rate-limiting features of the Catalyst 3550-24 much easier than doing the same thing at the command-line interface.