Cisco Switches Have An Edge

 
 
By Caron Carlson  |  Posted 2003-08-25
 
 
 

Encouraging the migration of gigabit Ethernet to the edge of the enterprise network, Cisco Systems Inc. is launching two fixed-configuration switches that combine the high-bandwidth connectivity with intelligent edge services.

Many enterprises that have installed Gigabit Ethernet at the core of the network are now interested in pushing it to workstations to deploy applications more easily and reliably.

Cisco is championing its Catalyst 3750G-12S switch—the latest in the 3750 Series, which was designed to improve LAN efficiency—for its resilience and edge-aggregation features. Unlike the earlier 3750 switches, it was built as an aggregation box and can be used to combine wiring closets or workstations. It can also be integrated into a stack of switches.

Portland State University started deploying the 3750 Series this spring to provide Gigabit Ethernet services throughout the campus and improve performance and security. The switches perform 10 times faster than the 2900 Series switches that were in place, and the support cost from Cisco is significantly less, said Jon Snyder, the universitys senior network engineer.

Portland States network serves 28,000 to 30,000 users in 35 buildings on the main campus, in Oregon. Network administrators were interested in the management encryption features provided by the switches, Snyder said.

"There are definitely students who have succeeded in gaining unauthorized access to our servers," Snyder said, adding that so far there have been no direct attacks on the network infrastructure.

The advanced QOS (quality-of-service) features of the switch also interested Portland State because the campus is beginning to experiment with voice over IP, Snyder said. In addition, the campus may provide network services to businesses renting space in its buildings, which will necessitate QOS, he said.

Portland State also tested the Catalyst 2970G-24TS switch, but it does not have an application for it, Snyder said. According to Scott Boynton, senior product line manager for Ciscos Desktop Switching Business Unit, in San Jose, Calif., the latest in the 2970 Series is well-suited to small or branch offices that want to take advantage of Gigabit Ethernet on the desktop but do not need the routing capabilities of the 3750 Series.

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