Cisco Offers New Switches, VPN Firewall for SMBs

Cisco is adding to its SMB portfolio of products with the new Cisco 100 Series switches that offer out-of-the-box Ethernet connectivity, a new VPN firewall for more secure Internet connections and new products that will enable service providers to offer enhanced hosted communications services to SMBs.

Cisco Systems is rolling out a host of new networking gear and services designed to make it easier for SMBs to more easily leverage the Internet and grow their communications capabilities.

Cisco's new offerings, announced April 14, include a new family of unmanaged networking switches that offer small businesses Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. Cisco officials said the 100 Series switches are only the first of what will be a growing portfolio of small businesses from the company.

The new switches will be available in June.

In addition, Cisco is offering SMBs the RV 120W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, designed to give smaller businesses-those with 20 or fewer employees-a secure pathway to the Internet. It includes integrated 802.11n wireless access and the ability to let multiple offices and remote workers tie into the company's network. Guests also will get secure access, and businesses can control access to files and applications.

The VPN (virtual private network) firewall is available now.

Cisco's SRP 526W and SRP 527W customer premises equipment for service providers. The new products are part of Cisco's larger SRP (Service Ready Platform) 500 Series and of Cisco's Hosted Small Business Communications, which is designed to let service providers host IP telephony services to small businesses.

The SRP 500 Series additions are available now.

"Cisco is focused on building reliable, affordable technologies that small businesses can easily use to connect their business to the world, help secure their business, and communicate more effectively," Rick Moran, vice president of marketing for Cisco Small Business Solutions, said in a statement.

In addition to the products, Cisco is unveiling its Small Business University, an online Website that offers partner training and tools around such areas as small business specialization and building a small business practice.