Ciscos Integrated Services Router Line Branches Out

Cisco is extending its new Integrated Services Router line to small branch offices as well as giving it secure wireless capabilities.

Cisco Systems Inc. this week at Interop in Las Vegas will extend its new Integrated Services Router line to small branch offices, small and midsize businesses, and remote workers when it introduces the Cisco 800 and Cisco 1800 Series fixed-configuration ISRs.

The company will also announce plans to add secure wireless capabilities across its entire ISR line of access routers, which came out last fall and has an installed base of more than 100,000.

The Cisco 800, with one WAN port, and the Cisco 1800, with two WAN ports, provide a mix of advanced security functions, 802.11a/ b/g WLAN (wireless LAN) connectivity, 10/100M-bps Ethernet switching and remote management.

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"Customers are trying to build integrated systems to have a highly available, easy-to-manage network thats self-defending so they can add new applications. Routing and switching is paramount to that strategy," said Jeanne Dunne, senior director for switching and routing at Cisco, in San Jose, Calif.

For Watt Commercial Properties Inc., the new integrated wireless support allows users to be added or deleted as projects in remote offices dictate, said Dan Campbell, CIO at the Santa Monica, Calif., company.

"We also wanted to make sure these offices were secure and could be centrally administered, since we dont have any IT staff at those offices," Campbell said.

The Cisco 1800 ISR family includes five models with different broadband Ethernet or DSL connectivity options. The group provides an IPS (intrusion prevention system), network access control, a dynamic multipoint VPN and embedded hardware acceleration. Its backup WAN port supports ISDN or an analog modem. The devices range in cost from $1,295 to $1,395. Cisco also announced a POE (power over Ethernet) option with an eight-port switch for the 1800.

Ciscos 800 Series models support a mix of integrated QOS (quality of service); security, including a VPN, a firewall, network access control and embedded hardware acceleration; and a range of DSL connectivity options. The 850 and 870 models provide a managed four-port switch and support 802.11b and 802.11g. They range in price from $399 to $649.

Single-band 802.11b/g and dual-band 802.11a/b/g interface cards are due for the modular Cisco 1841, 2800 and 3800 next quarter. Cisco is also adding new 16-, 24- and 48-port EtherSwitch Network Modules with POE for the Cisco 2800 and 3800 ISRs for higher densities.

In other news, Cisco last week announced it would acquire privately held Sipura Technology Inc. for $68 million. The purchase bolsters Ciscos Linksys wireless division, adding Sipuras well-known Small Office/Home Office VOIP (voice over IP) technology. Sipura will be integrated into Ciscos Linksys division, said Cisco officials.

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