New Cisco switch offers larger network building blocks

Cisco Systems Inc. this week unveiled a new network switching solution targeted at managers of

networks in midsize organizations.

The product, which Cisco calls its "Catalyst Mid-Market LAN Switching Solution," includes

network switches that company officials said they intend to market to organizations and agency

departments with 250 to 1000 employees.

The solution includes Cisco's Catalyst 3548 XL — which comes with 48 ports to which desktop

computers can be connected — and the Catalyst 2948G-L3 routing backbone switch, which also

includes 48 ports.

The 48-port capacity of the switches should fit well with midsize organizations that may prefer

to buy switches in larger "building blocks" rather than 12-port or 24-port switches, according

to company officials. "You've got to look at your network in a series of building blocks," said

Bill Rossi, senior director of marketing for Cisco.

But the switches don't take up a lot more space. "This just gives a higher port density," said

Dave Kunath, a network engineer who has been testing one of the new Cisco switches at the NASA

Glenn Research Center. "... It definitely saves on rack space since it's the same profile."

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