Cisco’s Complete Network in a Box

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Cisco’s Complete Network in a Box
G. Duhaime - June 16, 2000

Event Summary

In May Cisco Systems, Inc. introduced a new high performance device targeted for mid-sized companies with 250-1000 employees to its LAN switching product line. This Catalyst switch is based on Cisco's Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data (AVVID) technology.

The new Catalyst 3524-PWR-XL is best described as a "Complete Network in a Box". This device is leveraging Cisco's AVVID Technology and giving mid-sized companies the flexibility to deploy Voice- over-IP, Video, and Data Applications within a single device. This device also includes an inline power module to go along with the state of the art technology.

Along with the addition of the Catalyst 3524-PWR-XL, Cisco has updated the IOS for the 3500 and 2900 series of switches to include a more robust Quality of Service (QoS), integrated management capabilities and security. This enhanced QoS will provide LAN Edge Class of Service (CoS) based on IEEE 802.1p. This will give mid-sized customers the ability to set the priority of the data that traverses the network.

Market Impact

The Cisco Catalyst 3524-PWR-XL provides mid-sized companies a single medium that will let them build their entire infrastructure around this device. Furthermore, by leveraging the technology built into the device, these companies will be able to set-up cost efficient telephone networks and Policy Based data networks.

How? The Catalyst 3524-PWR-XL is designed to ensure the highest degree of network uptime and reliability. This device has incorporated an integrated in-line power system, which is capable of automatically detecting the type of IP connection to each port on the device. This automatic detection allows for IP-based telephones to be powered with 48 volts DC with standard category 5 cabling. This in-line power system will also allow for all telephone connections to remain intact if building power is lost.

User Recommendations

The Cisco Catalyst 3524-PWR-XL (available today) is the most complete network device to date. This option packed device is the beginning of the totally converged IP-network for mid-sized companies. With the combination of this feature rich Catalyst switch, and Cisco's new IP Phones introduced last month, Cisco can currently provide an excellent combination of equipment to form the core of a converged network for mid-sized companies.

Having the proper equipment is one thing as networks converge, but Cisco has also upgraded the IOS in the Catalyst 3524 to include port-based classification. Port-based classification will allow for traffic to be prioritized based on criticality of the data. An example of this would be to give application traffic and voice traffic a higher priority than web browsing. This is an extremely important function as converged networks move forward.

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