Cisco Compacts Catalyst Switches

This is just too cool.  I originally pased over this article from ComputerWorld today, thinking Cisco had just shrunk the size of their unwieldly sized box again.  Good for them.  Seems this is a little more than Cisco on Weight Watchers.  Cisco is looking to pursue the SMB and low-end commodity switch market, competing with HP, Adtran, Netgear, D-Link, and others.  A Billion Dollar market!

There will be five models available in March, sporting 8 to 12 Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 2 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks.  They will also include hardware acceleration for IPv6, IP multicast and access control lists.  The switches feature Power over Ethernet (PoE) pass-through, allowing them to draw 30 watts/port from PoE switches in the closet or the core, eliminating the requirement for dedicated power supplies or extra outlets.  They can be deployed up to 100 meters away from the wiring closet, and are fanless, meaning that they can be placed on or mounted under desktops and countertops, or even on a wall in your favorite home-office (note to loving wife).

Freak-me-out security features abound!   The C-Series switches support Cisco’s TrustSec technology, which determines  the role of users and devices in the network before granting resource access through defined policies.  These switches are also PCI compliant for regulatory compliance of payment transactions.  They encrypt all packets between the switch and the end device, blocking malicious snoops from eavesdropping between two endpoints.  Optional security lock and cable guards to prevent theft of the switch and unauthorized access to the cables area also available. 

Tools for simplified configuration and management, and QoS implementation for IP telephony and video are available, but I’m not sure if they are built-in or add-ons.  The switches can also be remotely managed, and support Cisco’s EnergyWise software for monitoring and managing energy consumption of attached devices.  EnergyWise turns off or powers down devices when they are not needed.

What will all this cost?  Pricing for the C-series ranges from $745 to $1,995.  I want one!!