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Cisco touts redundancy, security features on its new Catalyst 4500 series

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Cisco this week announced its Catalyst 4500 series modular switches with improved redundancy over the company's previous midsize chassis.

The Catalyst 4500 family of switches is designed to sit in the wiring closets of large enterprises and provide resilient connectivity, as well as features such as quality of service, port-level security and in-line power to desktop devices, such as IP phones, or other network end points such as wireless LAN stations or Web cameras. The box could also sit in a branch office and provide integrated LAN and WAN connections.

Three chassis are part of the Catalyst 4500 series: the seven-slot 4507R with integrated, redundant supervisory engines; The 4506, a six-slot version; and the 4503, with three slots.

The 4507R and 4506 can both support up to 240 10/100/1000Base-T connections, and have a switching capacity of 64G bit/sec. The 4503 can support 96 10/100/1000M bit/sec ports and has a backplane of 28G bit/sec. All three chassis can accept Catalyst 4000 series supervisor modules, as well as LAN, WAN and cards, such as in-line power and T-1 modules.

A new Supervisor IV engine for the Catalyst 4000 family can be installed for subminute failover in the new Catalyst 4507R chassis, or as a single supervisor module in the Catalyst 4006 and 4500 series boxes. The module, which provides switching intelligence for each box, also supports NetFlow as an option, which can be used to collect data for monitoring application performance or overall switch activity.

Cisco has also added new LAN switch security features to its IOS software for all Catalyst switches. Switches can now be configured with 802.1x for user-level authentication, and line-rate Access Control Lists, for blocking groups, or individual users from accessing network resources. Also added was Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Tracker, for physically locating what port an end user is attached to via their dynamically-allocated IP address.

The Catalyst 4507R, 4006 and 4503 cost $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000 respectively; all three chassis are available now. Also available is the Supervisor IV engine, starting at $13,500.


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