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Cisco Refreshes Catalyst Series Switches

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As part of a larger trend that is bringing a broad range of enterprise-class IT products into the small-to-medium business (SMB) market, Cisco this week added a Gigabit Ethernet switch to its Catalyst product line.

Unveiled at the Cisco Partner Summit 2013 conference, the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X series doubles the amount of bandwidth and ports available in a Cisco Catalyst switch at the same price point as the company’s existing series of Catalyst switches.

According to Prashanth Shenoy, product marketing manager in the Network Systems and Security Solutions Marketing Group at Cisco, increases in network traffic coupled with the rise of new types of voice and video traffic are increasing demand for network bandwidth across organizations of all sizes. While most organizations don’t upgrade their Ethernet switches more than one every five years on average, a confluence of events spanning everything from mobile to cloud computing is putting pressure on existing networks that were never designed to support a broad range of latency-sensitive applications.

Shenoy says the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X series provides up to 384 Gigabit Ethernet ports while consuming 80 percent less power than previous generations of switches.

Cisco later this year will also add support for OnePK, which is the application programming interface that is at the heart of Cisco’s software-defined network strategy.

Shenoy says that as IT continues to evolve in the SMB space, customers are looking to rely on more automated IT management services delivered by Cisco and its partners, largely because they can’t afford to invest in the expertise needed to run higher-end systems. That doesn’t mean they still don’t need access to those products and services; it just means that one of the primary benefits of the cloud will be the fact that SMB organizations can increasingly rely on somebody else to manage them.

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