Cisco Refreshes Portfolio for SMB Networks

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Cisco this week announced a number of new products in its small and mid-sized business portfolio. Specifically, the company refreshed its lineup with new managed Ethernet switches, IP phones and security cameras.


The Cisco 300 series managed switch will be positioned between the unmanaged 100 series and the higher-end 500 series switches. Designed with support for IPv6, Cisco says that the new system will cut energy consumption by as much as 74 percent. In comparison to older command-line models from other network equipment maker or those based on Cisco's enterprise IOS operating system, the 300 series runs on the Linux OS. This allowed Cisco to create a wide range of management settings than can be configured through a Web browser, which ranges from virtual LAN settings to quality of service.


In a bid to lower the IT administration barrier to SMBs, the Cisco 300 series comes with a feature called the "FindIT" toolbar, a browser add-on for Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Elaborating on how this works, Mark Monday, vice-president and general manager of Cisco's small business technology group told InternetNews.com:

FindIT allows the user to find Cisco and other network devices, and then you can click through to get to the management page for the device. It takes the ugliness out of trying to search through IP addresses to find the box.

Models with between eight and 48 ports of Fast Ethernet or 10 and 52 ports of Gigabit Ethernet are available. MSRP starts at $217; most new models in this series are available now.


Three new IP desk phone models were also unveiled, including the Cisco SPA 525G2 IP Phone with Wi-Fi capability and a unique Mobile Link feature. As I understand it, Mobile Link uses Bluetooth to seamlessly link up a mobile phone so that the call is carried through the IP desk phone's headset. Two other entry-level phones under the SPA300 Series rounds up Cisco's IP phone offerings. The SPA 525G2 has a MSRP of $430 while the two models in the SPA 300 series are priced at $83 and $125.


Finally, Cisco introduced two new IP cameras, the indoor Cisco VC 220 Dome IP Video Camera and the outdoor Cisco VC 240 Bullet IP Video Camera. The VC 220 is designed for both well-lit and low-light situation, while the VC 240 comes with weatherproof housing. They are priced at $794 and $921 respectively. In addition, new video software called the Cisco Advanced Video Monitoring System (AVMS) serves to give businesses the ability to easily control and monitor up to 64 cameras.