Cisco introduces new access switch and other enhancements to its metro Ethernet switching portfolio

20 January 2004 San Jose, CA Lightwave--Cisco Systems today announced significant product additions and enhancements to its metro Ethernet switching portfolio that will help service providers deliver scaleable, profitable and differentiated metro Ethernet services to their business customers.

Jan 20th, 2004

20 January 2004 San Jose, CA Lightwave--Cisco Systems today announced significant product additions and enhancements to its metro Ethernet switching portfolio that will help service providers deliver scaleable, profitable and differentiated metro Ethernet services to their business customers.

The announcement includes the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro Series, a line of fixed configuration, customer-located switches that bring greater intelligence and flexibility to metro access networks. It also includes a new 48-port Mixed-Media Gigabit Ethernet module for the Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and product enhancements to its Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series switches.

Also included are new performance benchmarks for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco 7600 Series. The benchmarks comprise scalability results of one million IPv4 routes, 500,000 IPv6 routes or 800,000 MPLS virtual private network (VPN) routes for large scale deployments of L2 and L3 VPN networks.

"For our Carrier Ethernet Service, we chose Cisco in this instance because their metro Ethernet product portfolio, including the Cisco 7600 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series, helps enable us to build a scalable and reliable, service-driven, high-speed Ethernet Swiss-wide network," said Heinz Herren, head of Marketing Swisscom-Fixnet Wholesale.

"We have tried and tested the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro Series equipment and found that it provides us architectural flexibility and intelligent service delivery mechanisms to build a scalable and reliable service-driven metro network. Both our business and operator customers are looking for higher bandwidth with increased granularity. With advanced quality of service (QoS) features, MPLS features and improved VLAN-tunneling capabilities, we are able to provide better service level agreements (SLAs) to our customers," added Ari Brand, development manager, Elisa Networks/Capacity Services.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro Series access switch offers unique capabilities that will help enable service providers to deliver more differentiated metro Ethernet services such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs with service SLAs to their business customers. With redundant AC/DC power and flexible software options, the switch also offers a cost-effective path for meeting current and future metro business service needs.

The new 48-port Mixed-Media Gigabit Ethernet module for the Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series offers service providers increased architectural flexibility as they design scalable metro networks. This module is ideal for high-performance metro deployments and features 48 "mix and match" small form-factor optics to address a full range of media types and distances. In addition, this module features 40-Gbit/sec switch fabric connections and 9K Jumbo Frame size support and is upgradeable to distributed forwarding capability (DFC3A).

New features such as VLAN translation and class of service (CoS) mutation on the Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series allow deployment of highly scalable Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN service capabilities. VLAN translation provides Layer 2 VPN subscribers more efficient access to additional services such as Internet access and IP VPN by allowing these users to utilize their existing VLAN tags instead of service provider-coordinated VLAN tags. CoS mutation also gives service providers the capability to preserve end-user QoS across the service provider network, thereby improving the richness of their Layer 2 VPN service offering.

New Cisco IOS 802.1Q tunneling capabilities on the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series give service providers a cost-effective, mid-density infrastructure option for deploying transparent LAN services to their business customers. This enhancement gives providers the ability to utilize a single VLAN for transporting and preserving customers' multiple internal VLANs across their metro network.

By combining this Cisco IOS enhancement with the recently announced Cisco IOS MPLS virtual private LAN service (VPLS) on the Cisco 7600 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series, service providers can now scale their transparent LAN services to support more customers over broader geographic areas. By providing Ethernet-based multipoint VPN connectivity over a scalable MPLS network, Cisco VPLS gives service providers increased support for end-customer peer-to-peer applications.

"The Cisco 7600 enhancements, the Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 4500 enhancements and the new Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro provide the type of increased service flexibility and intelligence that service providers require for current investments in their metro networks," says Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research. "In today's environment, providers are thinking 'services first' and are planning many services beyond their current offerings--they often find they must architect their metro networks with a mix of technologies and intelligent features."

Pricing and availability
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro 24-AC Switch is $6,995 (starting list price). The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro 24-DC Switch is $7,995. The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro IP Services Feature License is $3,000. The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro Advanced IP Feature License is $12,000. The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Metro IP Services to Advanced IP upgrade License is $9,000. All of these products and licenses are expected to become available at the end of this month. The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 48-port Mixed-Media Gigabit Ethernet Module is $25,000 (starting list price) with availability planned for the end of February.

The Cisco IOS software with the latest metro features is available now for the Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series. The software is scheduled for release in February for the Cisco Catalyst 4500 and 3750 Metro Series.

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