Cisco adds to Gigabit Ethernet line

Cisco Systems Inc.’s recently released Catalyst 3750G 12S Gigabit Ethernet switch allows customers to aggregate connections from wiring closets or data centers.

Like other members of the 3750 family, which was introduced in April, the latest model includes Cisco’s StackWise technology, which lets users manage a stack of 3750s as if it were a single chassis-based box. The 3750 sports 12 small form-factor pluggable ports, enabling users to make the move from copper to fiber.

Portland State University in Oregon plans to use between 15 and 20 of the 3750G 12S switches to take traffic from the school’s wiring closets back into its core network, said Jon Snyder, senior network engineer with the university. The switches will replace older Cisco 2900 and 5500 boxes.

“We really like the stacking feature,” Snyder said. “And the IPv6 support is attractive from a longevity perspective.”

Snyder noted that because any switch in a StackWise group can act as a master switch, a stack of 3750s can be as fault-tolerant as a chassis-based switch.

Demand for Gigabit Ethernet switching is increasing, said Scott Boynton, senior manager of product marketing for Cisco’s desktop switching business unit.

Desktops can’t drive 1Gbps, but Boynton noted there is an advantage for some power users if they can get 200Mbps instead of 100Mbps.

“If you’re pulling a lot of spreadsheets or Powerpoint or database access off of central storage and you can pull it at twice the rate that will add up to a cost savings to the person and the corporation, because that person will be able to work faster on their files,” he said.

Since PCs now ship with 10/100/1000Mbps cards, there’s not a huge price difference between 100Mbps and 1Gbps, Boynton added.

In addition to the 3750G 12S, Cisco unveiled the Catalyst 2970G 24TS, designed for small and medium business as well as enterprise branch offices. The switch has 24 copper ports and four small form-factor pluggable ports for uplinks.

“One difference in our configurations and others is we don’t do the either/or on the last ports,” Boynton said. “Ours is a true 24 plus four switch.”

The Catalyst 3750G 12S is available now at a list price of US$7,995. The Catalyst 2970G 24TS is also available now at US$5,495.