With the convergence of voice, video and data within enterprise networks comes the need for increased management and control over these functions. With that in mind, Cisco Systems last month introduced a new addition to its Catalyst 4000 platform, allowing existing customers to get in the driver’s seat of converged networking.

The San Jose, Calif.- based company announced the Supervisor Engine III for the Catalyst 4006 series of switches, which enables Cisco enterprise and metro Ethernet customers using the Catalyst 4000 family of modular switches to roll out converged networks quickly and cost-effectively, the company said.

According to Brad Danitz, Cisco product manager with the gigabit switching group in San Jose, the new enhancements in the Supervisor Engine III bring a performance increase and a new set of features that can be extended to all of the existing line cards without customers having to do a forklift upgrade of those line cards.

“One of the trends in the industry is that IP Ethernet data networking infrastructures are trending down in price,” Danitz said. “In order to actually deliver a robust network and in order to converge your technologies requires a certain amount of traffic differentiation and control. The Supervisor Engine III delivers that in the form of enhanced quality of service (QoS) capabilities, enhanced multicast capabilities, more robust security mechanisms and enhancements and simplification to the management of your network.”

The enhanced QoS capabilities include integrated Layer 2/3/4-based QoS and new traffic management functionality, which classify and prioritize mission-critical and time-sensitive traffic. Cisco said the system also has the ability to rate-limit bandwidth-intensive traffic with mechanisms including input and output monitors based on user, network and application information. The Supervisor Engine III also offers a wirespeed of 48 million packets per second (pps) forwarding rate in hardware for both Layer 2 and Layer