Enterasys unveils Power over Ethernet products

Enterasys Networks Inc. is readying wiring closet switches aimed at supporting Gigabit Ethernet desktop clients while powering devices such as IP phones and Wi-Fi access points over Ethernet cables.

The Matrix C2 series of switches will include 24-port and 48-port models that support 10/100/1000Mbps connections, as well 10 Gigabit uplinks and power over Ethernet. The boxes could help businesses that are anticipating future Gigabit desktop deployments, as well as companies supporting VoIP or Wi-Fi rollouts.

Each copper port on the Matrix C2 switches supports triple-speed Ethernet and IEEE 802.af Power over Ethernet. Both models also include dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can allow the switches to uplink to a 10G Ethernet switch. This could allow an organization to eliminate LAN aggregation switches, which connect wiring closet and core boxes, and tie the LAN edge directly to the backbone. This could make corporate LANs less complex and cheaper to manage, Enterasys says, since less switch equipment is required in such a configuration.

The 10G ports on the switches can also be used to tie together Matrix C2 boxes in a stack configuration with a 20Gbps interconnect among boxes in a stack. This allows stacked Matrix C2s switches to be managed as a single, virtual chassis with one IP address.

In addition to providing connectivity and power, the switches also fit into Enterasys’ Trusted End System framework for securing access LAN switch ports. The devices support 802.1x authentication, and can work with Enterasys’ Policy Manager server, as well as third-party RADIUS for authentication and security assessment servers, which can inspect virus and operating system information on client machines. This setup would allow network administrators to control access to a LAN based on end user profiles and keep machines off the network that may be infected with viruses or have unpatched operating system software.

The Matrix C2 series switches are available now and cost US$4,500 to US$13,000.

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