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Cisco goes power-crazy

New stackable Gig and fan-less switches are all-PoE

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Cisco has announced a bunch of Gigabit and Power-over Ethernet (PoE) switches at its annual Networkers beanfest in Cannes.

The new switches include the Catalyst 3750-E stackable, its standalone sibling the 3560-E, and the fan-less and silent 2960 and 3560 Compact models. Cisco also announced a stonking 8700W power supply for the Catalyst 6500, enabling it to supply 420 devices with 15.4W of PoE each.

The 3750-E and 3560-E have 24 or 48 Gig ports, all of them powered, plus optional Gig or 10Gig uplinks via a slot which takes either an SFP adapter for Gig fibre or a X2 module for 10G fibre. The 3750-E also supports the same proprietary 64Gbit/s stack interconnect as older 3750 family members.

"The 3750 is one of the most popular switches we have. This gives it a 10Gig capability and allows you to add that to an existing stack," said Cisco marketeer Neil Walker.

It is also the first 3750 to offer a full 15.4W of PoE on all its ports - previous models had some ports powered and some unpowered. Walker added that the switch handshakes with PoE devices to determine how much power they actually need and adjusts its output accordingly.

A 24-port Catalyst 3750-E lists for $9495 (£4840), while the non-stackable 3560-E starts at $5995 (£3055). Both will be available from February.

Cisco said that the fan-less 3560 and 2960 Compact Switches are intended for noise-sensitive areas such as classrooms and meeting rooms. All have eight ports and are available now - the 2960 has 10/100 and Gig versions, priced from $895 (£456), while the 3560 Compact is 10/100 with PoE on all eight ports, and costs $1395 (£711).

The company also added an in-service software upgrade (ISSU) capability to the Catalyst 4500. This will allow admins to upgrade a switch's IOS operating system without having to take it offline.

Cisco previously supported ISSU only on the Cat 6500 and carrier switches such as the CSR-1, Walker said.

Finally, the company introduced a backup power system for its stackable switches and routers. The Redundant Power System 2300 connects to as many as six devices, and can supply one or two of them with power should their internal power supply fail. ®

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