Cisco launches compact Catalyst switches; Tackles wiring


Cisco launches compact Catalyst switches; Tackles wiring

By Larry Dignan | January 10, 2011, 2:01am PST

Cisco on Monday launched a compact set of Catalyst switches designed to cut out wireless clutter in remote offices, kiosks, point-of-sale areas and other tight spots.

The Catalyst 3560-C and 2960-C Compact Series Switches are being introduced as the National Retail Federation annual conference kicks off in New York. Cisco said that the switches apply to retail, but can work for a bevy of other verticals.

Rob Soderbery, general manager of Cisco’s Ethernet switching technology group, said Cisco sees $1 billion in potential revenue in the remote office and small- mid-sized business market. That business today is about $100 million for Cisco.

Among the key details:

  • The Compact Series means you can run one Ethernet cord and power phones, video cameras, point-of-sale terminals and other devices. Wiring is a substantial cost for many businesses.
  • Cisco said the switches feature Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. That eliminates the need for additional power outlets. Once you connect a device to the switch via an Ethernet cable you have power.
  • The small footprint works for classrooms and other areas with limited space. Deployment is simplified since wiring and power requirements are lower.
  • The Compact Series are PCI compliant to meet security regulations. Packets at the switch and end device are encrypted at the source.
  • Soderbery said Cisco’s latest switches are likely to compete with commodity white-box switches that are low cost upfront, but have high costs over time. The Compact Series will be available in March and range from $745 to $1,995 per box.

As for the competition, Soderbery noted that Cisco is going to compete with smaller vendors ranging from Extreme to the former Nortel. Hewlett-Packard has also been “trying to insert itself into the upgrade cycle,” said Soderbery. “Our strategy is to offer a wide range of price points and offer end-to-end architecture.”