Cisco upgrades switches to give IT managers more control

Networking company Cisco has upgraded its lower-end Catalyst 6500 switches with new technology that will allow IT administrators optimisation of applications running over the network and deep packet inspection capabilities.

An upgraded version of the company's Supervisor Engine 32 module includes an integrated add-on technology called the Programmable Intelligent Services Accelerator (PISA), which integrates the ability to analyse stateful and stateless application traffic flows for security protection, compliance with corporate policies and managing network resource usage onto the switch itself.

This ability to prioritise traffic means that administrators could limit or block applications on the network in line with corporate policies. The company also said that the upgraded routers would provide protection against notable worms and viruses and zero-day exploits in the campus edge using its Flexible Packet Matching (FPM) technology.

Cisco has also expanded its 7200 Series line with the Cisco 7201, which is a smaller router with higher performance and low power consumption. It comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports in a compact rack unit form factor.

Analysts said that collaboration tools, software as a service, security, mobility, and numerous other traffic types are changing application traffic flows and driving a need for more advanced services at the network edge.

"These changing flows are causing network managers to look beyond basic monitoring to find solutions that provide greater visibility and control as an integral part of the network," said Abner Germanow, Director of Enterprise Networks Research at IDC.

The Cisco Catalyst 6500 SeriesSupervisor Engine 32 with PISA Technology will be available in June and will cost $28,000 (14,000). The Cisco 7201 Series Router is available now and priced at $24,000 (12,000).

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.