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Cisco unveils hybrid wireless-wired network access kit

29 Jan 2013
Cisco Live 2013 in London

Cisco has unveiled new products aimed at helping businesses manage the growing number of devices accessing their networks on both wired and wireless connections.

The two devices, the Catalyst 3850 Switch and 5760 Wireless LAN Controller, are part of the firm's new Unified Access strategy, designed to meet the evolving needs of customers' network needs.

The stackable Catalyst 3850 has wired capabilities including 48 ports, with wireless tools including support for 802.11ac, CleanAir access and a the ability to offer 30Gbit/s data transfer capabilities.

Meanwhile, the 5760 Wireless LAN Controller can offer 60GBit/s data rates, a six times improvement on its previous top device, and can handle up to 1,000 access points.

Both products were unveiled at the firm's Cisco Live event in London, attended by V3.

The firm's chief technology officer, Padmarsee Warrior, said the tools were part of the firm's move to simplify and enhance the network management for its customers as issues such as bring your own device, cloud computing and the internet of things impact firms.

"We are working to prepare the network against these differentials. Our first focus is on creating a network that is secure, agile and aware to enable consistent deployment of policies all the way from the network to applications to devices," she said.

Both devices' capabilities are derived from the development of a new unified access data plane based on 1.5 million lines of code, and designed over three years of development, the firm's general manager of its networking group, Rob Soderbery, said.

"With the 3850 and 5760 offering capabilities based on the same software architecture, they can form the bedrock foundation of a true wired and wireless network," he added.

Both devices use the firm's onePK developer toolkit so applications can draw down data from the switches that can be displayed in a manner useful to IT staff, as they require.

The development of the devices forms a core part of the firm's newly unveiled Unified Access One Network services, designed to help complement its existing network tools, including its policy service, Identity Services Engine (ISE), and management tool Prime.

Both of these tools will also be updated in March with the ability to integrate the new switch and LAN unveiled on Tuesday and coming to the Prime 2.0 software update on 1 March.

The ISE 1.2 update will bring the ability to add mobile device management tools from other providers, such as Zenprise, SAP and Mobile Iron, to the tool, so staff can manage these tools from within the system.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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