Cisco has launched three series of 'integrated services routers', aimed at companies looking to converge network services onto internet protocol-based (IP) technology.
The 11 new routers in Cisco's 1800, 2800 and 3800 Series, which have been in development for three years, feature embedded security for voice, data and video applications.
Nick Earle, Cisco EMEA vice president of marketing, planning and operations, said: "We didn't decide to just make a faster router. Our customers wanted a platform for the secure, concurrent delivery of services which is also a router, but at wire speeds."
This means that networks controlled by the new Cisco routers will be able to run and control access to simultaneous voice, data and video applications without any degradation in throughput, managing wire speeds up to T3/E3 standards (45Mbps).
Cisco claimed that the new routers would help network service providers grow their businesses by allowing them to manage many more customers and sites with the entry-level model, right through to offering additional services, such as integrated Voice over IP and desktop management, for example.
The new routers will ship with virtual private network (VPN) hardware encryption and acceleration; release 2.0 of Security Device Manager, Cisco's management software; and its software-based VPN firewall. Cisco Call Manager Express for up to 240 users also provides call processing for IP phones.
Pricing starts at $1,395 (£776) for the 1800 Series, $1,995 (£1,110) for the 2800 Series and $9,500 (£5,284) for the 3800 Series. The 1800 and 2800 Series are now available through Cisco and its partners, while the top-of-the-range 3800 Series is scheduled for an October release.
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