NetWorld+Interop - Cisco unleashes content switch, management barrage

Cisco Systems this week unveiled a new batch of content networking gear aimed at speeding up Web switching and server load balancing at e-commerce-driven businesses.

At NetWorld+Interop 2002 Las Vegas, Cisco introduced its newest high-end Layer 4-7 switch, the CSS 11500 series, as well as new versions of its Content Switching Module (CSM) for the Catalyst 6509 switch, and new releases of its Content Transformation Engine (CTE) 1400 for supporting VoIP. The company also released new software for managing enterprise content delivery and datacenters.

The CSS 11503 and 11506 are three and six-slot modular Layer 4-7 switches that offer increased port density and can support more Secure Sockets Layer sessions than previous CSS 11000 series switches, according to the company. Version 3.1 of the CSM includes improved management features, allowing the device to be managed as part of a network of content switching devices, even though it resides in a Catalyst 6509 chassis.

The Content Transformation Engine 1400, introduced last year, converts Web pages into formats readable by non-PC clients, such as PDAs and cellphone Web browsers. The new version now supports Web content conversion for Cisco IP telephone display screens, allowing Cisco phones to act as desktop thin clients with Web access. The new CTE 1400 also includes increased support for Java Script and XML.

For content delivery management, Cisco released Version 4.1 of its Application and Content Networking System (ACNS) software, which allows an IT staff to control how content is distributed over an enterprise network with Cisco content networking devices, such as the Content Distribution Manager. The new software now supports RealSystem Proxy Server. Cisco also released its IP/TV 3.4 software, which can deliver television streams to desktops. The system has been scaled up to support 10,000 users.

The Hosting Solution Engine (HSE) 1400 1.4 is the latest version of Cisco's management platform for data centers. The appliance allows administrators from the server and network side of an IT organization to monitor CSS 11000, 11500 and Catalyst CSM products and configure services such as load balancing or run reports on content network performance.

The CSS 11500 starts at US$1700 while the CSS 11506 costs $27000. The Catalyst 6500 CSM starts at $40,000 and the Cisco 1105 HSE 1.4 starts at $20000. The ACNS 4.1 software for Content Engines starts at $5,500 and $20000 for Content Distribution Managers. The CTE 1400 2.0 costs $25000. All products are available now, except for the IP/TV 3.4 software, which costs $10,000 and will be available in June.

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