Cisco Switches Support IEEE 802.3af Standard

By Paula Musich  |  Print this article Print


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Cisco is adding IEEE 802.3af support to its Catalyst LAN switches.

After building up an installed base of some 18 million prestandard power-over-Ethernet ports, Cisco Systems Inc. has launched a series of IEEE 802.3af POE offerings across its portfolio of Catalyst LAN switches.

The new standard, ratified last summer, extends Ethernet support for in-line power devices beyond just IP phones and wireless LAN access points to connect more power-hungry devices such as IP-powered video surveillance cameras, security systems, and fire protection and motion detection devices, said Cisco officials in San Jose, Calif.

The new offerings, which support the 802.3af standard for end devices drawing 15.4 watts, are backward-compatible with existing Cisco prestandard devices.

The offerings also support the IEEE 802.3af standard's optional Power Classification feature, which allows a LAN switch to identify the power requirement of the end device and reserve that power based on the class number of the device. Cisco added more granular power management to allow administrators to control how many high-power devices are attached to the network to minimize the power draw, restrict power delivery from specific ports and prioritize power delivery.

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