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Cisco Systems Inc. plans to advance its Intelligent Information Network strategy for embedding advanced services into the network with a range of enhancements for its Catalyst line of switches.

The enhancements span the Catalyst 6500, Catalyst 4500 and Catalyst 3750 network switches, bringing new security, manageability and performance to the network core, data center and wiring closet.

New software-based security enhancements add the ability to lock down ports to prevent attacks.

Cisco also sought to reduce the complexity of configuring more advanced services such as quality of service for voice over IP through new macro templates that package a series of command language interface configuration commands into a more digestible whole.

On the hardware front, Cisco added a new copper transceiver interface for the Catalyst 6500’s 10G-bit Ethernet interfaces that can help to bring down its cost. The CX4 Xenpak, which works over coaxial cable at distances up to 50 feet, is well-suited for data centers where servers are clustered. It costs $600, compared with optical-fiber interfaces that can range from $2,000 to $12,000, according to Cisco officials.

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