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Cisco has quietly expanded the options available in its new mid-range fixed configuration Catalyst network switches.

Cisco Systems Inc. last week shipped the new Catalyst 4948 10/100/1000 Ethernet 48-port switch. Aimed at server farms or clusters as well as Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer aggregation, the new unit takes up a single rack unit and emphasizes performance.

“For server farms, space is often a big concern. You want a small form factor to aggregate the servers in that environment,” said Mark Foss, product line manager for Cisco’s Gigabit Systems Business Unit in San Jose, Calif.

The unit supports wire speed on all 48 10/100/1000 ports as well as the two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports that provide uplinks to a core switch.

Cisco’s initial foray in the new Catalyst 4948 mid-range line of fixed configuration switches, which came out last September, did not support a 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplink.

The line, which uses the same hardware architecture as the Catalyst 4500 series and which runs Cisco’s IOS software, also delivers high availability features for the new server aggregation switch.

Read more here about the September release of Cisco’s aim Catalyst 4948 switch, aimed at SMBs.

It includes dual internal power supplies that have either AC or DC power connections. It also features a replaceable fan tray containing four independent fans. The fan tray is hot-swappable.

Click here to read more about Cisco’s Catalyst family of mid-range switches.

The new Catalyst 4948 is aimed at bandwidth-hungry applications within government, medical, and biotechnology fields as well as oil and gas operations. “It’s intended for people that send around big files, such as government [Department of Defense] customers who use 3D modeling,” said Foss.

The new switch is available now for $16,995 without the power supply, or $17,495 with it.

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