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Cisco Brings 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet to its Switching Portfolio

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is giving more power to its Catalyst and Nexus switch customers with new modules that support the 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 100GbE standards. The 40 and 100 GbE standards were approved in June of 2010 and ever since, networking vendors have been incrementally adding those capabilities to their platforms.

The Catalyst 6500 switching platform is among the most widely deployed Cisco switches in the market today. It's been updated with new modules and capabilities over the years including the Virtual Switching System, which lets users view multiple physical switches as one logical one. Now, the 6500 is getting a 40GbE boost with the new 6904 line card.

"With this line card we're able to load up a Catalyst 6500 with up to 44 ports of 40GbE," Craig Huitema, director of Marketing at Cisco's Datacenter Group, told InternetNews.com. "We're also able to breakout those 40GbE ports into four 10GbE port for 176 ports of 10GbE."

The Catalyst isn't the only Cisco switching platform to get an upgrade. The Nexus 7000 is also getting an Ethernet boost. The Nexus 7000 was first introduced in January of 2008 as Cisco's next generation data center switching platform. The platform was last updated in October with a Fabric 2 module that could enable up to 768 ports of 10GbE. The new Nexus 7000 M2 cards is available in two configurations. There is a 2-port 100GbE module that can provide as many as 32 ports of 100GbE on a Nexus 7000. There is also a 6-port 40GbE module that can enable as many as 96 ports of 40GbE on a Nexus 7000.

Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
Cisco Accelerates Switching Portfolio

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist