Cisco dumbs down switch management

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Cisco dumbs down switch management

Two new switches from Cisco demonstrate a sweeping change in the company's assumptions about the technical knowledge of network managers.

Aimed at mid-sized enterprises, the switches acknowledge that large numbers of people are not confident about using CLI commands, and has introduced Cisco Network Assistant to provide a graphical interface to switches.

The Catalyst 4503 and the Catalyst 4948 switches will be the first to use the new software.

Cisco’s Bruno Mattei said Cisco Network Assistant would let users designate switch ports for applications such as IP telephony and divide physical Lans into separate VLans. "CNA will offer a new single point of management for all Cisco Catalyst switches and give the network manager simple access to a network’s routers and wireless access points from his console."

The new products follow the release of a range of Wan routers with integrated IP telephony and security for branch offices and small businesses. According to Mattei, Cisco will be tackling this market more robustly in the coming months. "We’re aiming to release 30 products in the small and mid-sized enterprise space in this financial year," he said.

"There are four key features in the new products: scalability, security, reliability and ease of use. For mid-sized customers, ease of use is probably the most important as these are the sort of organisations that don’t have large IT departments."

The products are available from the beginning of October.

Maxwell Cooter writes for Techworld


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