Cisco WAN switch blends data, voice and video

Cisco WAN switch blends data, voice and video

Cisco Systems last week unveiled an enterprise WAN switch that lets users integrate data, voice and video over a single network and migrate to next-generation IP-based applications.

The IGX 8450 connects enterprise LANs, legacy data, PBXs and video equipment to private WAN links. The new device enables users to build private multiservice networks that also provide access to public WANs.

The IGX 8450 is a 16-slot chassis with two cell backplanes. The chassis holds any mix of ATM, frame relay, Synchronous Data Link Control, High-Level Data Link Control, voice and LAN interfaces, and leased-line and public trunking interfaces.

Includes routing software

The IGX 8450 is the first Cisco 8400 series WAN switch to include Cisco's Internetwork Operating System routing software. This enables the switch to perform software-based routing for IP applications, such as voice and fax-over-IP. The IGX 8450 also uses Cisco's Tag Switching to deliver IP quality of service (QoS) in an ATM multiservice backbone.

"The main thing is that Cisco's finally delivering on its Tag Switching across the backbone," says Bob Bellman, president of Brooktrail Research. "Putting Tag Switching into the ATM switches should result in some payoffs in terms of QoS and traffic engineering."

A potential downside to the IGX 8450 is that users now have to pay more for a Cisco enterprise WAN switch because they are buying a router as well as an ATM switch, Bellman says.

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