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Cisco upgrades industrial Ethernet switches

Cisco this week unveiled an updated line of Ethernet switches for industrial environments, such as manufacturing floors.

The IE 2000 series is an extension of Cisco's current industrial Ethernet product lines, the Catalyst 2955 and the IE 3000 series. They are intended to address the expansion of machine-to-machine communications on factory floors and in other industrial environments.

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According to Cisco, by 2016 there will be nearly 2 billion machine-to-machine wireless connections -- including GPS systems in cars and asset tracking systems in shipping and manufacturing sectors. This necessitates improved connectivity across industrial equipment and enterprise networks, the company says.

The IE 2000 switches are designed to provide consistent network services between industrial environments and enterprise business applications, and also enhanced security and manageability. The switches also provide secure remote access and monitoring of automated systems, and energy management with visibility into machine performance, Cisco says.

The new switches can also deliver video and other corporate applications to manufacturing plant floor, Cisco says.

Three switches make up the IE 2000 series. They are all fixed configuration devices for Layer 2 switching and Cisco IOS-based software features and services.

The three switches support 4-, 8- and 16-port configurations of 10/100Base-T Ethernet. They also support two optional 100BASE-T or 1000BASE-T uplinks with SFP or RJ45 connectors.

They feature a forwarding rate of up to 6.5Mpps with 64 byte packets; 8,000 unicast MAC addresses; 255 IGMP multicast groups; and 255 VLANs. They support IEEE 802.1x for identity-based network authorization; encryption through SSH; DHCP snooping to thwart unauthorized message interception; prevention of faulty end devices from compromising overall system performance; and industry-specific standards such as IEEE 1588, CIP and PROFINET for integration with other industrial Ethernet devices.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

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