Cisco Bolsters Content Networking Family

In the interest of luring prospective companies looking to boost the speed
and efficiency of their data centers, Cisco
Tuesday added two switching appliances to
its content
networking family.

The San Jose firm introduced the Cisco GSS 4480 Global Site Selector, an
appliance that balances Web traffic across distributed data centers and the
Cisco CSS 11501 Content Services Switch, which helps bring content switching
to small application server farms to accommodate Internet, intranet and
extranet users.

Mark Leary, Manager, Technology Marketing at Cisco, said the Cisco GSS 4480 appliance acts as a centralized command and control device, and works with Cisco switches to offload current Domain Name System control functions and direct user requests to the best available resource across the distributed data center infrastructure. This enables companies to use multiple data center sites to improve performance and scalability.

In a time when businesses are highly conscious about protecting data from
catastrophes natural and unnatural, the device allows enterprises to
distribute data and network applications across multiple geographic
locations as part of their business-continuance and disaster-recovery

To this end, Leary told that more businesses are coming to Cisco for the kind of products that are going to enable reliable load balancing and fast data facilitation.

“Security of transactions has always been a concern, but people had to go to go to greater lengths since September 11 to achieve those requirements,” Leary said. “We’re getting the message from CEOs and CIOS that info is growing that much more valuable, and they’re growing a lot more wary about the security of transactions, as well as making sure sites stay online. There are studies that show that if sites go down and remain down for a few days, they are out of business within a year — that’s how important reliable networks are. Customers are coming to us to meet these requirements for their businesses.”

With the other switch, Cisco has extended the content switching functions of
the Cisco CSS 11500 Series into an entry-level content switch for smaller
data center configurations, based on what Leary said have been requests from small- and medium-sized businesses. However, he said, large businesses that wish to devote the switch to a specific set of applications (such as CRM) make use of this product as well.

“Smaller and medium sized companies want to look big online, but they don’t want big devices or to spend a lot of money,” Leary said, explaining the call for the CSS 11500. “And businesses at the high end want to use this to expand their sites.”

The device uses WebNS Software, which is the
same control software used on the existing Cisco CSS 11506 and 11503
switches, and is geared for firms that want data center traffic management
in a small form factor and at a lower price point.

Cisco Tuesday also unveiled certified reference architectures with BEA
Systems and Siebel Systems that can optimize application performance and
availability throughout the enterprise. These architectures make the
deployment of Cisco content switching products easier.

The Cisco GSS 4480 product is available now for $19,995 and the Cisco CSS
11501 Series will be available later this month $10,995. The Cisco CSS 11501
will also be available for purchase in pairs for a limited time for $19,995.