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How do you take the most widely deployed modular switch in the industry, and make it better?  With more than 650,000 chassis deployed, how do you protect your customers’ investments in their existing platform while offering a seamless path to deploy new components without forcing “fork-lift” upgrades?

On October 5th, Cisco announced a complete refresh of the Catalyst 4500 series platform, the most widely deployed modular platform in the industry, with new supervisor engine, line cards and operating system.  We gave it 2.6x more bandwidth, and the highest PoEP port density of any access switch in the industry.  Catalyst 4500E comes with an open and modular operating system, IOS XE that is capable of running 3rd party services.  The new system is highly available with features such as sub 10 millisecond In Service Software Upgrades.  Flexible NetFlow brings unprecedented application visibility.  Catalyst 4500E ships with a single universal software image – one image for LAN Base, IP Base and Enterprise Services that is managed by software licensing application.  Customers can also introduce new line cards without upgrading the OS.  We designed Catalyst 4500E for the future while providing support for the past by making the new components compatible with existing chassis.  In fact, Catalyst 4500 platform offers the longest investment protection of any modular access switch in the industry with more than 10 years of backward compatibility. 

These are order of magnitude improvements with headroom for growth that will help you deliver borderless services securely, reliably and seamlessly to the multitude of devices accessing your network.

Network location services integrated with Catalyst 4500E simplify the management of network-enabled physical assets.  Cisco EnergyWise 2.0, which is new to Catalyst 4500E, takes a systematic approach to lowering energy costs by extending power management from PoE devices to PCs and Smart Power Distribution Units.  Catalyst 4500E also supports Cisco TrustSec 1.5.  802.1x hop-by-hop encryption is enabled in hardware for superior performance.  Flexible NetFlow, which is unique to Catalyst 4500E, provides deep Layer 2 – 4 visibility.  It comes integrated with Enterprise Embedded Manager to provide an out-of-box solution for malware and anomaly prevention.  Catalyst 4500E offers 2.6 times the bandwidth of the previous generation, allowing customers to support more applications in the same footprint.  Customers can also guarantee service level agreements with IP SLA.  Medianet 2.1 brings new capabilities in auto provisioning devices connected to Catalyst 4500E.  With industry’s highest PoEP modular port density, Catalyst 4500E can support more video devices and IP phones.  Catalyst 4500E with Supervisor Engine 7-E redefines access switching with all these borderless services, while maintaining compatibility with previous generation chassis and line cards.

Customers in financial services, education, telecommunications and a number of other industries are already deploying differentiated services while driving operation simplicity with Catalyst 4500E – here is a sampling of what some of the customers had to say about the new platform.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about the Catalyst 4500E.  You can share thoughts by commenting on this blog or by posting on the Borderless Networks Facebook page.

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