Cisco Updates Small Business Networking Gear

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted January 25, 2011

Cisco is expanding its push to attract more small business professionals to its networking gear. This week Cisco announced a new set of 200-series switches and a new router platform that adds several big-business features tailored for the needs of small business.

The small business product expansion is part of a multi-year effort from Cisco. In 2010, Cisco launched the unmanaged 100 series and the 300 series Linux-powered switch families.

The new 200-series switch family is intended to fill the gap between the unmanaged 100 series and fully managed 300 series. Cisco Product Manager Brad Sakai told InternetNews.com that the 200 series delivers switches that are what Cisco refers to as "smart" or lightly managed switches. As opposed to the 100 series switches, 200 series users get Quality of Service (QoS) and VLAN capabilities. The 200 series also includes support for the next generation IPv6 Internet addressing protocol.

In contrast, Sakai explained that the 300 series provides more granular QoS control as well as additional authentication and configuration options.


With the new RV220W network security firewall, Cisco expands on the capabilities that it debuted in the RV120W Wireless-N VPN Firewall in 2010. As opposed to the RV120W, the RV220W has four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, while the older RV120W has four 100 Mbps LAN ports.

Wireless speed is also improved on the RV220W with dual-band support for both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz, by way of 2x3 MIMO technology.

"The RV120W supports up to 120 Mbps with two antennas, while the RV220W has a third antenna hidden behind the front panel that helps boost speed and coverage," Sakai said. "You can do a max of 250 Mbps, so it's a step up in terms of speed and coverage."

The RV220W also provides both IPsec and SSL-VPN remote access to small business users.

"SSL-VPN allows you to do VPN without a client so you use your browser, point it at the router, and then you can login and establish a VPN with SSL encryption," Sakai said. "It makes VPN deployments for small business that much easier."

The benefit of not requiring a client for VPN access means that a small business professional could use any machine with a Web browser to access their network. Sakai noted that SSL-VPN is often an easier technology to deploy than IPsec which can sometimes be a challenge.

"It's just one of those enterprise features that is trickling down," Sakai said. "SSL-VPN is now for everyone, it's not just an enterprise feature."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!


Your White Papers Search Results

Comment and Contribute


     

    Explore our site

    Get free tips, news and advice on how to make technology work harder for your business.

    Submit
    Learn more
     
    You have successfuly registered to
    Enterprise Apps Daily Newsletter
    • webcast video
      Microsoft Publisher Tips This video shows you how to create great-looking business brochures with Microsoft Publisher 2003.
    • webcast video
      Photoshop Tips In this video, we show you how to improve on or eliminate ugly and unwanted backgrounds.