Cisco Systems has released updates to the software that drives its Catalyst 6500 switches, one of the company’s flagship products. Like many updates of this kind, they are intended to improve system availability, efficiency, and security. Part of the work involves breaking up the Internetwork Operating System into modular units, which means that a problem in one part of the system will not cause a problem in all of the system. This also has the effect of making it possible to upgrade a module without shutting down the entire switch. Cisco has additionally created a new embedded event manager that will help users of switches automate and off-load routine tasks to the network.

If you work with this equipment, you will be pleased to hear that these updates are available free if you have a Cisco SmartNet service contract. Q4 of this year will see availability of the updates for the Supervisor Engine 720, with the updates for the Supervisor Engine 32 coming in Q1 of next year.