THE world's leading router vendor Cisco Systems has launched a range of switching products in an effort to secure the company's leading position in the LAN switching market, in which they estimate they hold a 31.5 per cent market share. The company has launched three product lines, the Kalpana Family, the Catalyst Family and the LightStream Family, all aimed at different markets. LAN switching is expected to become the fastest growing segment of the internetworking market. The Kalpana products are low-end switches based on technology from Kalpana, a company which Cisco acquired last year. The Catalyst products are high-end switches using software developed by Cisco. Meanwhile, the LightStream products are ATM switches from LightStream, another company acquired by Cisco last year. Cisco's product line manager Soni Jiandani said: 'We believe we are well poised to become the strategic choice for companies evaluating switching technology.' She said Cisco expected to see switches replace hubs in the wiring closet, and that with this product launch Cisco was moving away from being solely a backbone equipment provider to also being a wiring closet equipment provider. She said the launch represented an expansion strategy for Cisco and the products would complement the existing product offerings, rather than being a change in focus for the company. 'As LAN switching becomes more economical, this technology is going to become the strategic choice,' Ms Jiandani said. The challenge for the company now is to tie routing and switching together across the network. To do this, Cisco is planning on adding switching software to its Internetwork Operating System (IOS). Ms Jiandani said the company was also planning on adding multimedia and virtual LAN (VLAN) technology to IOS. The company hopes to become the first vendor to offer VLAN support across router, switch and ATM product lines at the enterprise level.