Cisco has launched products soleley for small companies as part of its recently announced $100 million (£69 million) commitment to the sector.

The products include security, storage and unified communications platforms designed to be inexpensive and easy to use for small businesses. They include:

- The Cisco Spam & Virus Blocker - an appliance intended to protect a business' network and data from viruses and malicious email attacks while mitigating spam.

- The Cisco NSS2000 and NSS3000 Network Storage Systems - desktop network-attached storage devices to secure and protect data and let employees share information.

- The Cisco Smart Business Communications System (SBCS) Release 1.4 - a collaboration and communications system that connects offices, employees and customers, and includes a wireless desktop IP phone with Bluetooth capabilities.

The products come from Cisco's newly formed Small Business Technology Group (SBTG), which is focused on developing technologies within six small/mid-size business priority areas: security, connectivity, productivity, remote access, customer interaction and customer support.

The Cisco Spam & Virus Blocker features one in 1 million false positive accuracy, Cisco says. Security updates are automatically sent from the company's email and web traffic monitoring network

It also includes a four-step installation wizard that installs the appliance within minutes for most networks, Cisco says.

The Cisco NSS2000 and NSS3000 storage devices let businesses automatically back up every version of every file from every PC and server, so that data can be easily restored. They store and archive digital files such as video from an IP video surveillance camera, and encrypt files to comply with growing regulatory and security requirements for customer and financial information such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Cisco says.

Users can store up to 2TB of data using the NSS2000 2-Bay Gigabit Storage System chassis; and up to 4TB of data using the NSS3000 4-Bay Gigabit Storage System chassis.

The Cisco SBCS release 1.4 enables small businesses to connect telecommuters, mobile workers and employees in disparate locations to enhance their ability to communicate and collaborate with customers and colleagues, Cisco says. Release 1.4 includes the Cisco SPA525G Wireless IP Phone, which allows businesses to add phones in places where traditional phone lines or network cables are not present or can not be added.

Also in SBCS release 1.4 are the Cisco 520 Series Secure Router to give local and remote employees secure access to the Internet and business data; and the Cisco Configuration Assistant version 1.9 to allow partners to easily set up and deploy the system for customers.

The price for the Cisco Spam & Virus Blocker ranges from $2,600 to $5,400. The Cisco Network Storage Systems devices start at $595, and SBCS release 1.4 can vary in price depending on a business' specific needs.

The Cisco SPA525G wireless desktop IP phone is listed at $430.