Catalyst Compact Switches: Getting out of the Wiring Closet

October 17, 2012 - 6 Comments

Discussions about switching almost always seem to be restricted to either the campus or the datacenter. While these are obviously very critical, there is a segment that is often overlooked: switching outside the wiring closet.

There is an increasing need to provide connectivity to a variety of devices in classrooms, stores, hospitals, hotel rooms, conference rooms, warehouses, etc. With cable runs costing anywhere from $200 – $1000, customers want a local switch that is trusted, reliable and secure.

The Catalyst Compact Switch is just that! It is a small (8 and 12 port) switch that takes the power of the “Catalyst Switch” series outside the wiring closet and provides a versatile and flexible option for networking needs.

  • Part of the Family: With the same software as the rest of the Catalyst switch family, this switch can be operated, managed, and secured in the same way as any other Catalyst switch.
  • Reliable PoE: This PoE-capable switch can power wireless access points, IP phones, surveillance cameras and other PoE powered devices.
  • PoE Passthrough: enables the switch to be itself powered by Cisco UPOE and PoE standards, and in turn power other PoE devices.  Thus, it completely eliminates the need for a power outlet.
  • Resiliency: Dual uplinks (Copper and SFP) enable a reliable and resilient operation.
  • Smart Operations: Smart Install makes  it easy to deploy the switch, while Auto Smart Ports provides automatic provisioning of end devices.
  • Mounting Flexibility: This sleek and small form-factor switch is quiet and fan-less. It can be installed facedown or parallel, under a desk, on the wall or on a DIN rail.

Not coincidentally, this is a very popular choice among our customers in retail, education (see University of Kansas case study), hospitality (see Norwegian Cruise Lines case study), healthcare, enterprise (see Mitsubishi Research Institute case study) and building automation.

For more information please see the compact switch At-A-Glance or visit




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  1. Actually I found this
    for an in-ceiling box…
    Would this work for the compact switches??

    • Thanks for sharing this. We will look into how we can add support for such an in-ceiling box.

  2. Himanshu,
    This was our topic of debate yesterday! My dandelion approach 🙂

    Here are a couple of the issues we covered…

    Locating them… (if they are above a drop-grid then mounting them to a firewall makes sense…)A location finder app would be nice 🙂
    IT Techs do not often carry ladders, or know where facilities might keep them… so wall mounted racks are nice, though unsightly.

    I would love to hear feedback on this one!!

    • Do you think something like an LED (through a light pipe) in the roof where they might be mounted work?

  3. I think these are a great idea. I have a number of customers who have catalyst switches in the server room and awful, unreliable home-user switches spread out across their building. This is the perfect solution for those scenarios. Here is my own blog on the new switches