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Don’t be Bewitched by the Switch – What You Need to Know when You Evaluate Solutions

- May 1, 2015 - 3 Comments

It’s undeniable that the biggest convergence happening in the access layer is Wired/Wireless. Today, we’re no longer forced to treat wired and wireless any differently when it comes to network visibility and management. However, the unification of Wired/Wireless doesn’t come without its own challenges and complexity.

As we’ve seen with the latest switching announcement at Interop 2015, there is a lot of noise in the marketplace and customers and partners increasingly need to cut through this to achieve their IT goals and meet today’s increasing demands on the network and the demands of tomorrow.

Earlier this week, HP made false claims about our Catalyst 4500E switch. To help you out, here is what you need to know about Cisco switching and, specifically, our Catalyst 4500E switch:

  • As the world becomes increasingly more digital, there is an elevated need for a flexible and scalable network to address rapid shifts in technology use and its associated traffic. We’ve seen tremendous demand for our modular switches that supply the best flexibility for this change. In fact, Cisco has the industry’s most widely deployed modular access switches with a modular PoE port share that just reached an all time high of 81.5 percent.
  • To tackle the biggest convergence in the access layer, Catalyst 4500E supports built-in wireless controller capabilities and delivers common intelligent services across wired and wireless for security and policy, application visibility and control, network resiliency, smart operations, and more.
  • Cisco’s Catalyst Multigigabit (mGig) technology available across the access portfolio including the Catalyst 4500E can prepare customers’ access switches for the next wave in wireless, 802.11ac wave 2 by delivering speeds beyond 1 Gigabit on existing Category 5e cables. This technology also supports PoE, PoE+, and Cisco Universal PoE (UPOE) so you don’t need to install new electrical circuits to power your access points.
  • Cisco’s modular access switch portfolio offers backward compatibility with up to three generation of line-cards providing unmatched investment protection – 2x in terms of number of years over other vendors.
  • A key operational consideration for IT is to maximize uptime and provide seamless code upgrades. In Service software upgrades (ISSU) have been available on Cisco’s 4500E portfolio for almost a decade
  • The Catalyst 4500E has unmatched scale to meet the needs of a customer’s network and future proof for an influx of new devices – 25X route entries, 16X multicast entries & 42X Security/QoS entries when compared to other vendors.
  • As IoT trends upward, more “things” connect to the access network and it is key that the network is able to scale to meet these needs – Cisco offers 33 percent more scale in terms of POE+ ports and 50 percent more POE+ scale for redundant power deployments to connect more users, devices and things. Additionally, Cisco supports UPOE, which future-proofs our customers for upcoming applications requiring more than 30W/port.
  • Security is a top of mind for our customers and Cisco offers a complete end-to-end solution with support for MacSec, Cisco TrustSec, Identity Services Engine and Flexible Netflow, providing the best in class network encryption, segmentation and networking sensing solutions.
  • The Catalyst 4500E is designed for supporting rich media services with its superior multicast scale and design. Cisco Catalyst 4500 is designed to support hardware accelerated multicast with deep buffers. The Cisco Catalyst 4500E accommodates up to nine times larger data bursts, delivered to otherwise loaded output ports, without loss.
  • Cisco Catalyst 4500E supports a multitude of capabilities that support IT simplicity and smart operations. Examples: Simplified provisioning with Plug and Play, Simplified configuration of switches & interfaces with AutoConfiguration and Interface templates and faster troubleshooting with embedded wireshark, a world-class protocol analyzer.

Complementing Cisco’s switching offerings, Cisco’s overall approach to SDN is holistic, including support for OpenFlow and beyond. We provide the industry’s most comprehensive SDN solutions across the data center, WAN and campus networks and a growing ecosystem of partners running SDN applications and solutions. Our SDN strategy is complemented by our common Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) policy model that works across our Application Centric Policy Controller (APIC) for data center environments and the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) for WAN and access – that allows the simplified management and orchestration of the network.

While we continue to deliver the best- in- class products and solutions, we’re also working on consumption models that give our customers the widest flexibility and options. Our customers and partners now have the choice to purchase our solutions through Cisco ONE Software. With Cisco ONE Software and software support agreement, customers can transfer their software licenses to replacement devices, reducing their cost whenever they upgrade hardware. With the combination of our Cisco ONE Software and technical services offerings, we provide the broadest range of capabilities in the industry.

Cisco’s platforms retain market leadership by providing a broad range of industry leading capabilities such as scale, PoE leadership, converged wired/wireless infrastructure, advanced security, rich media, application visibility, simplicity and other critical services needed for a Next Genertion campus. We’re constantly focused on ensuring our customers and partners have the best in technology across their end-to-end network solutions. We continue invest in broadening and deepening these capabilities to ensure a customer’s investments of yesterday and today translate into the network of tomorrow.

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3 Comments

  1. What are your views on choosing campus switches that are (a) future-proofed, assuming that you are on a long refresh cycle that may be long (say 7 years) or (b) turn that upside down and refresh it sooner, and base it on ROI line-of-business goals for deploying new wireless solutions or apps? I think both are valid.

    • Dan, Thank you for your comment/question. I agree that both options are valid & choice depends on the size of the deployment, type of deployment and the outcome the end customers want to achieve. For our customers who are rolling out hundreds and sometimes thousands of these switches, it can take several years to complete a rollout across the campus globally – hence a long lifecycle is an expectation. Additionally, if our customers standardize on a modular platform like the 4500E, they can expect to simply swap out a supervisor to meet their business requirement – for example our 4500E customers who want integrated wireless functionality just need to swap out older supervisors (Sup7E, Sup6E) with Sup8E and get the functionality without a forklift upgrade. Lastly, to aid customers who choose to follow the second model you mention, we have introduced the Cisco ONE software support agreement where customers can transfer their software licenses to replacement devices. Regards, Hasan

  2. efews