We can’t predict the future, but we can plan for the unknown.

I think we can all agree that we are witnessing the real-time emergence of a new network. This is a network that must handle evolving technologies that brings IoT to the main stream, expands mobility to the back woods, and broadens horizons everywhere with cloud-based and augmented immersive applications. This new network is shaped by globalization, digital transformation and business automation and is core to what has dubbed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is blurring lines between the physical, digital and “biological”.  As connected technology rapidly integrates more and more into our daily lives, we have come to expect, if not demand, secure access with any device, on any network, to any application.

We can only marvel at the frenetic pace of adoption of new cloud-based applications and new generations of user and IoT devices. It is expect that IoT alone will account for 41 billion connected devices by 20251.

But for those responsible for networks around the world, the organic unintended consequences of anytime anywhere access, using a plethora of new devices connecting to thousands of new applications are becoming increasingly obvious. IT teams are reaching a point where the sheer scale and complexity of their network is exceeding their ability to manage and secure them effectively.  And while few could have predicted the explosion of amazing new devices and applications, we understood early on the potential impact and implications of these emerging technologies and how we must break with the traditional ways of building and operating networks and embrace a future powered by technologies that can solve these challenges in vastly new ways.

While we recognize that we cannot predict the future, we understand that we can plan for the unknown by building flexibility into both our hardware and software.  This was the design philosophy behind the Cisco Catalyst 9000 family and likely why it has been so successful.  With the modular Cisco IOS XE and the programable UADP ASIC as its foundation, combined with the automation and assurance of Cisco DNA Center and SD-Access, Catalyst 9000 switches open the door for IT to shift focus from reactive analysis to predictive analytics, from using hands-on CLI-based, box-by-box interaction to network-wide automation and assurance.

Extra! Extra! Cisco more than doubles its catalyst 9000 customer base

There have been many highlights and headlines about the Catalyst 9000 product family and its meteoric rise since it was launched in June 2017:

  • fastest ramping product in Cisco’s history
  • fastest to exceed $1B quarterly run rate
  • over a million units shipped to tens of thousands of customers in every geography, vertical, and market segment.
  • recognized by CRN as Product of the Year for 2017 and 2018 (when does 2019 awards come out?)

This is not by accident. And the positive headlines are not likely to stop. Key innovations like multigigabit technology, 90W UPOE+, Encrypted Traffic Analytics, and onboard app hosting help our customers solve the issues they have today while preparing for the unknown that they will confront in the future.

Constantly learning, constantly evolving, constantly getting better.

The Catalyst 9000 portfolio has filled out over the last two years now with switching options that neatly covers nearly all our legacy Catalyst offerings – offering superior performance and advanced features that make the Catalyst 9000 family leaders in the industry.

As we get into a steady rhythm of innovation, we will be making quarterly announcements to highlight new hardware and software additions to the Catalyst 9000 switching portfolio.

This quarter there are several new models, line cards and features that will be offered.

The lineup of Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series switches includes five new additions. Three new models supporting deep buffering for lossless rich multi-media content delivery and analytics. Another two new models support 90W UPOE+ for next generation IoT deployments. We are also announcing the addition of Cisco multigigabit technology and redundant supervisors in StackWise Virtual mode to the Catalyst 9600 Series. We’ll  also come out with the addition of 90W UPOE+, native Docker containers and app hosting on the Catalyst 9400 Series.

What is Cisco Announcing?

Cisco Catalyst 9000 family keeps growing and getting better.
(Click to view the Cisco Catalyst 9000 Family Switches)

New Catalyst 9000 hardware

90W UPOE+ for Catalyst 9300/9400 Series
– Provides higher power for a broad range of digital building solutions
– Two future Catalyst 9300 Series models: C9300-24H, C9300-48H
– One Catalyst 9400 Series line card: C9400-LC-48H

Higher scale for Catalyst 9300 Series
– Doubles scale of MAC, routing, multicast QoS, ACL tables with double packet buffer to address the requirements of rich multi-media lossless content delivery and large routing tables
– Three models: C9300–24UB, C9300-24UXB, C9300-48UB

Catalyst 9600 Series
– mGig line card extending wired interfaces to higher density platforms; C9600-LC-48X

New Catalyst software features – IOS XE 17.1

Catalyst 9000 switches
MACsec encryption over EoMPLS provides Layer 2 hop-by-hop encryption and integrity in a L2VPN deployment. *not available on Catalyst 9300 fixed uplink models (C9300L) or Catalyst 9200 Series (C9200 or C9200L)

Catalyst 9300 Series
Cisco Umbrella cloud security support for DNS and IP layer enforcement, intelligent proxy, and command and control callback blocking

Catalyst 9400 Series
App hosting and native Docker™ engine support enables building custom and “bring your own” applications without additional packaging.

The future is now

According to the recent Cisco 2020 Global Networking Trends Report maximizing IT’s business value is the top networking priority of those surveyed. This tells us that CIO’s are finally realizing that their network is no longer merely a cost of doing business but a key to doing business, if not the life-blood of an organization. We understand and we are committed to continually improving, enhancing and simplifying our solutions even as the pace of change continues to rapidly evolve.

Over the next few weeks I will continue the discussion on what many of these new features can mean to you, your network and your users.


Worldwide Global DataSphere IoT Device and Data Forecast, 2019-2023



Jeff Meek

Product Marketing Manager

Enterprise Networking and Mobility