Today, Cisco is announcing the Cisco Catalyst 6840-X and 3850 10G Fiber Series for campus backbones to address new network infrastructure needs, especially in space constrained deployments.

According to the Visual Networking Index, traffic is expected to triple in the next four years. This means that many campus networks will lack the provisioned capacity to meet this expected growth in bandwidth. In fact, some network managers are telling us that this is already happening to their campus networks.

With video and bandwidth-intensive applications continuing to proliferate, traffic on campus networks is growing exponentially. This drives not only the challenge of managing the demand for growing scale in a secure and reliable fashion, but also the opportunity for IT to leverage video and robust applications to “add value to the business”.  Customers and suppliers are gravitating to businesses that offer them a comprehensive view of product offerings, an instant response, and easy transactions. This also drives additional demands on the network as an enabler for the business.

Things are changing with employees as well. While many employees are provided a mobile phone, most already have at least three mobile devices including laptops, tablets and even private smart phones. Even when employees are not actively using the apps on their mobile devices, these devices can create additional background traffic (OS, App updates & backups). According to a Cisco IBSG study, there are three times more devices per person than just a few years ago. Virtually all devices connect through the employer’s network, which has to service all these devices in a secure, scalable and reliable fashion.

While devices grow in number, wireless connectivity speed is increasing. Gigabit wireless (802.11ac) enables a network that is three times faster due to its 1.3 Gbps capacity.  802.11ac Wave 2 more than doubles that.  Thus, the bottleneck is moving “up the network” from wireless AP to the access uplinks. With 1G becoming the standard for access switch ports, access switch uplinks will need to move to ubiquitous 10G and 40G. 

While most Enterprise network engineers agree with this approach, the actual number of enterprises moving in this direction is still relatively small. According to a  report published by the Dell’Oro Group, it’s not a technology issue – there are plenty of products on the market to handle 10G – but the economics of the network upgrade remain the key challenges, such as equipment cost, expense of upgrading and future proofing.

Cisco is changing those economics by offering easy, cost effective, network upgrades to support the explosion of mobile devices and video applications.

  • Cisco Catalyst 6840-X is a 2RU fixed backbone switch with a line rate of 10G downlinks and 10G /40G uplinks for high bandwidth applications and video. The Catalyst 6840-X is cost effective and is also the smallest MPLS aggregator in the Catalyst Family and offers models with 16 to 40 ports. This will be the industry’s most feature rich fixed switch with 15 years of Catalyst 6500/6800 innovations and feature depth built into it day one.
  • Cisco Catalyst 3850 10G is a 1RU fixed aggregation switch that is offered in several versions with 12 to 48 ports to cost effectively fit most any campus network. The 3850 features a line-rate of 10G downlinks and 10G /40G uplinks for high bandwidth applications and video.

These new catalyst switches, along with the popularly deployed Catalyst 4500-X, offer the industry’s only portfolio of fixed backbone switches built on Cisco’s custom ASIC designed to uniquely serve the mobility explosion with rich campus services built in. The new Catalyst 6840-X and 3850 10G switches will ensure network designers have the tools to build a secure, scalable, future-proofed network.

The mobility explosion and the proliferation of video applications offer new ways to create strategic differentiators for every business.  Customers, suppliers and employees want instant data in the convenient and compelling format offered by video –and they have the devices to get it. Cisco gives you the tools to leverage video applications and the network backbone to support it.

Improving your network means improving your business.

Go to the Cisco Catalyst 6840-X  and Cisco Catalyst 3850 10G web pages to find out more information.

Please feel free to comment, share and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, @CiscoEnterprise, and the Enterprise Networks Community.


Hasan Siraj

Senior Director, Product Management

Enterprise Networking