When you’re looking for powerful switches to run a large network, you have to sift through a lot of options. The easiest way to do that is to learn about each popular series at a time.
To help you with that, below you will find a complete breakdown of Cisco 4500-X series switches. These switches have been around for a while, and they power a lot of large networks. Take a minute to see what they can do and when and where they might be the right option for you.
What Are Cisco 4500-X Series Switches?
The Cisco 4500-X series includes a number of switches that are designed as enterprise-class aggregation switches. These switches are designed to operate in the distribution layer (Layer 2) of a major network.
As there are many switches in the series, specifications will range, but the switches support up to 40 ports per switch. They can handle data rates of up to 10 Gbps, and they are stackable. In general, these switches are built for heavy-duty networking.
It’s worth noting that the 4500-X series is a bit older. It is not the newest or most capable series offered by Cisco. This does make the series more affordable, but it comes with some pros and cons that will be discussed a little later.
What Are They Used For?
When it comes to use cases, 4500-X switches shine in the distribution layer of large networks. These are networks that have anywhere from dozens to hundreds of active users.
Imagine you have an office with a couple of dozen workers. Each has a device that needs access to the network. In order to structure the office network, you will have access points at convenient places throughout the location. Those access points will connect endpoint devices (like personal computers). The access points will also connect to larger switches that distribute information to all of the different access points.
Cisco 4500-X switches are designed to be those larger distribution switches. It’s why they support fiber connections, come with large numbers of ports, and can handle higher-than-average data rates.
What Are Cisco 4500-X Pros and Cons?
Clearly, Cisco 4500-X devices are designed for hard work, but they aren’t perfect in all situations. A look at the pros and cons can help you think about whether or not one of these switches might be right for your network.
Let’s start with the pros. These switches can support a large number of devices at reasonably fast speeds. For office-style work, they’re workhorses that do a great job. And, because of their age and specifications, they are a lot more affordable than newer options. They also exist in the Cisco ecosystem, making them easy to manage and fit in with other Cisco products.
On the downside, age is a real factor here. Cisco no longer sells these devices directly. You can still get them, but they are scheduled for end of life soon, meaning that Cisco will stop supporting them in a few years. Additionally, they aren’t as fast as some newer options, so if speed is essential, these aren’t the right switches for your network.
What Is the Expected End of Life?
The biggest thing to consider with 4500-X switches is the scheduled end of life. Cisco made the first announcement to this effect in 2019, and the company officially stopped selling them on October 30, 2020. Now, you can still purchase these switches from third-party providers. It’s perfectly legal, and you can get used, refurbished, and even unopened/unused 4500-X switches. All options are still available.
The issue is that Cisco has also announced the end of support. As of October 31, 2025, Cisco won’t provide any support for these switches. The switches will still work, but you can’t call Cisco for help, and there won’t be warranty support either.
Additional Learning Center Resources
- Benefits of Cisco 9000 Series Switches
- Best Way to Connect Multiple Switches
- Should I upgrade from 3750X switch to the 3850 switch?
- Cisco Catalyst Switches Product Guide
- Basics of Network Switches
- What are the Differences between Cisco 3650 and 3750X Switches?
- What does 5G mean for my business network?
- How to Choose The Right Rackmount Server