Networking is a field that will always keep you on your toes. The optimal design for an office in a medium-sized business is completely different from what you might pick for a campus or large enterprise operation — to the point that it can feel like a completely different profession when the size of the network changes.
Because there is so much variety, you need access to the right tools for every job. When that job is supporting 250 users or fewer, then the Cisco Catalyst 3560 series is one to remember.
This is a series of networking switches that offers a balance of performance and efficiency.
Catalyst 3560 Overview
On the surface, the Cisco Catalyst 3560 series was designed to support LAN-based network management applications for small and medium businesses. They are optimized for networks that support up to 250 users.
They help to maximize productivity by putting data, voice, and video all on the same network infrastructure, enabling offices to support all three critical systems on a single switch. This makes the 3560 series an efficient choice for small and mid-level applications.
When it comes to technical specifications, Catalyst 3560 switches offer a range. There are many individual switches, each offering a unique list of specifications. Overall, though, you will find that the switch capacities range from 24 to 48 ports. They offer PoE connectivity, maxing out at 800W of power per switch.
The switches typically run 10/100/1000 Ethernet, but some models do support 10G connectivity, providing plenty of power for medium-sized business applications.
The switches are also available with both Layer 2 and Layer 3 architectures.
Pros of 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 series has been popular for years, and there are good reasons for that. One reason is that they simplify networking. As mentioned before, they support data, voice, and video, all on one system, making for efficient office networking.
These switches also offer relatively high performance for their price point, making them cost-effective as well.
Most of all, they are proven switches. They’ve been on the market for a long time, and IT experts have thoroughly vetted the easy deployment and management of these switches. Combine that with the wide range of options among individual models, and you have a powerful resource for business and office networking.
Still, no single switch, or series, is ideal for all use cases. Some of the cons involving the 3560 series involve the limited bandwidth and the lack of switch stacking. This puts a hard ceiling on the applications that these switches can reasonably support, and they aren’t up to the task of quarterbacking larger, high-demand enterprise networks.
Another con is the two-edged sword of age. While the series has proven itself, it’s not the newest technology on the block. The management dashboard is older, making it a little clunkier than some of the newer technology available.
Considering the pros, cons, and specifications of the series, Catalyst 3560 is ideal for medium-sized businesses. With voice, video, and data integration, it’s a great quarterback for business offices — especially satellite offices.
The switches also perform well in warehouse settings, and they make a great backbone for essential WiFi networks.
Choosing Catalyst 3560
Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a series designed for mid-level use. If your office isn’t pushing the realm of data centers, then you might do well with this series. For any of the viable use cases, Catalyst 3560 is a cost-efficient series.
With a proven track record, a wide range of individual models, and all of the key features you need for modern wired and wireless networking, it’s a staple that should never be overlooked.
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