Your Guide to Cisco Catalyst Switches

Choosing the right Cisco Catalyst Switches for your network

A network is only as effective as its weakest link. When you have heavy demands, you need good options to meet and exceed those demands. Cisco has been providing top-quality options for every network design for decades. This overview will introduce you to some of the most common, versatile and widely-used switches Cisco has to offer.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S

Cost-effectiveness is the name of the game with 2960-S switches. These Gigabit Ethernet switches are designed for enterprise applications in a stackable form factor that provides wired connections for reliable, adaptable network designs. These switches include all of the basics:

  • 24 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) up to 30W
  • USB Interfaces
  • Stackable up to four switches

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X

Some switches are designed for a wide range of applications. The 2960-X switches live up to that promise. These stackable, Gigabit switches are built for jobs ranging from simple device management to campus network management. The Cisco IOS software makes configuration, troubleshooting and monitoring as easy as possible, and Layer 2 and Layer 3 features ratchet up the possibilities of what can be accomplished with a single switch design. True versatility comes from the following features:

  • Up to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 4 SFP uplinks or 2 10 Gigabit SFP+ uplinks
  • PoE+ up to 740W and Perpetual PoE
  • Device management via web UI, Bluetooth, Command-Line Interface, Simple Network Management Protocol, RJ-45 console access and USB access

Cisco Catalyst 3560

Speed doesn’t always have to come at the cost of power. This fast Ethernet switch features ports that get up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections on a power-saving design that provides more finite control over total power consumption. A variety of select models can provide impressive features:

  • Up to 50 access points and 1000 clients with each stack
  • Up to 48 100 Mbps ports and multiple 10 Gbps ports
  • PoE ports providing up to 60W per port
  • Up to 160 Gbps of throughput per stack

Cisco Catalyst 3560-X

This switch series expands on its predecessor by expanding security, adding services and further improving on energy efficiency. The switch offers robust design improvements:

  • Security enhancements including Flexible NetFlow, MACsec Layer 2 encryption and TrustSec access control
  • Simplified means to deploy LAN, configure and troubleshoot networking elements
  • Hot-swappable cooling fans, modules and power supplies
  • Up to 48 PoE+ ports that support 60W per port

Cisco Catalyst 3750

Every switch has a purpose. For the 3750, the purpose is resilience and scalability. The stackable design is built around Layer 3 and EnergyWise technology. In all, it combines ease of use with exceptional capacity and expandability. More specifically, it packs the following:

  • Up to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Up to 4 SFP uplinks
  • Self-managing and self-configuring stacks
  • StackWise technology for improving efficiency in multicast applications

Cisco Catalyst 3750-X

Energy efficiency and scalability are standard demands on modern switches. The 3750-X takes those demands and adds ease of deployment and quality of service to the equation. It’s designed to more easily create secure networks for campus and branch networks. These are the tools used to make it happen:

  • Up to 4 10 Gbps uplink modules
  • 32 Gbps interconnect that stacks up to 9 switches
  • MACsec hardware-based encryption
  • PoE+ up to 30W per port

Cisco Catalyst 3850

Build on Wave 2, this is a stackable switch that provides multigigabit wired and wireless connections. Max speeds get up to 10 Gbps, and the optional switches provide up to 48 ports of raw networking power. The marriage of GE and wireless in a stackable switch makes for faster networking and improved quality of service. If ever there was a one-size-fits-all switch, this is it. A few of the impressive features include the following:

  • Up to 40 Gbps wireless capacity
  • 480 Gbps of throughput per stack
  • 50 access points and 2,000 wireless clients per stack

While there are plenty more switches available from Cisco, these are popular for a reason. They get the job done. After reading this overview, you can see that the best switches have common features. Keep that in mind as you shop for equipment. Skimping on key features will never help a network meet its demands or goals.

To order or if you have any questions, please contact one of our Network Equipment Experts today.

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