3650 Switches vs 3850 switches?
Enterprise networks need powerful hardware to form a communication infrastructure that can handle high demand in many metrics. Cisco has long been an industry leader in meeting these needs, and many discussions of networking equipment end up comparing different Cisco devices.
If you need powerful switches that can handle diverse applications, you will probably look into the 3850 and 3650. We can directly compare the two to see which might be better for your intended purposes.
Defining Characteristics of the 3650
The Cisco 3650 is a stackable switch available both 24 and 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit. It utilizes an integrated wireless controller, and it can stack in groups of nine. The stacks can operate at 160 Gbps through Cisco StackWise-160 technology.
The 3650 is designed to be a versatile networking infrastructure device. It can function as a switch, router or wireless controller, and it is compatible with a number of interfaces, including Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP), SFP+, QSFP+ and Gigabit Ethernet. It’s a versatile device that can handle mid-level networking traffic and capacity, making it a great choice in many enterprise applications.
What Makes the 3850 So Compelling
The Cisco 3850 networking switch is something of a big brother to the 3650. The 3850 is a high-level network switch that has modular and field-replaceable network modules. It connects with RJ45 and fiber interfaces, and it is designed for versatility above all.
It is made with redundant fans and power supplies, supports PoE+, and can support optics transmission distances up to 80km. It manages high-capacity networking and supports larger stacks, greater network capacity, and higher overall performance than the 3650. It is a backbone device in many data centers and comparable applications.
Key Differences Between the Two Switches
When it comes to direct comparisons, there are a few keynotes. Starting with power, the 3850 draws more than the 3650, but the 3850 supports power stacking. The 3650 does not.
Capacity is another major difference. The 3650 can handle up to 50 access points and 1000 clients. The 3850 supports up to 100 access points and 2000 wireless clients on each switching entity (with licensing). That’s double the overall capacity.
Similar differences can be seen in bandwidth. A full stack of 3650 switches can handle bandwidth up to 160 Gbps. The 3850 stack maxes out at 480 Gbps.
For all of these differences in performance, the two switches are comparable in terms of price.
Use Cases of 3650 & 3850 Switches
Technical specifications and differences are well and good, but sometimes it is easier to compare networking devices from an application point of view. The 3650 and 3850 both shine when used as intended. Looking at the primary use cases for each switch series can exemplify what distinguishes these products from each other.
The 3850 series is designed for premium use. You will find these devices in data centers forming the distribution layer for layer 2 and layer 3 networking. It is intended for dense, high-speed networks.
It particularly shines as a quarterback for wireless connectivity and mesh infrastructure. The PoE+ ports make it easy to run adaptable mesh networks off of 3850 switches and stacks.
Similarly, this series is ideal for connecting workstations with access points and VoIP access at each station. That makes it great in campus-level networking and applications.
The 3650 is also a versatile, highly-used switch series. Its lower capacity and speeds make it well-suited for enterprise-level networking that does not fall into the data-center class of demand. It can serve at an infrastructure level for layer switching in mid-range organizations. It is great for interconnecting users to file servers, emails servers, and/or print servers.
It’s also amazing as the backbone of audio-video networking and equipment bridging. Networks for dozens of people across multiple nearby offices are well-served by the 3650.
The simple fact is that there is a great networking device for every specific purpose. These are two switch series that have a history of excellent performance in a wide range of applications. When network capacity or speed is the most important consideration, the 3850 is the clear choice. When a network doesn’t need so much power, the 3650 can save a little money without compromising overall performance.
Additional Learning Center Resources
- 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?
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- Visit the CK Learning Center