Cisco has a new family of switches designed for multi-gigabit and 25/100GbE capabilities. The Cisco Catalyst 9300X series is the company’s upgrade path from the Catalyst 3850 series for newer fiber networks. Edge networking is being pushed by WiFi 6E where we will start to see multi-gigabit uplinks as standard. As such, this forces the stack to move to 25GbE to distribution and 100GbE at the core of many networks.
Cisco Catalyst 9300X Series Launched
The new Catalyst 9300X switches have 12 and 24 fixed ports of multi-rate 1G/10G/25G. There are even stacking options up to 1Tbps (using StackWise-1T) and dual-rate 40G/100G uplinks.
With the new 9300X series, there are new network modules as well including the:
- C9300X-NM-8M (8x 10G)
- C9300X-NM-8Y (8x 1G/10G/25G)
- C9300X-NM-2C (2x 40G/100G)
One of the interesting parts of the release is that Cisco mentions that there is a dual-core CPU with 8GB of memory, a 240GB USB 3.0 storage drive. There are also 2x 10GbE AppGig ports. Finally, the system supports “Quick Assist Technology” (QAT). There is a space in the Cisco blog, but we think this means Intel QuickAssist Technology which is also referred to as QAT. A dual-core processor with dual 10GbE networking and QAT is likely something out of the Atom C3000 line like the new C3338R or a Xeon D derivative. When we first covered the Intel Atom C2000 Series Bug Cisco worked with Intel to find the bug and get the fix started. Cisco is still using Intel CPUs in its latest products even though we know a number of readers have horror stories of replacing C2000-based Cisco products in the field.
While we have been reviewing higher-end 100GbE and 400GbE data center switches recently, Cisco is addressing campus networking with this release. Offering a new 25GbE solution with lower port counts brings the potential to upgrade either at once or over time, as an organization moves from 10GbE to 25GbE networking. We have been hearing this is increasingly a push that networking vendors are observing with their customers with one of the primary drivers being WiFi 6/ 6E and 5G networks changing the edge device bandwidth consumption expectations.