Cisco just launched a new series of switches to address the edge. Just over a year ago we covered the Cisco Catalyst 2960-L launch. Now, we have the upgrade to those switches in the Cisco Catalyst 1000 series. These are switches that sit at the edge and provide 1GbE and potentially Power over Ethernet (PoE) to edge devices while also providing SFP/ SFP+ uplinks to a core network.
Cisco Catalyst 1000 Series
Cisco has 8, 16, 24, and 48 port 1GbE switches that can either come with a more traditional IOS CLI or a web management feature. In today’s market, a 1GbE switch is not considered high-performance for its data rates, especially when you consider that the 100GbE market is serviced by every major networking vendor. Instead, it is the smaller features that matter, and that is where Cisco is improving. One of the features we like in this segment is surge and lightning protection. Many edge locations do not have proper surge protection, so Cisco is addressing that market dynamic with the new Catalyst 1000 series. These are the small generational improvements that show Cisco is still committed to improving in this market segment.
We wanted to point out that if you want to get information on the new switches, Cisco does something different from other vendors in this class, they make you go through an account login just to get a data sheet. This is highly unusual for competitors in this segment. The unfortunate part here is that this extra step will prevent users from evaluating these lower-end switches since this segment’s competitors do not require this step.
With the new switches, there are a few notable upgrades over the Cisco Catalyst 2960-L series. Cisco has improved the environmental rating with 5C higher operating temperatures. You can see that that the Cisco Catalyst 1000 series now has a 740W PoE option doubling power delivery to the edge.
Cisco also offers a web management feature that one can access even over Bluetooth on smart-managed models.
There are Cisco users and partners that see a GUI for networking as sacrilegious, but Cisco is practical here. PoE switches and 1GbE switches in this market are purchased by smaller businesses where a GUI is more friendly. Today, even children are accustomed to a WebGUI, which makes this management feature very accessible. If you only need to change a setting or two and be done, then that is a lower barrier to entry than learning a new CLI, especially for a non-technical end customer.