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Senior Editor

Cisco links wireless, wired worlds with new Catalyst 9000 switches

News Analysis
Nov 13, 20183 mins
MobileNetworkingSmall and Medium Business

Cisco makes it possible to run, manage, automate, and secure wired and wireless networks on top of a single operating system. And it expands its wired family with Catalyst switches for medium-sized businesses.

Cisco is making it possible to run, manage, automate, and secure wired and wireless networks all on top of a single operating system.

Key to the company’s next step in operational efficiency is a new Catalyst 9000 switch, the 802.11ax-ready 9800 Wireless LAN Controller family, which is available in an on-premises chassis or as a software addition that can be run on select Catalyst 9000 switches or a private or public cloud, Cisco said.

High-Efficiency Wireless or 802.11ax promises a fourfold increase in average throughput per user and is designed to handle high-density public environments. But it also will be beneficial in Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, in heavy-usage homes, in apartment buildings, and in offices that use bandwidth-hogging applications like videoconferencing.

Announced at Cisco’s Partner Summit going on in Las Vegas this week, the company said the Catalyst 9800 controllers feature 40-100Gbps performance, depending on the model, hot-patching to simplify and eliminate software updated downtime, Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), policy-based micro- and macro-segmentation and Trustworthy solutions to detect malware on the device.

The Catalyst 9000 family, introduced a year ago, is Cisco’s primary delivery mechanism for its intent-based networking features. That means it brings with it tons of software that enables the network to identify and react to changing network conditions.

All Catalyst 9000 family members bring support for other key products such as Cisco’s DNA Center which controls automation capabilities, assurance setting, fabric provisioning and policy-based segmentation for enterprise networks.

All of the new switches run IOS XE, which was rolled out for the on the Catalyst 9000 in 2017. What that means is that with one simple user interface DNA Center, customers can automate, set policy, provide security, and gain assurance across the entire wired and wireless network fabric, wrote Sachin Gupta, senior vice president of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking group in a blog post about the announcement. The wired and wireless domain are completely unified with the Catalyst 9000 family and DNA Center.

Cisco expands options for wired customers

While Cisco was bringing the wireless world into its intent-based networking plans, it also expanded the options of wired customers with three new Catalyst boxes for mid-sized businesses – a 24/48 port, 1G uplink model 9200L; the 24/48 port, 10 G uplink and a modular version.

The Catalyst 9200 switches include security features that protect the integrity of the hardware, software and data that flows through the switch by offering  policy-based micro- and macro-segmentation and security features to detect malware on the device, Cisco said.

Basically the new switch gives smaller deployments access to the full suite of Cisco enterprise services. The Catalyst 9200, like other Catalyst switches also support Perpetual Power Over Ethernet.

The Catalyst 9800 and certain 9200 model switches will be available in the fourth quarter. The remainder of the Catalyst 9200 switches available in the first quarter of 2019.