Catalyst 9300 Series Switches
Heralded as the next generation of the industry’s most popular Cisco switching platform of the stackable variety is Cisco’s Catalyst 9300 Series. Having received acclaim in the form of CRN’s 2017 Overall Network Product of the Year, the Catalyst 9300 serves as the foundation for a number of applications like security, Internet of Things, and cloud, as part of Cisco’s Software Defined Access – their most popular enterprise architecture.
With a very clean design, the Cisco 9300 series has an industry-fit look with clean angles and a low fan noise at optimal temperatures along with great hardware. It is possible to stack up to eight switches in a Data Stack and four in a star Power Stack topology. In addition, these network modules support backward compatibility with the existing modules for 3850 and also encourage hot swapping.
With plenty of memory – 16 GB of flash RAM and 8 GB of DRAM – users have lots of memory to make use of.
The demand for Cisco’s Catalyst 9300 series has been on a rise ever since Cisco announced its intent-based networking systems and their plans to adopt the same. They firmly believe that this could provide a network solution capable of introducing a number of applications and devices with higher efficiency and better security, especially in dealing with new security problems.
What is intent based networking?
Intent-based networking systems are not an entirely new concept and consist mainly of a system in which a network administrator can put forward a state of the network he/she desires and make use of automated software for network orchestration to implement these policies. This is no longer a dream as machine learning algorithms have progressed to a point where these systems are possible. It aims to move from manual translations to algorithmic validation and a real-time adaptation to changing network conditions.
Features and benefits of
Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series switches
The widespread adaptation of the Catalyst 9300 series is due to a number of unique features that make it easy for use. Some of these include:
- IoT friendly design – Made keeping in mind converged IoT networking, the 9300 series consists of 384 ports with 60W POE. It is quite adept at dealing with modern problems, providing world-class security, audiovisual bridging, service discovery, and IoT classification.
- Designed for Cloud- Meant to transform and secure your cloud environment, the Catalyst 9300 series aims at providing an approach that’s ready for the digital world using an edge-to-center approach.
- Mobility- Providing a unified, safe, and secure access is a key highlight of the 9300 series.
- Troubleshooting- Aiming for proactive network management, Cisco’s Catalyst 9300 aims to solve any problems as soon as possible, which is a huge win for users.
While lots of major features are included in the Cisco Catalyst 9300 series, a few details to keep in mind are-
- It is impossible to make a purchase of these switches without a DNA license, even if you do not wish to make use of the DNA features.
- These licenses require a renewal every three to seven years.
- The use of DNA-capability further requires the purchase of a server appliance.
Advantages of the Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series switches
- Easy convergence with the 9000 portfolios.
- Policies are consistently made useful in terms of security, automation, and so on. In addition, the segmentation feature allows users to separate devices, reducing the attack surface.
- Support for the highest density 802.11 AC Wave 2 deployments in the industry, with Cisco Multigigabit tech.
- A single version of the software across the entire product line makes for easy adoption and reliability. Besides, it provides excellent scalability throughout with the stacking concept.
- Cisco’s DNA software offers policy-based automation and secures functional connectivity in addition to critical analytics. This provides assurance across your network.
- Allows for good connectivity between regions of campus and allows the auto-provisioning of end-user devices and access points.
- Constant updates to solve bugs and stable hardware.
Disadvantages of the Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches
- The lack of a controller providing integrated visibility between DNA and ACI is pronounced by some users as a disadvantage. In addition, it is certainly deemed expensive for some.
- Long lead times can cause a bit of trouble.
- The licenses are priced at the higher end of the spectrum, and this makes small enterprises think twice before making use of these.
- In addition, many users have complained of power supply issues in the past as well as reports of a buggy IOS, which are fixed on the next update nevertheless.
Most users agree that the Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series of stackable switches is a great option for the expanding enterprise, enabling better networking modules and connectivity. It is especially suited for large companies or campuses but might prove overwhelming for small enterprises and businesses.
With an excellent security framework and trustworthy architecture, this product is indeed a product for tomorrow, protecting both hardware integrity, software, and data flowing across the switch and the network. Made keeping in mind the requirements of business-critical branches and other campus environments, it makes sure to provide an extra layer of security and resilience and makes the process of segmentation readily available. Meanwhile, these switches are not apt for data center environments due to the bandwidth that is offered.
The main win as far as the Catalyst 9300 series is concerned is the IoT and cloud-friendly design; most users have attested to their trustworthiness and ease of integration. It remains to be seen how these play into the intent-based networking systems that Cisco has in store and how the adoption of these switches pans out in the long run and in the greater picture. For now, we can definitely conclude that the Catalyst 9300 series is a wonderful, innovative product that has proven true to its word and managed to satisfy customers in spite of its price.
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