Cisco Live 2013 Insights – Catalyst 3850
Cisco Live is obviously the biggest networking event of the year, and Cisco likes to use all the attention to show off some of their new gear. I must say I was impressed with some of the Enterprise offerings including the 6807-XL, the 6880-X, the 4451-X, and the Sup 8-E for the 4500-E (check out the Nexus 7700, too, even though they aren’t Enterprise class). Those boxes definitely gave me a bit of a tingle when I was checking them out, but my eyes opened up when I saw the 3850 in one of my sessions and on the show floor.
The 3850 is a new stackable switch platform with some really cool features. Think 3750-X on steroids. Here are some of the features.
- Built-in wireless controller – Your wired and wireless clients now all terminate on the same fabric.
- Unified access – Since the switch sees real traffic instead of just CAPWAP, then the same policies can be applied to both wired and wireless clients. QoS, VACLs, etc.
- StackWise-480 – Guess what the 480 means? Yep…480 Gbps of stack bandwidth.
- NetFlow – Get NetFlow stats off of every port without an additional module.
- RSPAN – Guess what we should be able to monitor if the wireless clients are terminated on the switch?
- Modules – 4 x 10G uplinks!
- HA framework – SSO and NSF support
- IOS-XE – No more monolithic IOS. Now we have multiple cores and multiple threads on the switch.
The best feature of all, though, is the price. The retail price of the different 3850 SKUs is the same as the equivalent 3750-X. No more 3750s, I guess.
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The 3850s are really great for buildings with single IDFs. They are going to be a nightmare in multi-story buildings or those with many small IDFs. I’ve just never had a flawless experience roaming back and forth across controllers.