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Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series: time to upgrade your switches?

Have you thought about upgrading from slow or older network hardware? If not, you should and now is the time. Prices on one of the Cisco Catalyst 3850, one of the premier lines, have dropped significantly. Cisco is one of the most respected brands in the networking world and delivers superior products as a result of constant innovation and a commitment to excellent performance.

The Catalyst 3850 series gives you simple and reliant converged wireless-wired access which enhances the mobility of your network infrastructure. The 3850 series offers superior performance and significant operational enhancements when compared with previous generations.

Is it time to upgrade to the 3850 series yet? Here’s a breakdown to help answer that question. 

1. What makes the Cisco Catalyst 3850 series stand out?

Most enterprise level switches are stackable, but the 3850 series stands out in its ability to manage wireless, as well as wired network traffic, in a single unit. It also converges wired-wireless connections which helps streamline incoming traffic. It has been on the market for over 5 years now, which makes it more affordable than the most recent models. The 3850 series is still in production, which means regular firmware updates and technical support. 

The Catalyst 3850 utilises 4 by 10 GE connections supporting up to 480G of network traffic. Additionally, it can manage up to 2,000 end users per stack and around 100 access points. The PoE+ on the 3850 can handle up to 60W per port.

The 3750 series supports network traffic at 64G. It supports PoE and maxes out at 30W per port.

2. Best environments for the 3850 series

The wireless networking capacity of the Cisco Catalyst 3850 series makes it an ideal choice for any network that acts as a genuine hub for sprawling network traffic. A single stack can handle massive and dense networks with ease. It offers PoE+ ports allowing a reduction in hardware without compromising on your network’s performance. The QSPF ports allow the 3850 series to advance further than the 100G networking standard. 

The Catalyst 3850 series is an excellent choice for data-rich environments such as data centers, hospitals and corporations.

3. The standard switches:  24 and 48 POE and non-POE

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 series offers both PoE and non-PoE options. If your model number had a letter ‘P’ in it, it means that the switch is a PoE model. 

Finding the right port size is also very important because it ultimately decides the amount of network traffic the whole setup can handle. The Catalyst 3850 models come in two port sizes:

  • WS-C3850-24P-S. This is a 24 port, PoE switch with a layer 3 infrastructure. It also has an IP base and can be stacked.
  • WS-C3850-24P-S. This is a 48 port switch which means it has 10/100/100*48 Ethernet ports. It is also Stackable and boasts a Layer 3 infrastructure.

4. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Stackwise technology

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 series operates on an innovative stacking technology called Cisco StackWise-480.

Cisco StackWise technology links multiple switches and unifies it into one logical switch.  With a bandwidth of 480 Gbps it can handle very high traffic without compromising on speed. It allows virtualization of networking devices, which is essential for mission-critical corporate networks. The parent switch acts as the management center for the whole system, which enables you to configure your priority end points.

If you want to increase the overall efficiency and output of your network, the Catalyst 3850 series is the perfect choice. It can handle heavy loads and the growth of your network. It also expands wired service and can manage robust wireless networks by itself.

Feba Maryann
Feba Maryann
Feba Maryann is a freelance journalist who writes for websites and magazines in Asia and North America. She is currently pursuing her Integrated Masters on Computer Science Engineering with a specialization in Data Science from VIT, Vellore.

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