Cisco’s newest splash: Catalyst 9200 and 9800

Cisco launched their intent-based networking initiative about two years ago now and have taken the market by storm with the revamped vision of the network of the future.  Programmability is at the core, and simple function with a GUI driven architecture through DNA Center powers the way.  The latest rollout is to extend the intent-based networking concept to smaller networks and further enhance the Cat9K’s capability to run a seamless wired and wireless network.

The new wireless

First is the Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller.  Due to the capabilities of virtualization, you can run it on the Catalyst 9300 switch embedded, in the cloud, or on a Catalyst 9800.  Control of AP environments from 200 to 6000 has never been more flexible from Cisco.  Also, the new controller is fully functional within DNA Center, which is something I know many have been clamoring for with more integration in Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA).   Key features:

  • Always-on -> No Downtime
    • Software updates with no disruption
    • Rolling AP upgrades
    • Seamlessly add new AP Models
  • Secure -> Threat Detection
    • Detect threats with Encrypted Traffic Analytics
    • Automated Micro/Macro segmentation
    • WPA3 Support
  • Flexible -> Deploy Anywhere
    • On-Prem, Private/Public cloud, Embed in a switch
    • Government cloud ready
    • Scale as you grow
  • Open & Programmable -> Integration into IT and Business Operations

But why?

Cisco has the most widely deployed controller in the industry.  But, even experienced wireless engineers found some things daunting.  Do we need tiered controllers?  What size restriction are we planning for growth?  Where am I going to put a controller for this location?  Therefore, embedded integration into a branch site or through a cloud controller solves the last one.  Then, ease of functionality and integration into advanced programmability was not where it could have been due to restrictions of some APIs helps solve others.  Now, all of these have been addressed as Cisco continues to deliver on the approach for a seamless architecture between wired and wireless.  The network is evolving, how you manage it should too.

The new branch

Second is the Catalyst 9200 Switches.  Let’s be honest; everyone is concerned about the price point combined with future-proofed capabilities when it comes to the branch, especially a smaller office.  Therefore, the Catalyst 9200 is designed with 2x the performance at the same price as those devices from Cisco and competitors they aim to replace.  Key features:

  • Always-On
    • Stacking capabilities
    • Field Replaceable Units (FRU) for Fan and Power Supplies to prevent downtime
    • Cold Patching capabilities
    • Provides power to POE devices even during a reboot
  • Secure
    • Policy-based micro-segmentation (micro and macro) with DNA Center
    • Link encryption
    • Flexible Netflow
  • IT Simplicity
    • Programmability
    • Application recognition
    • 3-click WebUI for easy deployment by anyone

But why?

Any amount of time spent looking at industry trends show the branch is explosive these days!  Why?  Cloud-based applications and resources.  Your users are at the branch, and their access requirements aren’t just taking new roads (more internet) they’re consuming more bandwidth along with it.  The branch is no longer a desire to update but a necessity.  Every bit of downtime at your branch is a loss of productivity, more now than it used to be.  Along with the explosiveness of use, there are even more factors to consider – security.  Your branch should be secure, and with DNA Center’s policy-based segmentation you can provide the same security wrap around you expect in today’s climate.

Why we believe in Cisco

At Quaversal, we believe in Cisco’s strategy because we’ve seen it in action and it aligns with our own goals.  We seek to improve customer’s automation portfolio from the tiniest of steps to full stack automation.  Then, we want to ensure that every aspect of your environment is enveloped in a security posture that not only protects you but alerts and is proactive when the need arises.  Notice, I didn’t say ‘if’ the need arises, security is not a matter of ‘if’ it is one of ‘when’!  Lastly, we deserve more from our infrastructure.

Most of you are reading this have an app on your phone or device on your wrist that performs analytics of you – from working out, to steps, to caloric intake to hit your goals.  Shouldn’t your investment in infrastructure do the same?  Therefore, we aim to encase analytics into our customers which provides business data that is more than just netflow.  The who and most importantly the, why of your traffic is, is essential to everyone from IT, to marketing, to application developers, and more.

Interested in taking this journey together?  Great, let us begin.

Until next time,
Paul

 

Images copyright Cisco Systems Inc.

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