Wireless And Wired Zones United In Latest Cisco Catalyst Switch

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Policy unification for networks announced by Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior presenting Catalyst 3850 switches

Cisco has announced a version of its Catalyst switch family which combines wired and wireless networks, as well as a new wireless LAN controller with up to 60Gbps capacity, at the Cisco Live event in London.

The new Catalyst 3850 includes wireless LAN control, so IT managers can control both wired and wireless networks using the same policies, according to the company’s announced Cisco ONE (Open Network Environment) strategy. It is based on a new custom ASIC, which is also applied in the new wireless LAN controller, the 5760.

Everything on the Internet

“We are the unquestionable leader for networking in the enterprise and for service providers, and we are becoming stronger in the data centre,” said Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior (pictured).

She listed the usual drivers of massive change – big data generated  from the Internet of things (Cisco calls it the “Internet of Everything”) and consumerisation along with the trend to allow employees to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Padmasree Warrior CTOThe 3850 is not just a new Catalyst switch (adding to the 25 million already sold) but a “fundamental change in networking,” said Rob Soderbery, vice president for enterprise networking. “It is an awesome box.” Based on a new custom ASIC processor, called the Unified Access Device Plane (UADP), the new switch costs the same as the previous Catalyst 3750, starting at $5,000.

The 5760 wireless uses three of the new UADP chips, and is intended to support vast numbers of client devices – Cisco says we have on average 2.5 Wi-Fi devices each. Like upgrades from rivals such as Aruba, it is designed to handle the load from mobile apps and be ready for the faster speeds that will come with 802.11ac.

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