Modernize Your Switching Infrastructure

Rowell Dionicio

Are you deciding how to approach the upgrade path of your end-of-life Cisco Catalyst switches? Modernizing your switching infrastructure can lead to more questions depending on if the plan is to maintain standalone switches or migrate to cloud-managed switches. 

Data traffic from the Wi-Fi network means you’ll want to ensure you can support Wi-Fi 6 and the upcoming Wi-Fi 6E. Devices are increasingly supporting the latest Wi-Fi features.

Let’s take a brief look at two methods of managing your network switches.

Cisco Catalyst 2960X

Are you deciding between cloud-managed or on-prem?

Ask yourself, where do your applications live today? The majority of today’s traffic is north/south because of the migration to the cloud. There are fewer servers kept on-site. 

Switch upgrades continue to connect devices for the speed that 1 Gigabit and higher provide. With more and more people relying on mobility, switches become a critical piece of infrastructure to support Wi-Fi. 

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) standards to support Wi-Fi 6 provide more watts with many access points having Multi-Gigabit capability. These access points require more power from the switch. 

But infrastructure decisions depend on other aspects, such as the ease of deployment. Upgrading multiple switches across multiple sites is no easy task. Cloud-managed switches offer Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs) and templates for efficient upgrades of switching infrastructure.

MS125-48 | Stackable Access Switches | Meraki Switching

Such features move away from traditional command-line interface (CLI) configuration and transition to simple to use dashboards to help remove network administrations’ complexity.

With IT teams working with a lean staff, having cloud-managed infrastructure is essential. The centralized management of network switches simplifies network operations. Whereas Cisco Catalyst switches typically were managed individually unless a separate management server was deployed.

Meraki's at-a-glance view of the network

We can relate to the challenges you can run into if you don’t have the local IT or struggle to scale staff with the expertise to manage standalone switches and CLI. What matters to you most? 

Will advanced features such as SD-Access or ISE policy-based automation and licenses be required? Or will you need the flexibility of upgrades and rollouts? Then on-prem Catalyst switches may be your requirement.

Or do you require ease of use, easily scalable, with visibility into your network through a centralized dashboard? Considering Meraki MS switches may be the right migration option.

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Packet6 is a Cisco and Meraki partner and we can help layout the pros and cons to assist you in your network switching upgrade plans. Contact Us today for a trial.

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