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Comparison : Cisco 2960-X Vs Cisco 9300 Catalyst Switches

Today I am going to talk about the feature comparison between two Access Switches of Cisco. These switches are Cisco 2960-X and Cisco 9300 catalyst switches. Cisco 2960-X is a old switch with many features while Cisco catalyst 9300 is something which Cisco launches in 2017 and is awarded as one of the best switches in the enterprise networks.

Cisco 2960-X/XR Switches:
The Catalyst 2960-X uses 802.1X for port-based network access control. Enable scalable and dynamic role-based access control with Cisco Trust-Sec Technology. Protect against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks with IPv6 First Hop Security.

Fig 1.1- Cisco 2960-X/XR Switch 


While talking about Cisco 2960-X switch, These switches are come up with 24 and 48 port with SFP/SFP+ options with the maximum available power of 740 W while if we are talking about Cisco 9300 switch we have similar kind of configuration of 24 and 48 Port with SFP/SFP+ and UPOE options. The maximum available power of 1100 W which is much more than the Cisco 2960-X option.


Fig 1.2- Cisco 2960 X/XR Vs Cisco Catalyst 9300 Switches


Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches feature:
  1. 24 or 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports with line-rate forwarding performance
  2. 4 fixed 1 Gigabit Ethernet Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplinks or 2 fixed 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ uplinks
  3. PoE+ support with a power budget of up to 740 W and Perpetual PoE
  4. Cisco IOS LAN Base[1] or LAN Lite 1 and Cisco IOS IP Lite[2]
  5. Device management with web UI, over-the-air access via Bluetooth, Command-Line Interface (CLI), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), and RJ-45 or USB console access
  6. Network management with Cisco Prime®, Cisco Network Plug and Play, and Cisco DNA Center
  7. Stacking with FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended
  8. Layer 3 features with routed access (Open Shortest Path First [OSPF]), static routing, and Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
  9. Visibility with Domain Name System as an Authoritative Source (DNS-AS) and Full (Flexible) Net-flow
  10. Security with 802.1X, Serial Port Analyzer (SPAN) and Bridge Protocol Data Unit (BPDU) Guard
  11. Reliability with higher Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Enhanced Limited Lifetime Warranty
  12. (E-LLW)
  13. Resiliency with optional dual field-replaceable power supplies

    Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR various model comparison
Fig 1.3- Cisco 2960-X/XR comparison

There are some other excellent things which Cisco introduces in Cisco 9300 catalyst switch which is not there in Cisco 2960-X. The Features like PoE capabilities with up to 384 ports of PoE per stack, 60 W Cisco UPOE, and PoE+ and Dual-stack support for IPv4/IPv6 and dynamic hardware forwarding table allocations, for ease of IPv4-to-IPv6 migration.

What other features which attract more customer towards Cisco 9300 switches ?
Well, Features like ETA ( Encrypted Traffic Analytics); Support for AES-256 with the powerful MACsec 256-bit encryption algorithm; Hardware anchored Secure Boot and Secure Unique Device Identification (SUDI) support for Plug and Play, to verify the identity of the hardware and software. 

The switches are based on the Cisco Unified Access Data Plane 2.0 (UADP) 2.0 architecture which not only protects your investment but also allows a larger scale and higher throughput with IOT supports and UADP 2.0 Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) with programmable pipeline and micro engine capabilities, along with template-based, configurable allocation of Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding, Access Control Lists (ACLs), and Quality of Service (QoS) entries

   Table showing the difference between Cisco 2960 X and Cisco 9300 Switch
Fig 1.4- Cisco 2960-X and Cisco 9300 Comparison


Apart from above, Cisco 9300 Series Switches are Cisco’s lead stackable enterprise switching platform built for security, IoT, mobility, and cloud. They are the next generation of the industry’s most widely deployed switching platform. The Catalyst 9300 Series switches form the foundational building block for Software-Defined Access. 

Catalyst 9300 Series is the first optimized platform for high-density 802.11ac Wave 2. It sets new maximums for network scale. These switches are also ready for the future, with an x86 CPU architecture and more memory, enabling them to host containers and run third-party applications and scripts natively within the switch.

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