Advanced Features for Demanding Environments, at an Affordable Price
Your business is growing, and that means more customers, more opportunities, and more attention on your company. The only problem: Your network was built for a smaller operation. As you add more devices, applications, and users, your IT environment will become increasingly difficult and expensive to manage. Even worse, as the network becomes more complex and overloaded, your users are likely to see sluggish performance and even outages.
With more customers and employees depending on your business than ever before, a slow or unreliable network is simply not an option. You need an IT backbone that provides excellent performance, nonstop availability, and advanced security. The ideal network will be easy to manage, even as it supports more advanced features, and will be designed to grow with your company. And it is available at a price you can afford.
Cisco 500 Series Stackable Managed Switches
The Cisco® 500 Series Stackable Managed Switches (Figure 1) are a new line of stackable managed Ethernet switches that provide the advanced capabilities you need to support a more demanding network environment, at an affordable price. These switches provide 24 or 48 ports of Fast Ethernet and 24 to 52 ports of Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with optional 10 Gigabit uplinks, providing a solid foundation for your current business applications, as well as those you are planning for the future. At the same time, these switches are easy to deploy and manage, without a large IT staff.
Cisco 500 Series switches are designed to protect your technology investment as your business grows. Unlike switches that claim to be stackable but have elements which are administered and troubleshot separately, the Cisco 500 Series provides true stacking capability, allowing you to configure, manage, and troubleshoot multiple physical switches as a single device and more easily expand your network. The Cisco 500 Series switch offer models which are fanless making it one of the industry’s first in stackable switches, thereby delivering increased reliability, power efficiency, and minimizing noise.
A true stack delivers a unified data and control plane, in addition to management plane, providing flexibility, scalability, and ease of use since the stack of units operate as a single entity constituting all the ports of the stack members. The switches also protect your technology investment with an enhanced warranty, dedicated technical support, and the ability to upgrade equipment in the future and receive credit for your Cisco 500 Series switch. Overall, the Cisco 500 Series provides the ideal technology foundation for a growing business.
Features and Benefits
Cisco 500 Series switches provide the advanced feature set that growing businesses require, and that high-bandwidth applications and technologies demand. These switches can improve the availability of your critical applications, protect your business information, and optimize your network bandwidth to more effectively deliver information and support applications. The switches provide the following benefits.
Easy Deployment and Use
Cisco 500 Series switches are designed to be easy to use and manage by small businesses or the partners that serve them. They feature:
- Simple-to-use graphical interfaces reduce the time required to deploy, troubleshoot, and manage the network and allow you to support sophisticated capabilities without increasing IT head count.
- The switches also support Textview, a full command-line interface (CLI) option for partners that prefer it.
- Using Auto Smartports intelligence, the switch can detect a network device connected to any port and automatically configure the optimal security, quality of service (QoS), and availability on that port.
- Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) discovers Cisco devices and allows devices to share critical configuration information, simplifying network setup and integration.
- Support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) allows you to set up and manage your switches and other Cisco devices remotely from a network management station, improving IT workflow and mass configurations.
- The Cisco FindIT utility, which works through a simple toolbar on the user’s web browser, discovers Cisco devices in the network and displays basic information, such as serial numbers and IP addresses, to aid in configuration and deployment
High Reliability and Resiliency
In a growing business where 24x7 availability is critical, you need to assure that employees can always access the data and resources they need. In these environments, stackable switches can play an important role in eliminating downtime and improving network resiliency. For example, if a switch within a Cisco 500 Series stack fails, another switch immediately takes over, keeping your network up and running. You can also replace individual devices in the stack without taking your network offline or affecting employee productivity.
The Cisco 500X models provide an additional layer of resiliency with support for the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP). VRRP lets you extend the same resiliency that stacking provides for individual switches to complete network domains. By running VRRP between two stacks, you can instantly cut over from one stack to another in the event of a problem, and continue operating even after a failure.
The Cisco 500 Series also supports dual images, allowing you to perform software upgrades without having to take the network offline or worry about the network going down during the upgrade.
Simplified IT Operation
Cisco 500 Series switches help optimize your IT operations with built-in features that simplify and streamline day-to-day network operation:
- True stacking allows you to troubleshoot, configure, and manage multiple physical switches as a single entity.
- Unlike other stacking switches that require uniform configurations, the Cisco 500 Series allows you to mix Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet models in a single stack, providing total flexibility without sacrificing manageability.
- Cisco switches use common chipsets/software across all switching portfolios, so all Cisco switches within a category support the same feature set – making it easier to manage and support all switches across the network.
Some switches claim to support stacking but in practice support only “clustering” – meaning that each switch must still be managed and configured individually. Cisco 500 Series switches provide true stacking capability, allowing you to configure, manage, and troubleshoot all switches in a stack as a single unit, with a single IP address.
A true stack delivers a unified data and control plane, in addition to management plane, providing flexibility, scalability, and ease of use since the stack of units operate as a single entity constituting all the ports of the stack members. This capability can radically reduce complexity in a growing network environment while improving the resiliency and availability of network applications. True stacking also provides other cost savings and administrative benefits through features such as cross-stack QoS, VLANs, and port mirroring, which clustered switches can’t support.
Cisco 500 Series switches provide the advanced security features you need to protect your business data and keep unauthorized users off the network:
- Embedded Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protects management data traveling to and from the switch.
- Extensive access control lists (ACLs) restrict sensitive portions of the network to keep out unauthorized users and guard against network attacks.
- Guest VLANs let you provide Internet connectivity to nonemployee users while isolating critical business services from guest traffic.
- Support for advanced network security applications such as IEEE 802.1X port security tightly limits access to specific segments of your network. Web based authentication provides a consistent interface to authenticate all types of host devices and operating systems, without the complexity of deploying IEEE 802.1X clients on each endpoint.
- Advanced defense mechanisms, including dynamic Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) inspection, IP Source Guard, and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) snooping, detect and block deliberate network attacks. Combinations of these protocols are also referred to as IPMB (IP-MAC- port binding)
- IPv6 First Hop Security extends the advanced threat protection to IPv6. This comprehensive security suite includes ND inspection, RA guard, DHCPv6 guard and neighbor binding integrity check, providing unparalleled protection against a vast range of address spoofing and man in the middle attack on IPv6networks.
- Time based ACLs and Port Operation restrict access to the network during predesignated times, such as business hours.
- Uniform MAC address-based security can be applied automatically to mobile users as they roam between wireless access points.
- Secure Core Technology (SCT) helps ensure that the switch is able to process management traffic in the face of a denial of service attack.
- Private VLAN Edge (PVE) provides Layer 2 isolation between devices on the same VLAN.
- Storm control can be applied to broadcast, multicast, and unknown unicast traffic.
- Protection of management sessions using Radius, TACACS+ and local database authentication as well as secure management sessions over SSL, SSH, and SNMPv3.
- DoS (denial-of-service) attack prevention maximizes network uptime in the presence of an attack.
Networkwide Automatic Voice Deployment
Using a combination of CDP, LLDP-MED, Auto Smartports, and VSDP (Voice Services Discovery Protocol – a unique Cisco protocol), customers can deploy an end-to-end voice network dynamically. The switches in the network automatically converge around a single voice VLAN and QoS parameters and then propagate them out to the phones on the ports where they are discovered. For example, automated voice VLAN capabilities let you plug any IP phone (including third-party phones) into your IP telephony network and receive an immediate dial tone. The switch automatically configures the device with the right VLAN and QoS parameters to prioritize voice traffic.
High-Power Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+)
Cisco 500 Series switches support the Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) standard (IEEE 802.at), providing up to 30 watts per port. The power is managed in a smart fashion such that only the amount of power the endpoint needs is delivered to it and not wasted. As a result, the switches can support devices that require more power, such as dual-band 802.11n wireless access points, video-based IP phones, surveillance cameras, and more.
PoE capabilities simplify the deployment of advanced technologies by allowing you to connect and power network endpoints over a single Ethernet cable, without having to install separate power supplies. Cisco 500 Series switches are also fully backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11af PoE and previous- generation Cisco legacy PoE protocols.
As the IP address scheme evolves to accommodate a growing number of network devices, the Cisco 500 Series can support the transition to the next generation of networking and operating systems such as Windows 7, Vista, and Linux. These switches continue to support previous-generation IPv4, allowing you to evolve to the new IPv6 standard at your own pace, and helping ensure that your current network will continue to support your business applications in the future. Cisco 500 Series switches have successfully completed rigorous IPv6 testing and have received the USGv6 and IPv6 Gold certification.
Advanced Layer 3 Traffic Management
The Cisco 500 Series enables a more advanced set of traffic management capabilities to help growing businesses organize their networks more effectively and efficiently. For example, the switches provide static LAN Layer 3 routing, allowing you to segment your network into workgroups and communicate across VLANs without degrading application performance.
With these capabilities, you can boost the efficiency of your network by offloading internal traffic-handling tasks from your router and allowing it to manage primarily external traffic and security.
Cisco 500X models go even farther, providing dynamic Layer 3 routing features. With these capabilities, you can minimize the need to manually configure routing devices and simplify the ongoing operation of the network.
The Cisco 500 Series integrates a variety of power-saving features across all models, providing the industry’s most extensive energy-efficient switching portfolio. These switches are designed to conserve energy by optimizing power use, which helps protects the environment and reduce your energy costs. They provide an eco-friendly network solution without compromising performance. Cisco 500 Series switches feature:
- Support for the Energy Efficient Ethernet (IEEE 802.3az) standard, which reduces energy consumption by monitoring the amount of traffic on an active link and putting the link into a sleep state during quiet periods
- The latest application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), which use low-power 65-nanometer technology and low power high performance ARM CPUs
- Automatic power shutoff on ports when a link is down
- LEDs can be turned off to save power.
- Embedded intelligence to adjust signal strength based on the length of the connecting cable
The Cisco 500 Series provides more ports per Gigabit Ethernet switch than traditional switch models, giving you more flexibility to connect and empower your business. Gigabit Ethernet models feature 28- and 52-port switches, versus traditional devices that offer 20 or 44 ports, with 4 shared ports giving you more value. The Cisco 500 models offer 1G and 1G/5G Ethernet expansion slots, and the Cisco 500X models offer 10 Gigabit Ethernet expansion slots. As your business adds new applications, devices, and more bandwidth, you retain the flexibility to expand and interconnect your network infrastructure intelligently and efficiently, and reduce bottlenecks.
Peace of Mind and Investment Protection
Cisco 500 Series switches offer the reliable performance and peace of mind you expect from a Cisco switch. When you invest in the Cisco 500 Series, you gain the benefit of:
- Limited lifetime warranty with next-business-day (NBD) advance replacement (where available, otherwise same day ship)
- A solution that has been rigorously tested to help ensure optimal network uptime to keep employees connected to key resources and productive
- A solution designed and tested to easily and fully integrate with other Cisco voice, unified communications, security, and networking products, as part of a comprehensive technology platform for your business