The Cisco® Catalyst® 3850 Series is the next generation of enterprise-class stackable access-layer switches that provide full convergence between wired and wireless on a single platform. Cisco’s new Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) powers the switch and enables uniform wired plus wireless policy enforcement, application visibility, and application optimization. This convergence is built on the resilience of the new and improved Cisco StackWise-480. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches support full IEEE 802.3at Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+), Cisco Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE), modular and field-replaceable network modules, redundant fans, and power supplies.
• Integrated wireless controller capability with:
– Up to 40G of wireless capacity per switch (48 port models)
– Up to 50 access points (APs) and 2000 wireless clients support on each switching entity (switch or stack)
• 24 and 48 10/100/1000 data and Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) models with Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)
– Cisco StackWise®-480 technology provides scalability and resiliency with 480 Gbps of stack throughput
– Cisco StackPower™ technology provides power stacking among stack members for power redundancy
– Three optional uplink modules with 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet or 4 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports
– Dual redundant, modular power supplies and three modular fans providing redundancy
– Full IEEE 802.3at (PoE+) with 30W power on all ports in 1 rack unit (RU) form factor
– Cisco Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE) which delivers up to 60W per port over standard cabling infrastructure
• Software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, Multicast routing, modular quality of service (QoS), Flexible NetFlow (FnF) Version 9, and enhanced security features
• Single Universal IOS image across all license levels, providing an easy upgrade path for software features
• Enhanced limited lifetime warranty (E-LLW) with next business day (NBD) advance hardware replacement and 90-day access to Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support
Converged Wired plus Wireless Access
The Cisco Catalyst 3850 is the first stackable access switching platform that enables wired plus wireless services on a single Cisco IOS XE Software-based platform. With this, Cisco has pioneered a host of rich capabilities such as high availability based on stateful switchover (SSO) on stacking, granular QoS, security, and Flexible Netflow (FNF) across wired and wireless in a seamless fashion. Also, the wired plus wireless features are bundled into a single Cisco IOS Software image, which reduces the number of software images that users have to qualify/certify before enabling them in their network. The single console port for command-line interface (CLI) management reduces the number of touch points to manage for wired plus wireless services, thereby reducing network complexity, simplifying network operations, and lowering the TCO to manage the infrastructure.
Converged wired plus wireless not only improves wireless bandwidth across the network but also the scale of wireless deployment. Each 48-port Cisco Catalyst 3850 provides 40 Gbps of wireless throughput (20 Gbps on the 24-port model). This wireless capacity increases with the number of members in the stack. This makes sure that the network can scale with current wireless bandwidth requirements, as dictated by IEEE 802.11n-based access points and with future wireless standards such as IEEE 802.11ac. Additionally, the Cisco Catalyst 3850 distributes the wireless controller functions to achieve better scalability. Each Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch/stack can operate as the wireless controller in two modes:
• Mobility agent (MA): This is the default mode in which the Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch ships. In this mode the switch is capable of terminating the CAPWAP tunnels from the access points and providing wireless connectivity to wireless clients. Maintaining wireless client databases and configuring and enforcing security and QoS policies for wireless clients and access points can be enforced in this mode. No additional license on top of IP Base is required to operate in the mobility agent mode.
• Mobility controller (MC): In this mode, the Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch can perform all the mobility agent tasks in addition to mobility coordination, radio resource management (RRM), and Cisco CleanAir® coordination within a mobility subdomain. The mobility controller mode can be enabled on the switch CLI. IP Base license level is required when the Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch is acting as the mobility controller. A centrally located Cisco 5508 Wireless LAN Controller (WLC 5508), Cisco Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) (when running AireOS Version 7.3), and Wireless LAN Controller 5760 can also perform this role for larger deployments.
With mobility agents located in the wiring closets providing 40 Gbps of wireless per switch ( n x 40 Gbps for a stack of n switches) and mobility controllers managing some of the central wireless functions, the converged access-based wireless deployment provides best-in-class scalability for wireless and significantly improved wireless throughput.