Cisco switches are the network switches. A network switch, as we all know, is that part of hardware which carries data from input point to the desired destination. It is a device that can carry data from multiple input ports to a single output point.
These switches are used in Local Area Networks or LAN to determine where to send each message by means of Media Access Control address or MAC address. Simply put, a switch connects different devices in a computer network. This is done by connecting many data cables into it which enables it to communicate with different devices in the network.
Cisco has a wide range of switches which can be used for many different applications like enterprise networks, data centers, and small businesses. With constant innovations, these switches are being optimized for use in different types of industries like financial services and for other service providers.
Before the introduction of switches, devices on the Local Area Network (LAN) were connected with the help of Hubs. However, hubs had the drawback of sending all data to all the devices in the network. This resulted in a lot of bandwidth getting used, which was wastage. Also, there used to be collisions because hubs were not able to prevent them.
Switches corrected this problem. The main differences between Cisco switches and hubs are as under:
- Switches work at layer 2 of the OSI model whereas hubs work at layer 1.
- Unlike hubs, switches do not use IP addresses. They look at MAC addresses only.
- Switches provide full bandwidth to all the devices connected to them in the network by preventing a collision. This enables full utilization of bandwidth.
- All the MAC addresses passing through switches and the port they are going to are kept in a table by the switches.
- And unlike hubs, switches send the traffic only to the desired destination thus saving the valuable bandwidth.
Cisco Provides the Following Comprehensive Range of Switches:
- Blade Switches -These switches provide blade server service from blade server edge to network edge.
- Campus LAN Switches - Access - These switches enhance security, improve reliability and help in scaling the efficiency.
- Data Center Switches - These switches help in preparing the next-gen automated data center by automating and simplifying operations.
- Campus LAN Switches - Core and Distribution - These LAN switches are very useful as they offer many options in features, port speed, and scale.
- Industrial Ethernet Switches - These switches provide integrated security solutions, reduce downtime and lower the operational costs.
- LAN Network Management - Switches for this come in two categories, namely Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA) and Cisco Network Assistant (CNA). While CCA simplifies configuring and administering Cisco Smart Business Communication System, CNA simplifies wired and wireless network management.
- Virtual Networking - These switches simplify and scale virtual networking. They provide highly secure multitenant services to the data center network.
- Wan Switches - Cisco has introduced IGX8400 series switches for the customers who want to have ATM WAN backing for voice and data integration from their core to the branch office.
- Infiniband Switches - These switches are meant to improve server to storage performance. With these switches, communication to Ethernet and Fiber Channel resources is accelerated.
Cisco has many more types of switches suited for different applications but each is designed for higher security, better efficiency, and savings in operational costs.