Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Announced

25 June 2013

Cisco have today announced a range of new high end Catalyst switches designed to placate customers who have invested in the 6500 series. Described as a “game changer” by Cisco the 6800 series feature a set of fixed an modular chassis systems with some backwards compatibility to the 6500.

The full announcement is here

Game changer? Not really. Just more of the same, and according to Cisco, at a lower price point. Same OS, same restrictions with back plane speed.

How does this compare to Nexus? According to Cisco, the new models will be cheaper (which is not hard, Nexus systems should come with gold plated power supplies for how much they cost) and have the same set of features that is supported in the 6500 series. This presumably means that like in most 6500 deployments, 99% of them won’t be used by most customers.

However, for customers with an installed based of 6500s who are looking for some investment protection, the 6800 series could be something to look at.

The models:

  • 6807 – 7 slot modular switch 
  • 6880 – 3 slot modular switch with 16 fixed 10 Gbps ports
  • 6800ia – 1 RU “instant access” switch – provides similar features as the Nexus 2000 FEX and acts as a “remote line card” switch when attached to a core 6800.

The 6800s are expected to be shipping by the end of the year.

Barry Hesk
Intrinsic Network Solutions