Tech Corner

Cisco 9300 Series Chassis Switches: A Model Comparison

The Cisco 9300 series, released in 2017, was built for modern business environments, leveraging automation and requiring simplicity for connectivity. For many enterprises, the Cisco Catalyst 9000 series switches became the preferred choice, and for good reason. While newer generations are available, the Catalyst 9300 series switches remain viable. 

The models in the 9300 series include Catalyst 9300, Catalyst 9300X, Catalyst 9300L, and Catalyst 9300LM. 

In this article, we will provide the following:

  • A comparison of the specifications of the different models in the Cisco Catalyst 9300 series chassis switches.
  • An explanation of how to pick the right one for your network operations.
  • Advice on how to find the best rates.

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Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches Overview

The Catalyst 9300 Series is a stackable enterprise switching platform built for security, IoT, mobility, and the cloud. It is optimized for speeds up to 10G copper and 10/25G fiber. 

The Catalyst 9300 switches form the foundational building blocks for Cisco DNA and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access), Cisco's leading enterprise architecture. 

These switches are the industry's first optimized platform for Wi-Fi 6 and 802.11ac Wave 2, with support for 1G/2.5G/5G/10G Multigigabit and dual-rate 25G/10G downlinks, 10G multigigabit, 100G/40G/25G/10G/1G uplinks, 90W Cisco UPOE+, Cisco UPOE, and PoE+.

The newest additions to the series are the 9300X 10/25G fiber switches. The 9300X models are the fixed access replacement for the Catalyst 3850XS series, offering 1 TB stacking bandwidth with 100G uplink options, enabling flexible deployments at the access layer.

Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches Highlight Features

The Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series consists of fixed and modular uplink models with different port speeds and densities to meet enterprise campus environments' ever-increasing performance. Additionally, it provides an architectural foundation for next-generation hardware features and scalability. 

Here are the key features of 9300 Series switches:

  • Provides support for the highest density of 90W UPOE+ and Wi-Fi 6 and 802.11ac Wave 2 access points, like the Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series. 

  • Includes a native Docker container and enhanced application hosting supporting ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents and DNA Spaces onboard, Audio Video Bridging (AVB), and Catalyst 9800 Series embedded wireless controller support. 

  • Offers the most flexible uplink architecture with fixed 1-Gbps and 10-Gbps models (C9300L), as well as modular uplink models (C9300) with 1-Gbps, Multigigabit, 10-Gbps, 25-Gbps, and 40-Gbps options and high performance (C9300X) with 1-Gbps, Multigigabit, 10-Gbps, 25-Gbps, 40-Gbps, and 100G options. 

  • Offers a choice of 25-Gbps/10-Gbps/1-Gbps fiber, Multigigabit (including 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 Gbps), 5-Gbps, 2.5-Gbps, 1-Gbps copper Ethernet switch models with up to 400-Gbps uplink bandwidth, and the industry-leading 1-Tbps stacking bandwidth solution.

  • StackWise-480 technology for stacking up to 12 units that act as a single platform, with support for the best NSF and SSO resiliency architecture for a stackable solution (sub-50 ms).

  • Only switching platforms in the industry with front- and back-panel stacking support, optimizing it for various deployments.

  • Protected by the E-LLW.

Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Quick Model Comparison

The Catalyst 9300 Series Access Switches offer the flexibility of 90W UPOE+ and multigigabit, helping provide business resilience. All models include Cisco SD-Access, Cisco StackWise, Docker containers, Cisco DNA Spaces, Cisco ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents, and an Enhanced Limited Lifetime Warranty (E-LLW).


Catalyst 9300X modular uplink models

Catalyst 9300 "B" higher scale, modular uplink models

Catalyst 9300 modular uplink models

Catalyst 9300L fixed uplink models

Total number of MAC addresses





Total number of IPv4 routes (ARP plus learned routes)

39,000 (24,000 direct routes and 15,000 indirect routes)

112,000 (48,000 direct routes and 64,000 indirect routes)

32,000 (24,000 direct routes and 8000 indirect routes) 

32,000 (24,000 direct routes and 8000 indirect routes)

IPv6 routing entries





Multicast routing scale





QoS scale entries





ACL scale entries





Packet buffer per SKU

16 MB buffer for C9300X-12Y

32 MB buffer for 24- and 48-port Gigabit Ethernet models 

16 MB buffer for 24- or 48-port Gigabit Ethernet models

16 MB buffer for 24 and 48-port Gigabit Ethernet models

32 MB buffer for C9300X-24Y

64 MB buffer for 24-port Multigigabit model (24UXB)

32 MB buffer for 24 and 48-port Multigigabit


16 GB

8 GB

8 GB

8 GB


All the specifications for the models in the series are presented in the Cisco 9300 series datasheet

Cisco Catalyst 9300 Configuration Guide

The configurations for individual models vary, with nineteen models with modular uplink and fourteen with fixed uplink. Similarly, the port scale and power supply also vary by each model. 

Another important thing to note is the support for network modules for uplink ports. Thanks to the field-replaceable network modules and their higher speeds, the Cisco 9300 series switches can seamlessly migrate from 10G to 25G or higher. 

However, the default configuration does not include the network module, and it must be specified at the time of purchase. Also, not every network module is compatible with all the models. For instance, the module C9300-NM-8X, a 10G/1G network module, works with all models but C9300X-NM-4C only works with select models (C9300X-48HX, C9300X-48TX and C9300X-24Y). 

The Cisco Catalyst 9300 POE support is included in virtually all models except a few (C9300-24T, C9300-48T, C9300-24S, C9300-48S, C9300L-24T, C9300L-48T). 

The datasheet provides all the information regarding configuration. Model-specific Cisco 9300 switch configuration documentation can also be found on the product page

Cisco Catalyst 9300 command references have been updated periodically and can be found here

Why Consider Upgrading to 9300?

The Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series fixed access switches are designed to help you change your network from a connectivity platform to a platform of services.

It’s the first purpose-built platform for complete fabric control with Cisco DNA and SD-Access. These switches deliver stellar performance and functionality and extend Cisco's networking leadership with significant innovations in security, mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the cloud.

These switches are backed by Cisco’s reliable warranty, which will continue for up to five years once the products are discontinued (yet to be announced). 

With integrated security, these switches are ready for cloud, IoT, and even AI applications. 

The Catalyst Series switches, in general, and the 9300 family, in particular, are leaps ahead in performance compared with other Cisco switches, such as the Cisco 3560 and 3850.

A Word on Licensing

The subscription licensing package includes the Cisco DNA Essentials, Cisco DNA Advantage options, and Cisco DNA Premier. In addition to on-box capabilities, the features available with this package provide Cisco innovations on the switch and Cisco DNA Center.

Cisco DNA subscription licenses are mandatory at the time of configuration. With Cisco DNA software licenses, customers receive embedded SWSS – which covers 24x7x365 Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support, software release updates, advanced support analytics, and designated service management. This is valid only for the Cisco DNA software subscription stacks (Cisco DNA Essentials, Advantage, and Premier).

Cisco Catalyst 9300 End of Life

Cisco has yet to announce the end-of-life (EOL) dates for the Catalyst 9300 switches. It may be another couple of years until the Cisco Catalyst 9300 EOL is announced and eventually the end of service life (EOSL) announcement. 

The 9300 series switches are an active part of the vendor’s suite of networking switches, along with other series like 9400, Meraki MS390, and Nexus 3550. Cisco and value-added retailers (VARs) will continue to offer these products. Technical support for these models isn’t ending any time soon, as that typically happens three to five years after EOL. 

In early 2023, Cisco announced EOL dates for Cisco ONE 9300 DNA Advantage licenses. As of December 2023, the 9300 series switches are no longer shipped with a DNA Advantage subscription.  

Procure With PivIT at the Best Rates!

While Cisco 9300 Series switches are advanced enough to suit modern networks' complex, performance-centric needs, they can be a pricey option, given the mandatory licensing requirements, something Cisco is well-known for. 

PivIT doesn’t apply the same constraints, allowing customers to enjoy base licensing at the exact pricing. In other words, procuring the Catalyst 9300 series models with PivIT is cheaper than with the OEM or another retailer. 


PivIT has historically offered savings as high as 60 percent on infrastructure procurement, including network equipment such as switches and access points. On top of that, you get no-nonsense, reasonable lead times. 

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