Tech Corner

Cisco Switch: The Ultimate Guide for Enterprises

Cisco switch products form the cornerstone of enterprise networks worldwide. As the leading networking equipment manufacturer, Cisco is well-known for its switching technology and offers a wide range of core and access switches. 

For businesses with on-prem equipment, switches are the lifeblood of the network. You want to choose models that meet performance and security requirements. And doing so requires some research. 

Our Cisco switch guide provides a comprehensive overview of the different series, including some that have officially discontinued but remain in demand. We’ll also discuss configuration, stacking, and troubleshooting issues so you can make the most of your Cisco switch investment. 

As a procurement partner of Cisco hardware infrastructure, PivIT offers all types of switching technology from the brand. With short lead times and transparent billing, PivIT makes it easy for enterprises to purchase Cisco switches while saving money. 

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Cisco Switch Series

Cisco offers many different series of switches, catering to the various technical needs of enterprise networks. Each series has various configurations or models to suit specific requirements, such as the number of ports or bandwidth limits. However, key features are the same across a series. 

There are dozens of Cisco switch series. They can be roughly categorized into access, core/distribution, and data center. 

Access switches, such as computers or peripherals, help connect end devices to the network. Core switches connect other switches to the network, so they’re supposed to handle higher traffic volumes and oversee communication. Data center switches are more like the latter, except they’re designed for large data centers, such as cloud providers, that deal with vast data transfers and virtualization. 

Access Switches

Most small to medium-sized enterprises will require network access switches, so the Cisco Catalyst series is the most sought-after. 

Let’s explore them:

Catalyst 9400

switches-catalyst-9400-series-switches

The Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches are modular (chassis) access switches designed for modern enterprises with hybrid environments. 

The 9400s can be configured as a chassis switch series according to port and bandwidth requirements. With several supervisor engines and line cards, these switches can be configured for small, medium, and large enterprises to connect end users and devices to the network. 

The Cisco 9400 series is the recommended replacement for Cisco 4500 Series switches, as it offers higher bandwidth and larger ports. 

Catalyst 9300

Catalyst 9400

If you want more options, the Cisco Catalyst 9300 series is the answer. These are fixed, stackable switches that can be scaled as needed. When combined with Cisco software solutions, enterprises can effectively manage and optimize network communications, including in hybrid workplaces. 

With stacking, the Catalyst 9300 switches can deliver a bandwidth of up to 1 TB. Plus, most models offer power over ethernet (PoE), offering double the power than legacy models like Cisco 3560 and Cisco 3850 switches. These models also feature advanced security features based on the zero-trust concept.

Read the Detailed Comparison of Cisco 9300 Series Switches


Catalyst 9200

Catalyst 9200

For those looking for simple, entry-level switches with multigigabit and PoE+ options, the Cisco Catalyst 9200 series is the answer. The basic PoE+ models are available in 9200 and 9200L variations. The difference is that the 9200L models are fixed with non-removable uplinks and fans, which makes them cheaper than the 9200 models. Also, the 9200L models are Energy Star certified. 

The 9200CX models are compact switches for small businesses and compact LANs. 

The Cisco 9200 series switches replace the Cisco 2960, 2960X, and 2960XR series

Catalyst 1300

Catalyst 1300

The Cisco Catalyst 1300 Series comprises managed switching platforms for small to medium-sized businesses. With over 19 different models, the series comes with a Cisco Business Dashboard, making it easier for companies to deploy, monitor, and manage the switches in their network environment. There are ample security features to ensure businesses can protect their data while providing Internet access to employees or customers. 

Catalyst 1200

Catalyst 1200

The Cisco Catalyst 1200 Series is another entry-level, affordable switch series. Like the 1300s, it is designed for small business networks and can be managed with the Cisco Business Dashboard (also available as a mobile app). A 1200 series switch can help connect multiple computers, printers, and servers in a small office. Some of the models in this series also support PoE+. 

Core and Distribution Switches

Cisco offers powerful switching solutions with both the Catalyst and Nexus series. These switches are for campus deployments, as core or simply distribution. These series have more robust performance parameters and security features than access switches. As a result, core or distribution switches are generally more expensive, requiring a sizeable capital expenditure (CapEx). 

Catalyst 9500

Catalyst 9500

The Catalyst 9500 Series is renowned for its unbeatable performance and advanced features. It offers high-density, modular switches ideal for campus core and distribution deployments. 

The Catalyst 9500 Series enables intent-based networking with Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA) and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) support. These switches simplify operations and enhance security through policy-based automation and segmentation. 

This series suits large enterprises and organizations requiring a secure, scalable, and programmable network infrastructure.

Catalyst 9600

Catalyst 9600

The Catalyst 9600 Series represents Cisco's flagship modular core switch offering, providing unparalleled performance, scalability, and intelligence for enterprise networks. With features like Cisco's Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) 3.0 ASIC and Flexible NetFlow, the Catalyst 9600 Series delivers industry-leading throughput and telemetry capabilities. 

The 9600 series switches are empowered with analytical features that help organizations gain deep insights into network traffic and performance. They seamlessly integrate with the broader Cisco ecosystem for comprehensive network automation and security. 

This Cisco core switch series is ideal for large enterprises and service providers requiring a high-performance, future-proof core networking solution to meet tough demands.

Nexus 7000

Nexus 7000

The Nexus 7000 series excels in data center aggregation and core layers, boasting high-density, high-performance switching coupled with features like Virtual Device Context (VDC) for efficient segmentation. It's geared towards enterprises with substantial data center workloads requiring reliable connectivity and achieving near-perfect uptime. 

Read our extensive guide on Nexus 7000 Series switches.

Data Center Switches

Nexus 9000

Nexus 9000

The Nexus 9000 series stands out for its exceptional scalability and performance, offering both modular and fixed-configuration options ideal for data center deployments. Leveraging technologies like Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and VXLAN overlay, the Nexus 9000 series delivers advanced programmability and automation capabilities, making it well-suited for large enterprises and service providers requiring agile, software-defined networking solutions. 

Nexus 3000 

Nexus 3000

The Nexus 3000 series targets low-latency, high-performance top-of-rack (ToR) switching, which is particularly vital for latency-sensitive applications like financial trading. Its focus on ultra-low latency and high throughput makes it a favorite among financial institutions and other enterprises requiring lightning-fast networking. 

Nexus 2000

Nexus 2000

The Nexus 2000 series, comprising Fabric Extenders (FEX), simplifies management and expands connectivity options for Nexus switches, forming a unified fabric architecture. This series suits enterprises seeking streamlined management and scalability without compromising performance, making it a popular choice for mid-sized businesses and organizations with growing networking needs.

Legacy Switches and Maintenance

Cisco switches can last for years beyond the end-of-sale date. However, support from Cisco typically ends within five years of that date. Also, even if a series has reached end-of-sale, it may still be available through resellers in new and used conditions. 

For instance, the Cisco 6500 and 6800 series have reached end-of-sale. However, their end-of-support dates are 2024/2025 and 2027, respectively. In other words, these switches will remain functional for several years. 

Knowing the end-of-support date for such a series is important so you know exactly when you need to refresh or find an alternative solution. 

Like many other manufacturers, Cisco uses end-of-sale and end-of-support milestones to push customers to refresh and buy the newer, more expensive replacement models. Although a refresh can be a good idea, as newer models often have better features and improved performance, it’s also an expensive move that requires considerable CapEx. Not all enterprises may have the need or resources available for a refresh.

So, what other options do you have? If you can’t or don’t want a refresh for a Cisco switch reaching end-of-support, you can opt for third-party maintenance (TPM). 

Maintaining Beyond End-of-Support

Cisco’s end-of-support isn’t necessarily the end of the lifespan of your switches, as you can continue to use them with support from a third party. A TPM provider can offer the same level of technical support to deal with configuration and operational issues, ensuring that the device remains useful for the foreseeable future. 

The obvious benefit of this type of support is that you don’t immediately have to spend on a refresh. This will buy you time to analyze your performance and technical requirements and be better prepared for the refresh when the time finally comes. 


Working with a TPM to maintain equipment also results in savings, as OEM maintenance is typically very expensive for legacy equipment. And in the case of Cisco, it’s simply not available. 

At PivIT, we’ve helped many clients save on their CapEx and delay refresh cycles for networking equipment over the years. At the same time, companies can lower their operating expenditures (OpEx) by avoiding hefty premiums for legacy support. OneCall, the comprehensive hardware maintenance solution from PivIT, lets enterprises keep their equipment like network switches even after Cisco has stopped support. 

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Cisco Switch Basic Configuration Guide

Cisco switches are typically easy to deploy if you have network engineers who can configure the device within your existing network. Your Cisco switch will come with details on configuration, which can come in handy when deploying a new model with advanced features, a new OS, and different software licenses. 

The exact configuration can vary by series, as depending on the model you’re using, you may need to set up various functions for the switch. And the commands for those functions may be specific. That said, knowing the basic Cisco switch commands can be helpful when configuring and managing a switch in the network. 

Switch configuration requires technical expertise, so it’s best to have a network engineer deploy your device. This will help avoid configuration drifts, a big security risk (it’s even part of the OWASP Top 10 standards). A vulnerability created by the wrong configuration can expose the switch to malicious attacks and compromise the network's overall security. 

Before beginning configuration, it’s recommended that you acquaint yourself with the device. As we’ve explored, each Cisco series has unique features, some of which may require their own configuration. 

Steps to Configure a Cisco Network Switch

Here’s a step-by-step process of configuring a Cisco switch into your network:

  1. Connect to the Switch: Use a console cable to connect a computer or terminal to the switch's console port. To establish a serial connection, you can use a terminal emulation program like PuTTY or SecureCRT.

  2. Power On the Switch: Locate the power button on the device and press it to turn it on.

  3. Access the Command Line Interface (CLI): Once on, you’ll see a prompt on your terminal screen. You may have to press Enter a few times to display the command prompt.

  4. Enter Privileged EXEC Mode: Type ‘enable’ and press Enter. If a password is configured, you may have to enter it.

  5. Enter Global Configuration Mode: Type ‘configure terminal’ or ‘conf t’ and press Enter. This mode allows you to make configuration changes to the switch.

  6. Configure Basic Settings: To set the switch's hostname, use the ‘hostname’ command followed by the name you want to assign. You can also configure IP addressing for management purposes using the interface ‘vlan 1’ command.

  7. Configure Interface Settings: Enter the interface configuration mode for specific interfaces using commands like interface ‘GigabitEthernet0/1’ (exact command varies) and configure settings such as IP address, VLAN membership, speed, and duplex.

  8. Configure VLANs: Although optional, this step is recommended for ease of management. Create VLANs using the ‘vlan’ command followed by the VLAN number and a name. For example, ‘vlan 10 name Sales.’ Assign interfaces to VLANs using the interface command within VLAN configuration mode.

  9. Configure Security Features (Optional): Implement security measures such as port security, DHCP snooping, and IP Source Guard to protect the network from unauthorized access and attacks.

  10. Save Configuration Changes: Once you've completed your configuration, save the changes to the switch's running configuration by typing ‘write memory’ or ‘copy running-config startup-config’ and pressing Enter.

  11. Exit Configuration Mode and Log Out: Type ‘exit’ to exit configuration mode, then ‘log out’ or ‘exit’ to log out of the switch.

  12. Verify Configuration: Use various show commands (e.g., show running-config, show interface status, show vlan, etc.) to verify your configuration. 

At PivIT, we go beyond procurement and offer deployment services for networking equipment. Our hardware and network engineers can stage configuration remotely, so when you receive your equipment, you’re ready to deploy it immediately. 

Learn more about EXTEND remote staging services

Discover more about switched topology:

Cisco Switch Stacking: Scalability With Convenience

Stacking refers to combining two or more switches into a single logical switch. Some Cisco switch series support stacking and are called stackable switches. 

Switch stacking allows enterprises to manage multiple switches and get more bandwidth and ports out of them simultaneously. Instead of configuring multiple switches separately, network admins can create a single logical switch by connecting multiple stacking switches, allowing more end devices to be connected to one switch. 

Stacking was made popular by the successful line of Catalyst 2000 switches. With the release of 2960S switches, Cisco made stacking technology more accessible. And it took it to the next level with even more advanced features and streamlined management with the release of 2960X and 2960XR stacking modules

Cisco has developed several stacking technologies, including proprietary ones that only work with specific models. But before we discuss the technologies, it’s important to understand how a switch stack works and its different associated terms. 

How Stacking Works?

Stacking involves physically connecting two or more switches, although depending on the stacking technology, they may not necessarily have to be physically next to each other. 

All stacks feature an active switch. This switch is responsible for configuring and managing the entire stack. So, an administrator typically only needs to connect with the active switch to make configuration changes or troubleshoot issues. It’s also used to add or remove switches from the stack. 

There’s also the standby switch, which will replace the active switch should it develop an issue and go offline. This way, the stack is resilient against failure. Other switches in the stack are called members. 

Of the many ports in the stack, some are dedicated to communication between the switches. These are called stack ports. These ports may be pre-configured in some stackable switch models. 

The number of switches depends on the stacking protocol you’re using. Some early stacking technologies limited the number of switches stacked into a single logical unit. 

Cisco Switch Technologies

The networking giant has introduced several different stacking technologies over the years. Here’s what they are and how they’re used:

VSS

Virtual Switching System (VSS) is Cisco’s proprietary switch stacking technology, compatible with the 6500 and 4500 series switches. 

It’s an older technology that allows two switch chassis to be connected and turned into one switch. It used 10GE interfaces and only supported two switches. However, the switches don’t have to be closer to each other, so they can be placed geographically apart. 

Because there are only two switches in a VSS, there’s no active switch but a master switch. The other switch is termed a slave switch. VSS is easy to configure, as you just need to set up port channels and SSO. 

StackWise

StackWise, another proprietary switching protocol from Cisco, replaced the VSS in the newer stackable switch models. StackWise's biggest advantage is that you can stack up to nine (eight on some series) switches in a single stack. This means more ports and higher bandwidth. 

Compared with VSS, the only drawback is that switches have to be nearby, connected with proprietary cabling, which doesn’t work at a distance. 

StackWise was introduced with the Catalyst 3750 series. StackWise is also available in the current series with modular models like Catalyst 9200 and 9300. 

vPC

Virtual Port Channel, or vPC, is also a type of stacking technology specific to Nexus switches only. It’s typically used to connect an access switch to an uplink switch. These physically connected switches appear as a single port channel to outside devices. 

Only two switches can be stacked to create a vPC. This technology is available with data center switches like the Nexus 7000 and 9000 series. 

Cisco Switch Alternatives

Although Cisco dominates the network switch market, there are alternatives to its various switch series. Enterprises exploring different options to embrace multi-vendor environments often look for the best features and value for money, regardless of the brand. 

Exploring other options is highly encouraged, as going with a different OEM than your current one may help prevent vendor lock-in. 

At PivIT, we’ve always been big fans of multivendor environments, as enterprises can take advantage of the best-in-breed devices to create superior performance and high reliability. With PivIT’s procurement specialists, you can discuss your network needs and find the best switch options from Cisco and its competitors. 


Here are the alternative brands to Cisco for switching technology:

Juniper Networks

Juniper is another leading name in networking. For three consecutive years, it has been featured in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wired and Wireless Network Services. 

Like Cisco, Juniper Networks offers various switch series. The EX Series is their flagship offering, with advanced features like virtual chassis technology that make it highly scaleable (think of it as an alternative to Cisco stacking). 

Juniper has also been betting on AI with its Mist AI platform. The Mist AI Wires Assurance Service works with EX Series switches and leverages the power of AI for network management with detailed insights and automated processes. 

Juniper competes closely with Cisco, particularly in data center and campus networking environments. Their commitment to open standards and programmability makes them an ideal choice for enterprises with the technical capacity to create customized solutions.

Arista Networks

Arista mainly offers cloud networking solutions. It’s known for challenging traditional networking paradigms with its software-driven approach. Arista switches, including the 7000 series, are designed for high-density environments. They offer low latency and high throughput, ideal for demanding workloads in data centers and cloud computing. 

In addition, Arista's Extensible Operating System (EOS) provides a rich set of automation and programmability features, empowering organizations to streamline operations and accelerate innovation. 

Founded in 2004, Arista is comparatively younger than Cisco. However, its focus on next-generation networking architectures has made it a big player in the industry. 

Read our comparison of Arista 7200X Series and Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series switches.

Netgear

Netgear is well known for its affordable and reliable networking products tailored for small to medium-sized businesses and home users. Netgear switches, like the ProSAFE series, offer a balance of performance and cost-effectiveness, catering to budget-conscious customers. 

While Netgear may not match Cisco's extensive feature set or enterprise-grade capabilities, its user-friendly interfaces and straightforward setup make it a popular choice for SMBs seeking reliable networking solutions without breaking the bank.

Netgear’s switch offerings compete with Cisco’s entry-level switches, such as the 1200 and 1300 series. They’re a viable option for small businesses or branch offices. 

Aruba Networks

Acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Aruba Networks specializes in wireless and mobility solutions, including switches. 

Aruba switches, such as the Aruba CX series, are engineered for the digital workplace, emphasizing simplicity, scalability, and security. Aruba offers easy user experience and operational efficiency with built-in analytics and AI-powered insights. 

One advantage of Aruba networking equipment compared to Cisco is that it can integrate seamlessly with HPE’s broader portfolio of products. So, for example, if an enterprise is running HPE servers, utilizing Aruba switches may be a better choice. 

Also, Aruba’s licensing is less complicated than Cisco's, often requiring enterprises to license different software products (like Cisco DNA) to operate networking equipment. 

Cisco Switches Common Problems + Troubleshoot Guide

Cisco’s networking switches are generally reliable but not entirely immune to issues, errors, and even failure. Problems can occur due to misconfiguration, incompatibility, or outdated software. 

Maintenance ensures that any hardware issues are resolved promptly and connectivity remains intact. Switches play an integral role in end users' network availability. 

Here are the common issues you may face with a Cisco switch:

Port Connection Failure

Port connectivity issues are the most common in network switches. The actual cause may vary, as this issue may be linked to hardware or software. The corresponding device can’t connect to the network if a port isn't working. And if the port is a special port like one that connects to a router or another switch, you’ll have even more disconnected devices.

Here’s how you can troubleshoot this issue:

  • Inspect the physical connection: Ensure the network cable or fiber is not damaged and properly connected to the port. If the LED (Link/Activity) is off, it’s most certainly a physical connection issue. 

  • Check link status: Use the CLI to check the port status, as it may be disabled. If it’s disabled, enable it using the ‘no shutdown’ command. 

  • Check VLAN configuration: If you’ve set up VLANs, check that the port is linked to a VLAN. This can be checked via VLAN configuration settings. 

  • Restart: If the above solutions fail, try rebooting the switch. Make sure any configuration changes have been saved before. 

  • Check device settings: Review the device IP address, subnet masks, and default gateways to ensure the port connects to the right device. 

  • Review switch logs: Review switch logs to find any recent configuration changes that may have resulted in port connection failure. 

Power Failure

Issues with the power supply or the circuit can cause power failures. Replacing the power adapter or a cable does the job in most cases. Here are some troubleshooting guidelines:

  • Check the power connection: Make sure the power cable is properly connected, and the adapter is plugged into an outlet. 

  • Check the power outlet: Use another device to confirm the power outlet works. 

  • Check the cable and adapter: Inspect the cable and adapter to look for physical damage. 

If the above troubleshooting steps fail, you may need to replace the power supply unit. You can also invest in Cisco switches with redundant power supplies, which remain on even if one power supply unit fails. 

VLAN Issues

VLANs are useful for separating traffic between different groups of hosts. So they’re used in networking frequently. With VLANs, the switch port must be configured to be associated with a specific VLAN. However, issues can arise if the access port isn’t connecting to the VLAN. 

Here’s how to troubleshoot VLAN-related issues in switch ports:

  • VLAN Assignment: If an access port isn’t associated with a VLAN it should be, it may be disabled or not properly configured. First, confirm that the port is configured as an access point for that particular VLAN. If not, assign the VLAN to the access port. Then, confirm that it’s enabled.

  • VLAN Deletion: A switch port will automatically become inactive if its VLAN is deleted. You can confirm this by checking the network's VLANs. If the VLAN has been deleted, it will need to be configured again, and the switch port will need to be assigned to it. 

  • Trunk Port Issues: If you’re using Layer 3 switches for inter-VLAN routing, you may face trunk port issues, such as improper configuration or incompatible trunking protocols between two switches. To resolve this issue, ensure the trunking mode is consistent across connected switches. 

Compatibility Issues

Some problems can arise from switches not being compatible with other switches or connected end devices. Here are some:

  • Hardware Incompatibility: If you mix switches from different vendors or use different firmware versions, you may face connectivity issues. To ensure that you’re using compatible switches, it’s best to refer to the compatibility matrices from Cisco. Also, update the firmware to the latest one.

  • Different Communication Protocols: Devices that use differing protocols may be unable to communicate. Following standardized protocols on switches and connected end devices can help deal with this compatibility problem. Also, configure the protocol interface parameters to match, as otherwise, the protocol implementation will fail even if the protocols on both devices are the same.
     
  • PoE Incompatibility: Connecting PoE-enabled devices to Cisco switches that don’t support the required PoE standard or power budget can cause devices not to receive power or malfunction. Verify the PoE standards (e.g., 802.3af, 802.3at) supported by the switch and the power requirements of connected devices. If necessary, upgrade to appropriate PoE or PoE+ switches.

  • Mismatched Speed or Duplex: The switch and the connected device must have the same speed or duplex (half duplex/full duplex). Otherwise, the communication may fail. This can easily be solved by disabling auto-negotiation and manually configuring the speed and duplex on both ends. 

Cisco Switch: Buyer’s Guide

Enterprise-grade network switches by Cisco can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. You can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars if you procure switches for a large campus or several branches. In other words, network switches can be a hefty investment and require significant CapEx. 

So it’s only fair that you consider the important things and choose models that meet technical and budgetary requirements. 

Here’s what you should consider when procuring Cisco switches:

Type

The first and foremost thing to decide is the switch you require. This depends on the topology and where you plan to use the switch. Stackable models are better for access switches if you’re looking for scalability. 

Speed

There are three generalized speed categories for switches: 

  • Fast Ethernet switches (FS) - 10/100 Mbps
  • Gigabit network switches (GS or JGS) - 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • Ten-gigabit network switches (GSS) - 10/100/1000/10000 Mbps. 

More specific speeds are also offered, especially by core or distribution switches. Choose according to your traffic needs. If the traffic is higher than the switches handle, add more switches or upgrade to ones with higher bandwidth. 

Ports

How many devices do you need to connect using the switch, and how many more do you plan to add? 

When buying network switches, consider near-future growth regarding end devices and traffic. The switches can accommodate the devices and meet the network demand. 

Cisco Catalyst 9000s generally offer easy port scalability, so increasing the number of available ports with some upgrades is not too difficult. 

Features

Besides the basics, Cisco switches come with a slew of features that can effectively improve network performance and management. Since you’ll pay a premium for these features, it helps to look at how exactly they may help. 

Choose switches with features that can help you optimize performance and enhance security. At the same time, consider the return on investment (ROI) for such features. If your requirements are simple, especially when buying access switches, you may not necessarily need to spend much on premium features. 

Procure with PivIT

With millions of devices in inventory and over 60 percent in savings, PivIT offers a cost-effective way for modern enterprises to procure the latest switching technology from Cisco. 

With support from our procurement specialists, you can benefit from short lead times and secure the technology you need to grow your business. Whether you require new switch additions to accommodate more devices or an entire uphaul of your switching layer, PivIT has your back with its global procurement network and value-added services. 

Learn more about switching infrastructure with PivIT!

FAQs

What are the different types of switches?

The different types of switches include unmanaged switches, which are plug-and-play devices without configuration options; managed switches, which offer advanced features like VLAN support and Quality of Service (QoS); and Layer 3 switches, which can perform routing functions in addition to switching at the network layer.

Switches can also be categorized as access, core, or distribution. Access switches connect with the end devices, whereas core or distribution switches connect with other switches or routers. Core switches are responsible for routing and often have advanced features. 

Lastly, modular or chassis switches can be configured instead of fixed configuration switches that come pre-configured. 

Which Cisco switch is the best?

Determining the "best" Cisco switch depends on specific requirements such as network size, budget, and required features. Cisco offers a range of switches catering to various needs, including Catalyst series switches for enterprise networks, Nexus series switches for data centers, and Meraki switches for cloud-managed deployments.

Can a Cisco switch be a DHCP server?

You configure a Cisco switch as a dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server. This allows the switch to dynamically assign IP addresses to devices within the network, simplifying network management and reducing the need for manual IP configuration.

How to reset the Cisco switch to factory default?

To reset a Cisco switch to factory defaults, you can typically use the ‘write erase’ command followed by ‘reload’ to reboot the switch. Alternatively, you can use the ‘erase startup-config’ command followed by ‘reload.’

Keep in mind that this will erase all the configurations, and the switch will need to be configured again. 

What is the Cisco switch default IP address?

If the switch isn’t dynamically assigned an IP address, it will retain its factory default IP address, typically 192.168.1.254. However, the factory default IP address depends on the model. Refer to the switch's user manual to find the default IP address. 

Why is the Cisco switch port suspended?

A Cisco switch port may be suspended for various reasons, including spanning tree protocol (STP) configuration issues, port security violations, or physical layer problems like cable faults. Checking the switch logs and configuration can help identify the cause of the port suspension.

Can a Cisco switch be a DNS server?

Cisco switches can’t be configured as DNS servers, as their primary function is switching or, at the most, routing. You may be able to configure a Cisco router as a DNS server. 

My Cisco switch will not power on. What do I do?

If your Cisco switch does not power on, ensure it is properly connected to a power source and that the power supply unit functions correctly. 

Check the switch, power cable, and adapter for any visible signs of damage or overheating. If the switch still does not power on, contact Cisco technical support for further assistance or consider replacing the faulty hardware.

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