Your business is growing, and that means more customers, more opportunities, and more attention on your company. The only problem: Your network was built for a smaller operation. As you add more devices, applications, and users, your IT environment will become increasingly difficult and expensive to manage. Even worse, as the network becomes more complex and overloaded, your users are likely to see sluggish performance and even outages.
With more customers and employees depending on your business than ever before, a slow or unreliable network is simply not an option. You need an IT backbone that provides excellent performance, nonstop availability, and advanced security. The ideal network will be easy to manage, even as it supports more advanced features, and will be designed to grow with your company. And it is available at a price you can afford.
The Cisco 500 Series Stackable Managed Switches (Figure 1) are a new line of stackable managed Ethernet switches that provide the advanced capabilities you need to support a more demanding network environment, at an affordable price. These switches provide 24 or 48 ports of Fast Ethernet and 24 to 52 ports of Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with optional 10 Gigabit uplinks, providing a solid foundation for your current business applications, as well as those you are planning for the future. At the same time, these switches are easy to deploy and manage, without a large IT staff.
Cisco 500 Series switches are designed to protect your technology investment as your business grows. Unlike switches that claim to be stackable but have elements which are administered and troubleshot separately, the Cisco 500 Series provides true stacking capability, allowing you to configure, manage, and troubleshoot multiple physical switches as a single device and more easily expand your network. The Cisco 500 Series switch offer models which are fanless making it one of the industry’s first in stackable switches, thereby delivering increased reliability, power efficiency, and minimizing noise.
A true stack delivers a unified data and control plane, in addition to management plane, providing flexibility, scalability, and ease of use since the stack of units operate as a single entity constituting all the ports of the stack members. The switches also protect your technology investment with an enhanced warranty, dedicated technical support, and the ability to upgrade equipment in the future and receive credit for your Cisco 500 Series switch. Overall, the Cisco 500 Series provides the ideal technology foundation for a growing business.
Cisco 500 Series switches provide the advanced feature set that growing businesses require, and that high-bandwidth applications and technologies demand. These switches can improve the availability of your critical applications, protect your business information, and optimize your network bandwidth to more effectively deliver information and support applications. The switches provide the following benefits.
Cisco 500 Series switches are designed to be easy to use and manage by small businesses or the partners that serve them. They feature:
- Simple-to-use graphical interfaces reduce the time required to deploy, troubleshoot, and manage the network and allow you to support sophisticated capabilities without increasing IT head count. - The switches also support Textview, a full command-line interface (CLI) option for partners that prefer it. - Using Auto Smartports intelligence, the switch can detect a network device connected to any port and automatically configure the optimal security, quality of service (QoS), and availability on that port. - Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) discovers Cisco devices and allows devices to share critical configuration information, simplifying network setup and integration. - Support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) allows you to set up and manage your switches and other Cisco devices remotely from a network management station, improving IT workflow and mass configurations. - The Cisco FindIT utility, which works through a simple toolbar on the user’s web browser, discovers Cisco devices in the network and displays basic information, such as serial numbers and IP addresses, to aid in configuration and deployment.
In a growing business where 24x7 availability is critical, you need to assure that employees can always access the data and resources they need. In these environments, stackable switches can play an important role in eliminating downtime and improving network resiliency. For example, if a switch within a Cisco 500 Series stack fails, another switch immediately takes over, keeping your network up and running. You can also replace individual devices in the stack without taking your network offline or affecting employee productivity.
The Cisco 500X models provide an additional layer of resiliency with support for the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP). VRRP lets you extend the same resiliency that stacking provides for individual switches to complete network domains. By running VRRP between two stacks, you can instantly cut over from one stack to another in the event of a problem, and continue operating even after a failure.
The Cisco 500 Series also supports dual images, allowing you to perform software upgrades without having to take the network offline or worry about the network going down during the upgrade.
- Cisco 500 Series switches help optimize your IT operations with built-in features that simplify and streamline day-to-day network operation: - True stacking allows you to troubleshoot, configure, and manage multiple physical switches as a single entity. - Unlike other stacking switches that require uniform configurations, the Cisco 500 Series allows you to mix Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet models in a single stack, providing total flexibility without sacrificing manageability. - Cisco switches use common chipsets/software across all switching portfolios, so all Cisco switches within a category support the same feature set – making it easier to manage and support all switches across the network.