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New hardware for Hybrid Work - Cisco expands network portfolio

Cisco is launching new network hardware for the hybrid post-Covid world. It is designed to enable companies to adapt more quickly to digital changes.

Cisco erweitert sein Portfolio, um die Anforderungen der Hybrid-Work-Welt besser bedienen zu können.
©Sundry Photography

Whether artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), IoT or hybrid work - for Cisco, the network is the engine of this hybrid, digital world. Successful "hybrid work" means more than a geographically distributed workforce. Rather, it is a matter of adapting one's own processes virtually in real time. In order for hybrid work to work, wireless connections, higher performance and network resilience as well as reliable zero-trust security solutions are required. Only in this way can a business-critical work-from-anywhere approach be realised.


"Hybrid Work doesn't work without the network," emphasises Todd Nightingale, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Networking and Cloud at Cisco. "The capabilities of the network strengthen the capabilities of the workforce". Has this identified the challenge and solved the problem? At least Cisco is convinced of this and believes it can offer the solution to the challenges of the hybrid working world with a whole range of new products.

New introductions in the area of wireless networking and access include:

  • Wi-Fi 6E-Support

  • Cisco Private 5G

  • Catalyst 9000X Switches

  • Cisco Silicon One


Wi-Fi 6E

Transferraten von über einem Gigabit/s verspricht Cisco mit seinen Access Point gemäß Wi-Fi 6E.
©Cisco

With the Catalyst 9136 and Meraki MR57, Cisco is launching 6E access points on the market that boast transfer rates of more than one gigabit/s. As 6E devices, they use not only the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands but also the 6 GHz spectrum, which has a range of a few metres but a high bandwidth. In order to offer the devices the best possible performance in the WLAN, Cisco relies on an AI-supported management engine. It searches for the best radio channel, allocates bandwidth to the devices or distributes the devices to different access points. Apple and Samsung devices as well as Windows laptops with Intel Wi-Fi Share can also communicate their bandwidth requirements to the access points, as they share their device profile with them.


Cisco Private 5G

Cisco sees Private 5G networks as a complement or extension of Wi-Fi 6 environments. Large company premises, moving end points and machines and applications with high latency and reliability requirements are named as typical areas of application for Private 5G in comparison to Wi-Fi-6. Cisco is particularly proud of the fact that, in contrast to other competitors, it views 5G and Wi-Fi-6 as complementary and integrates them into wireless scenarios on an equal footing. The customer does not have to decide between 5G and Wi-Fi. In view of so much self-praise, users are asking, not without reason, on Cisco's blog pages where the integrated combined access points with 5G and Wi-Fi-6 are or which management platform integrates both wireless worlds.


Another aspect of the 5G solution is the as-a-service concept. Users do not have to invest in their own equipment, but can obtain the Private 5G Managed Service from Cisco's telecommunications service providers and system integrators. Cisco also offers the latter the option of white labelling, so that they do not have to develop their own solutions.


Catalyst 9000X Switches

In order to be able to connect the new 5G and Wi-Fi 6 networks to the backend with high performance, Cisco is expanding the range of its Catalyst 9000 series switches. Each model of the 9000 family will be supplemented by an X model in the future. The X stands for the premium claim of the devices, which offer higher scalability and capacity. The new Catalyst 9300X, for example, not only offers twice the bandwidth, but also twice the capacity and twice the stacking performance. In addition, it has the highest port density of 90-watt connections and is therefore particularly suitable for networking intelligent buildings, for example to connect lighting sensors, window blinds and other end devices.


Cisco Silicon One

In addition, the Catalyst 9500X and 9600X switches receive new, more powerful processors. Cisco's own development Silicon One Q 200 is used, which offers a routing and switching speed of up to 12.8 Tbps. So far, the processors have been used mainly in web and service provider networks. The network processors manufactured in the 7nm process are a further development of the Q 100 presented in 2019. With its own chips, Cisco wants to build the network processors of the future that provide the necessary bandwidth in the network for applications such as 16K streaming, AI or quantum computing.

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