The purpose of this article is to answer the question to, “Can I use Cisco Catalyst 9200 as core switches?”. The short answer is of course: it depends. Broadly speaking any switch you use at the core is considered a core switch. According to Cisco the Catalyst 9200, 9300, and 9400 series switches are meant to be used as access switches, but could you use these as core switches? We know that Cisco Catalyst 9500 and 9600 (C9500 & C9600) switches are meant as core switches, but what makes them different?
C9500 and C9600 switches vs Other Catalyst Switches
One of the major differences between the C9500 and C9600 switches vs other catalyst switches is their ASICs. An ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is a purpose-built processor for Cisco Catalyst switches that makes very fast decisions on where to send traffic. These ASICs make decisions on where to send traffic based on MAC address (Layer 2). The more traffic and ports you have going through the switch, the bigger and better the ASIC needs to be. That is a major difference in the C9500 and C9600 switches. In some regard, this could be similar to comparing small business switches to enterprise switches.
Can I Use Cisco Catalyst 9200 as Core Switches?
Is there anything wrong with using a C9200, C9300, or C9400 switch at the core? Probably not, but do know that when you are planning out your network, you are essentially planning for the next 5-10 years. A lot of change can happen over the years so you need to be thoughtful in your planning phase about what changes could occur. You can save money by buying the lower end switches now, but it may cost you down the road. Can I use Cisco Catalyst 9200 as core switches? Probably, depending on your specific network requirements.
Contact a Cisco Specialist
You should contact a Cisco specialist to make sure that the Cisco switches you buy are going to fit your needs. Cisco engineering specialists can provide free consultations and give you insight into the pitfalls and benefits of design choices. If you would like a free consultation, please fill out the form below.
- Cisco Catalyst 9200 Series Switches Data Sheet – Cisco
- Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches Data Sheet – Cisco
- Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switch Data Sheet – Cisco
- Cisco Catalyst 9500 Series Switches Data Sheet – Cisco
- Cisco Catalyst 9600 Series Switches Data Sheet – Cisco
- Cisco Catalyst 9000 Switching Platforms: QoS and Queuing White Paper – Cisco