Cisco's various lines of network switches

Cisco delivers various lines or series of network switches. Generally speaking, each series has a different focus, delivering features that are specific to a particular environment or requirement. These series are briefly described below with some details of their particular focus.

  • Cisco Catalyst switches
    • Run Cisco IOS
    • High performance devices
    • Primarily suited for "north-south" traffic such as that found in enterprise networks
    • Used primarily for corporate LANs at the access, distribution, as well as core layer
  • Cisco Nexus
    • Run NX-OS
    • Primarily suited for "east west" traffic such as that found in datacenters
    • Primarily used for datacenters
  • Cisco small business
    • Scaled down IOS-type operating system
    • Primarily web-based management interface
    • Used in environments with low network performance requirements
    • Access layer switches only
  • Cisco Meraki
    • Focus on cloud-based network management right out of the box
    • Medium to high performance devices available
    • Include a series of devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, access points, and even sensors and cameras