Cisco’s New ‘Light Switch’-The Catalyst Digital Building Series

Cisco surprised us…again. Yes, again! Cisco announced the Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch on February 1, 2017.

This new network hardware from Cisco Systems gives new meaning to the words “light switch”.

Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches

It is an Ethernet switch designed to link different kinds of building infrastructure over a network. It uses Cisco’s enhanced version of PoE (Power over Ethernet) to run things like lights and cameras while collecting data about those devices over the same standard cable.

The Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches are industry’s first ever purpose-built switch designed for low-voltage LED lighting and digital building systems. The switch can be used to power devices and applications with Cisco’s perpetual and fast Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE) technologies, delivering up to 60W/port.

Do you want to know more about the new Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch? Here you can read these general questions that help you understand the new Cisco light switch quickly.

Q: What are the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches? And what is the Cisco Digital Building?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches are purpose-built switches that deliver low-voltage Power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity for smart building and lighting deployments. The switches expand the vision for the Cisco Digital Buildings and lay the foundation for converging disparate building systems, including lighting, BMS, and surveillance onto a single IP-based network.

The Cisco Digital Building is a framework that brings together industry ecosystem partners by linking building services over a single, converged IP network. It transforms the unobtrusive infrastructure across your facilities into a secure, distributed, and standards-based architecture that delivers building intelligence at the edge of the network. The result is a building that is not only smart, but also transparently and securely connected. For more information, see http://www.cisco.com/go/digitalbuilding.

Q: How are the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches related to the Digital Buildings?

A: The Cisco Catalyst Digital building series switches are a new line of Cisco switches that are custom-built to enable and expand the vision of the Digital Building. These switches support an innovative feature set that is optimized to Digital Building deployments.

Q: What is new in the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: The Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches support a number of features that will enable lighting and building deployments at scale:

  • Innovative design for deployments in smart lighting and building
  • Innovations in PoE, including perpetual and fast PoE
  • High reliability with >10-year system life
  • System power efficiency with innovative power management standby mode
  • IP30-grade ruggedized chassis for protection in building construction environments • Plenum rating for deploying in ceiling spaces
  • Easy day-zero deployment with intuitive Apple iOS and Android mobile application

Q: How are the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches different from the Cisco Catalyst 2960 and 3850 line of switches?

A: The Cisco Catalyst 2960 and 3850 are enterprise-grade switches with full Layer 2 and Layer 3 capabilities for enterprise IT deployments in the campus and branch; the Digital Building Switches in contrast, are optimized for Layer 2 Internet of Things (IoT) access for smart building and lighting deployments.

Q: How are the Digital Building Series Switches different from the Industrial Ethernet line of switches?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches are optimized for IoT deployments in the carpeted enterprise space, whereas the Industrial Ethernet switches are ruggedized with higher environmental tolerances for IoT deployments in industrial environments.

Hardware-Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches

Q: Which switch models are supported in the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: Table1 shows the different switch models available. All switch models are shipped from the factory with the appropriate switch license and feature set.

Table1. Available Switch Models

Q: Do these switches run at line-rate performance?

A: Yes, the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches support full line-rate performance.

Q: Do the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches support Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP)–capable ports?

A: No.

Q: How much PoE power/port do the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches support?

A: While the CDB-8U switch model supports full UPOE with up to 60W/port on each port, the CDB-8P switch model supports full PoE+ with up to 30W/port on each port.

Q: Are the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches fanless?

A: Yes, the Digital Building Series Switches are fanless, which enables higher reliability and long system life.

Q: How does cooling work on the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches have a heat sink to help with heat dissipation and achieve cooling by convection.

Q: What is the noise level on the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: These switches are silent and produce ambient noise levels during operation.

Q: What is the function of the mode button on the front panel of these switches?

A: The mode button is used for resetting the switch, entering express setup mode, selecting or changing an LED mode, turning on LEDs, and manually waking up the switch from hibernation mode.

Q: What are the mounting options on the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches come with a number of flexible mounting options for sturdy rack, in-ceiling, and electrical cabinet installations:

  • CDB-MNT-FLEX-C14: flexible ceiling mount with IEC C14 input power connector
  • CDB-MNT-FLEX-DIR: flexible ceiling mount with direct wired input power connector
  • CDB-MNT-RACK5-C14: rack mounting unit that enables mounting in a 19” rack; allows up to five switches to be mounted on one rack mount unit

Q: What are the input power options on the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches support modular powering with the power junction boxes on the mounting units. There are different mounts for IEC C14 and direct wired.

Q: Can the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches be mounted beside each other?

A: Yes, the Digital Building Series Switches can be mounted beside each other with the flexible ceiling-mounting units. This simplifies the powering of these switches in ceiling spaces. Mounting them beside each other is recommended over on-top of each other as the switches will not overheat.

Q: What is the function of the SD card slot on the front panel of these switches?

A: The SD card slot allows you to boot the switch from the configuration and image stored on a swappable SD card on the switch. The SD card allows simple recovery of the switch.

Software-Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches

Q: Do the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches run Cisco IOS Software?

A: Yes, Digital Building Series Switches run Cisco IOS Software and support command line interfaces (CLIs) similar to those available in standard Cisco IOS Software.

Q: What are the software licensing options for the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches ship with the Cisco IOS Software LAN Lite fixed software license.

Q: How does the switch exit the switch hibernation mode?

A: The switch can exit the hibernation mode using the following mechanisms:

  • Wake on packet
  • RTC clock
  • Mode button
Management-Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches

Q: Can the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches be managed using Cisco Prime Infrastructure?

A: Yes, Cisco Prime Infrastructure supports management of these switches.

Q: Do the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches support a web management option?

A: Yes, the Digital Building Series Switches support a new and improved web management interface called the Cisco Configuration Professional for Switches.

Q: Can the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches be managed with APIC-EM?

A: Yes, APIC-EM can be used to manage the Digital Building Series Switches. For more information about APIC-EM, see http://www. cisco.com/c/en/us/products/cloud-systems-management/ application-policy-infrastructure-controller-enterprise-module/ index.html.

Q: Do the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches support network Plug-n-Play (PnP) for day-zero installation?

A: Yes, the Digital Building Series Switches support the network PnP application on APIC-EM for day-zero configuration and installations.

Installation-Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches

Q: Can the Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches be deployed during building construction without the full IT network in place?

A: Yes, the Digital Building Series Switches can be installed, configured, and tested during building construction without the IT network in place.

Q: How do Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches simplify day-zero installation?

A: The Digital Building Series Switches support the following to simplify day-zero installation:

  • Smart manufacturing defaults such that basic functionality works without any additional configuration
  • Custom Apple iOS and Google Android mobile application for out-of-band configuration, troubleshooting, and reporting to optimize these tasks for a non-IT professional
  • Network PnP for configuration as part of an IT network
  • Cisco Configurator Professional for configuration from a web tool

The Catalyst Digital Building Series switch is available April 2017. Starting price is $895.
What do the Big Users say about the new Cisco fanless Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch?

Lisa Issacson, Co-founder, and Chief Business Development Officer at NuLEDs:The Cisco fanless Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch 8-port switch is ideal for modular installations like the Marriott Hotel. It offers a quiet, compact, unique design. The suspended mounting system creates a code compliant hot-swappable Ethernet switch that fits nicely in tight spaces. This approach is innovative in the market place and shows Cisco’s leadership and dedication to the Digital Building Series.”

Stefan Tschanz, Managing Director, Alpiq InTec  Switzerland Ltd: “Alpiq InTec successfully integrated Cisco’s Digital Building switch converging siloed building systems into the Digital Building IP platform. As Switzerland’s market leader in the fields of building technology, this allows us to offer our customers new digital products and services, delivering real-time analytics, reducing costs and responding to demand of agile services in today and future digital marketplace.”

Derek Wright, Global Segment Manager – Office, at Philips Lighting: “Lighting is a logical first-step in bringing IoT to enterprises worldwide; secure IT networks are a vital part of our Power-over-Ethernet connected lighting system. Our global alliance with Cisco, the leader in networks, was a logical choice to help enable customers to receive the best that the lighting and IT industries have to offer. By connecting the lighting system to a highly secure, reliable IT infrastructure – and the new Cisco Digital Building switch – we are able to provide information that helps optimize workspaces, improve productivity and enable cost and energy savings. With this joint innovative approach, Philips Lighting and Cisco aim to accelerate the adoption of this technology in the marketplace.”

Gary Trott, Vice President Intelligent Lighting at Cree: “It’s exciting to see accelerated innovation within connected buildings. Cisco’s release of the Digital Building Switch Series will make it even easier to implement enterprise-class, intelligent building solutions. Our ongoing, innovative partnership continues to make it easier for owners and operators to experience better light and enjoy increased business value.”

Chris Andrews, Product Manager at Eaton: “The new ceiling mountable Cisco Digital Building Series switch addresses several sticking points our customers have highlighted with PoE deployments. Rooms and racks are no longer required for network switches. The distance from PSE to PD may also be reduced – which improves electrical efficiency.”

David Amos, Director of Product Management at Delta Controls, Inc. “The new Digital Building Series switch is the right thing at the right time. It helps facilitate plenum installations, and it incorporates features that promote the convergence of energy efficient technologies that are needed to accelerate the digitalization of building spaces.”

Compare Digital Building Series Models

The Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch is the first switch built specifically for the needs of digital buildings by powering and connecting building systems onto a single, low-voltage IP network. This milestone is at the heart of the smart building vision Cisco is defining with its growing list of 23+ ecosystem partners.

The new digital building switch ties into Cisco’s ambitions to change how enterprise networks are built and managed.

Cisco is using a new digital network architecture-Cisco DNA–to build more automated, responsive, self-driving networks. A new network that can dynamically respond to the ever-changing needs of the digital business.

More detailed data sheet of Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series Switches you can refer to here: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/workforce-experience/digital-building/datasheet-c78-738206.html

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