Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switch Reviews & Overview

Premier Mellanox Selections: best-selling Mellanox Switches, Network Cards, and Cables

Well, you must get the recognition of the new 3850 SFP Fiber switch in the Cisco Live! 2014 if you are interested in the Cisco’s switching issue. Cisco launched its Catalyst 3850 series switches at Cisco Live London last year. Now, the addition to the Cisco 3850 series family, the new Catalyst 3850 1G SFP fiber switch models was announced. They are new SKUs in the Catalyst 3850 switch family and they help further expand the Cisco Unified Access solution.

One Network-Cisco 3850 Series

Some Cisco fans talked about the new 3850 sfp fiber switch on twitter like this:

“A 3850 sfp fiber switch has been launched finally!”

“New 3850 SFP Fiber Switch Overview briefing happening now…”

“Wireless support on the 3850 SFP? Interesting, suppose just copper modules and not downlink devices?”

“Cisco 3850 fiber model supports optics for up to 80 KM distance.”

“A bit surprised the 3850 SFP switches (esp the 12 port) is 1G only. I guess the use cases is pure agg of 1G IDFs up to 10G to core.”

“3850 fiber switches: 12 or 24 1G port models, 4x1G or 2x10G uplinks.”

“I really like the UADP ASIC found in the 3850 series switches.” 

Indeed, to help improve IT efficiency and enhance user productivity, Cisco introduced the new 1G Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) fiber models in the Catalyst 3850 Switch family. These new models with 1G fiber SFP ports expand the Cisco Unified Access solution in both stacked and standalone 1G aggregation, offering long-distance connectivity and enhanced security.

These new Cisco Catalyst 3850 1G SFP fiber switches are based on the innovative Cisco Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and provide additional campus and branch LAN switching and converged access mobility deployment options for ease of management in a small footprint.

Fully stackable with the existing feature-rich and wired-wireless Cisco Catalyst 3850 access switches, the new Catalyst 3850 1G SFP fiber switches boost end-user productivity with consistent wired and wireless user experience, enable IT simplicity with network programmability and enhanced security, and reduce TCO with lower OpEx and energy consumption.


New Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches, Highlights

  • Built on Cisco UADP ASIC, support full programmability for Cisco Enterprise Network Architecture
  • Support for a wide range of pluggable transceiver modules for longer physical distance and enhanced physical security
  • Integrated wireless LAN controller functionality in Converged Access mode
  • Cisco StackWise-480 and Cisco StackPower technologies for resiliency
  • Native Flexible NetFlow (FnF) on all ports for extensive application visibility
  • Native Cisco TrustSec support for user segmentation and end user/device/location security
  • Support for Cisco Unified Access with ISE and Cisco Prime
  • SDN OpenFlow and OnePK ready with support for Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) in a future software release

Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches, Primary Features

  • 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port
  • Two optional uplink modules with 4 x Gigabit Ethernet or 2 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Cisco StackWise-480 technology to provide scalability and resiliency with 480 Gbps of stack throughput and full stackability with other Cisco Catalyst 3850 fixed GE access switches
  • Cisco StackPower technology to provide power stacking among stack members for power redundancy
  • Dual redundant power supplies (AC and DC) and three modular fans, providing higher redundancy
  • Software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, modular QoS, Flexible NetFlow and advanced security features
  • Single, consistent Cisco IOS XE Software image with IP Base and IP Services, providing an easy upgrade path for software features
  • Enhanced limited lifetime warranty (E-LLW) with next business day advance hardware replacement and 90-day access to Cisco Technical Assistance Center
  • Integrated wireless LAN controller capability with up to 20 Gbps of wireless capacity per switch or stack and up to 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients on each switch or stack

1. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Switch Configurations

The Catalyst 3850 SFP switches are available with IP Base and IP Services feature sets. All switches ship with a default AC power supply. A DC power supply can be purchased as an option or spare. Access point licenses are optional and can be ordered with the base switches.

 Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switches with Fiber Data Ports

Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switches with Fiber Data Ports

Model Comparison for Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switch with Fiber Data Ports


Total GE



AC Power


Network Module

Cisco StackPower



350 WAC

4 x 1GE

2 x 10GE

Yes (supports higher rated power supplies, including 715WAC,1100WAC,440W)





350 WAC



2. Support for a Wide Range of Optics

The new Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP fiber switches support a wide range of pluggable transceiver modules, including 10/100/1000, 100BASE-FX and 1000BASE-X SFP ports and 10GBASE-X SFP+ uplinks. Fiber connections provide enhanced physical security because they are less prone to physical tapping, making them suitable for FTTx deployments, including fiber to the desktop (FTTD).

3. StackWise-480 Technology

The new Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches with fiber data ports provide maximum data and service resiliency with simplified management using Cisco StackWise-480 technology, which is built on the highly successful industry-leading Cisco StackWise technology.

These Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP fiber switches are fully stackable with the other Cisco Catalyst 3850 fixed GE access switches so that they can be managed as a single logical switching unit. StackWise-480 delivers 480 Gbps of stacking bandwidth, while Cisco IOS Software Stateful Switchover (SSO) provides resiliency within the stack.


Cisco Catalyst SFP Fiber 3850, Main Advantages

a.Efficient Aggregations for Converged Wired and Wireless Network

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP fiber switches provide a highly efficient stackable or standalone aggregation platform that redirects network traffic from access switches.

Because it is fully stackable with other Cisco Catalyst 3850 access switches, all network services such as QoS, security, and Flexible NetFlow (FnF) for wired and wireless on the same stack can be easily configured and preserved from access through aggregation. Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches and Cisco Unified Access help you spend less time running the network, significantly reducing OpEx, while freeing up more time for innovation.

b. Advanced Security

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP fiber switches support Cisco TrustSec functionality and integration with Cisco Identity Services Engine. Cisco TrustSec uses the device and user credentials acquired during authentication for classifying the packets by security groups as they enter the network with scalability and simplified management.

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches are also hardware ready for link layer MACsec encryption (software will be available in a future release) to protect data traffic across the network, suitable for meeting regulatory and compliance requirements.

c. Application Visibility and Control (AVC)

With the native support for Flexible NetFlow on all the ports, the new Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP fiber switches offer full visibility of traffic in both fiber access and aggregation. Network traffic originally generated by wired or wireless devices can be prioritized from the access layer through the aggregation layer using advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user experience and faster troubleshooting.

d. IT Simplicity and Network Programmability

The new Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP fiber switches help you simplify your operational tasks with innovative features such as SmartOperations and PlugnPlay to reduce the workflow of day 0/1 deployments, provisioning, and troubleshooting. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches are built on the UADP ASIC, which provides wire-rate hardware performance with software programmability. The Cisco 3850 Catalyst switches with fiber data ports support the Cisco Enterprise Networks Architecture and Cisco APIC Enterprise Module (in a future software release) for openness, programmability, and operational simplicity.

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series with the expanded SFP fiber models not only deliver on the growing needs of your IT networks today but also future proof your network for the next-generation enterprise with reduced TCO.

More Cisco 3850 Reviews and Topics

Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series-“Auto-Upgrade” Feature

Cisco 3850 vs. 3750-X Series

Cisco Catalyst 3850: Understanding Interface Configuration on NM Modules

Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series- the Industry’s first Fixed, Stackable GE Switch

Share This Post

Post Comment