Catalyst 6800ia Switches, the Relationship with Catalyst 6500/6800

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In the last article, we introduced the Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Solution, including the main features, architecture, components, advantages, etc. You also can see that the Cisco Catalyst 6800ia series is the main component in the Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Solution. With Instant Access, Cisco Catalyst 6800ia access switches are connected to Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800 Series core switches, and the entire configuration works as a single extended switch with a single management domain. This allows Catalyst 6500/6800 features to be extended to network access e.g. MPLS/EVN in access. This solution is optimized for wired devices with centralized wireless. The access switches can support Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+), and the access switches can be stacked together for higher port density and resiliency.

The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution offers network administrators the ability to look at buildings in a campus network as a single switch. The entire building can be viewed as a single management entity. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution is managed by the parent Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800* switch. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution offers feature consistency across the access and distribution layers of the campus Ethernet network. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia is an extension of the Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 parent switch. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution is very resilient with its support of multichassis EtherChannel and stacking. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution does not use Spanning Tree Protocol in the links between the Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switch and the Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 parent switch. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution supports Virtual Switching System Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches do not perform any local packet forwarding. All traffic originating from host ports (downlink ports) of a Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switch will be sent to an Instant Access parent, which makes all the switching and forwarding decisions for the traffic to be forwarded to the destination.

Cisco 6800 or Cisco 6500 Series

* All the Cisco Catalyst 6800 series switches (6807-XL, 6880-X, and 6840-X) supports the 6800ia switches.

The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switch inherits the features and capabilities of its parent in an Instant Access solution. Consider the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T as an Instant Access parent switch. In this case the Cisco Catalyst 6800ia client switch will inherit all the features of the Supervisor Engine 2T, which includes Security Group Tags (SGT), Security Group Access Control List (SGACL), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), IPv6, mediatrace, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and so on:

  • 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Integrated FlexStack-Plus capability, which provides up to 80 Gbps stack bandwidth
  • Support of up to three members in a stack
  • Two 10G Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) uplinks
  • External RPS power redundancy for Cisco Catalyst 6800ia
  • Mini USB and Ethernet ports for versatile console management
  • All ports in Cisco Catalyst 6800ia series are MACsec hardware ready
  • IEEE 802.3at-compliant PoE+ for up to 30W of power per port
  • Up to 740W of combined PoE/PoE+ budget
  • IEEE 802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) enables dynamic power savings on all switch ports
  • Dynamic power mapping to scale up to 740W PoE+ power
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Removable redundant power supply available with C6800IA-48FPDR


The Main Configurations of Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Switch Configurations

The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia families of switches have two power configurations:

  1. The first two models, C6800IA-48TD, and C6800IA-48FPD, support a single built-in power supply and fan. The power redundancy for these two models is supported by an external RPS.
  2. The third model is C6800IA-48FPDR, which supports two redundant removable power supplies, each power supply with a power budget of 1025W of total system power. The 1025W power supply has an inline power budget of 740W.

Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Family Switches Configurations

Model 10/100/1000
Ethernet Ports
Uplink Interfaces Cisco IOS Software Image Available PoE Power Redundant Power Supply (W) FlexStack-Plus Capability
Cisco Catalyst C6800IA-48FPD 48 2 SFP+ 10G Integrated with IA parent 740W No Ö
Cisco Catalyst C6800IA-48TD 48 2 SFP+ 10G Integrated with IA parent No Ö
Cisco Catalyst 6800IA-48FPDR 48 2 SFP+ 10G Integrated with IA parent 740W Yes (1025WAC) Ö


Cisco FlexStack-Plus provides stacking of up to three Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches through an integrated module. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches only stack with other Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches.

Cisco FlexStack-Plus and Cisco IOSSoftware provide true stacking, with all switches in a stack acting as a single switch unit. FlexStack-Plus provides a unified data plane for all Ethernet traffic for all members of the stack.

Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches support both IEEE 802.3af PoE and IEEE 802.3at PoE+ (up to 30W per port) to deliver lower total cost of ownership for deployments that incorporate Cisco IP phones, Cisco Aironet wireless access points, or other standards-compliant PoE/PoE+ end devices. PoE removes the need to supply wall power to PoE-enabled devices and eliminates the cost of adding electrical cabling and circuits that would otherwise be necessary in IP phone and WLAN deployments.

PoE and PoE+ Power Capacity for Cisco Catalyst 6800IA Models

Switch Model Maximum Number of PoE+
(IEEE 802.3at) Ports*
Maximum Number of PoE
(IEEE 802.3af) Ports*
Available PoE Power
(Single PS Source)
Cisco Catalyst C6800IA-48FPD 24 ports up to 30W 48 ports up to 15.4W 740W
Cisco Catalyst C6800IA-48FPDR 24 ports up to 30W 48 ports up to 15.4W 740W

* Intelligent power management allows flexible power allocation across all ports.


Power Supplies Supported with C6800IA-48FPDR SKU

Primary Power Supply Secondary Power Supply Available Power for PoE+ System Power Power Redundancy
PWR-C2-1025WAC PWR-C2-1025WAC 740W 1025W Yes
PWR-C2-1025WAC 740W 1025W No

IEEE 802.3az EEE is implemented in all Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches. The EEE enables all the Ethernet ports to dynamically sense idle periods between traffic bursts and quickly switch the interfaces into “low power idle” mode, reducing port power consumption. It automatically brings back full power to the port with resumption of the traffic. The EEE technology maintains the link health using “link refresh” during the “idle” periods, making sure that there is no link-status change.

More about Technical Specifications of Catalyst 6800ia Series you can read the full data sheet here 

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