Cisco IOS on Cisco Catalyst Switches

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Cisco IOS XE opens a completely new paradigm in network configuration, operation, and monitoring through network automation. Cisco’s automation solution is open, standards-based, and extensible across the entire lifecycle of a network device. The various automation mechanisms are outlined below.

Automated device provisioning is the ability to automate the process of upgrading software images and installing configuration files on Cisco Catalyst switches when they are being deployed in the network for the first time. Cisco provides both turnkey solutions such as Plug and Play and off-the-shelf tools such as Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) that enable an effortless and automated deployment.

  • API-driven configuration is available with modern network switches such as the Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series. It supports a wide range of automation features and provides robust open APIs over NETCONF using YANG data models for external tools, both off-the-shelf and custom built, to automatically provision network resources.
  • Granular visibility enables model-driven telemetry to stream data from a switch to a destination. The data to be streamed is identified through subscription to a data set in a YANG model. The subscribed data set is streamed to the destination at specified intervals. Additionally, Open IOS-XE enables the push model. It provides near-real-time monitoring of the network, leading to quick detection and rectification of failures.
  • Seamless software upgrades and patching supports OS resilience. Open IOS-XE supports patching, which provides fixes for critical bugs and security vulnerabilities between regular maintenance releases. This support lets you add patches without having to wait for the next maintenance release.

The Cisco Catalyst 9000 family of switches introduces a new and simplified licensing package in the form of base and add-on licenses.

  • The base licensing package includes the Network Essentials and Network Advantage licensing options that are tied to the hardware. Between them, the base licensing packages cover switching fundamentals, management automation, troubleshooting, and advanced switching features.
  • The add-on licensing package includes the Cisco DNA Essentials and Cisco DNA Advantage options. In addition to on-box capabilities, the features available with this package provide Cisco innovations on the switch, as well as on Cisco DNA Center.

License consumption is easily determined by the package itself. While base licenses are always permanent and without an expiration date, add-on licenses have to be purchased for a 3-, 5-, or 7-year term (and hence are also known as term-based licenses).

Table7 shows the combinations of base and add-on licenses that must be purchased.

■ Licensing Combinations

* For this combination, the Cisco DNA Essentials license must be ordered separately using Cisco Smart Software Manager.

■ Simplified Packaging for the New Era of Networking

■ New Licensing support per platform

■ Summary of Features included in the Essentials and Advantage packages:

The table shows the features included in the Essentials and Advantage packages.

Essentials and Advantage Package Features

Cisco Catalyst Switches incorporate the Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System), which is a high-performance network infrastructure software. LAN Lite and LAN Base feature sets provide the L2 level features, and IP Lite, IP Base, IP Services, Advanced IP Services, Enterprise Services, and Advanced Enterprise Services feature sets provide the L3 level features, respectively.

Cisco IOS provided with the Cisco Catalyst 3560-CX/3650/3850/4500-X/4500E Series is delivered in a single universal image. The universal image contains the entire Cisco IOS feature set that can be activated via a software license. A software image needed to be installed in order to use the new functions on previous Cisco Catalyst Switches. However, on the Cisco Catalyst 3560-CX/3650/3850/4500-X/4500E Series Switches, advanced functions can be activated immediately using the Cisco IOS Upgrade License.

■ Activating Features via a License (For Catalyst 3650/3850 Series)

■ Series Compatibility Comparison (Cisco Catalyst 2960-CX/3560-CX/2960-Plus/2960-L/2960-X/3650/3850/4500-X/4500E Series)

■ Cisco IOS Specification Comparison (L2 Features)

■ Cisco IOS Specification Comparison (L3 Features)

■ Cisco IOS Specification Comparison (Managability)

■ Cisco IOS Specification Comparison (Security)

■ Cisco IOS Specification Comparison (QoS)

  • *1 Cisco Catalyst 2960-XR Series only.
  • *2 Cisco Catalyst 3650/3850 Series are to be supported in future software release.
  • *3 Cisco Catalyst 2960-CX/2960-X Series are not supported.
  • *4 Cisco Catalyst 3560-CX Series are not supported.
  • *5 Cisco Catalyst 3650/3850 Series are not supported.
  • *6 Cisco Catalyst 3560/3850 Series only.
  • *7 Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series only.

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