Cisco delivers a powerup to its switches for small and medium biz

Catalyst 1200 and 1300 keep perpetual licenses, PoE and stackability

Cisco has refreshed its small business switch range, giving the world the Catalyst 1200 and 1300 series devices.

Both ranges ship with a dual-core Arm CPU that runs at 1.4GHz and 1GB of DDR memory – twice the speed and four times the memory of the last lot of Catalysts for small businesses

Layer 3 switching is the devices' main trick, but the 1200 series is confined to static routing, The 1300 series allows dynamic routing, making it possible to build VLANs.

Both ranges offer power over Ethernet (POE), but the 1200 series has a lower power budget than the 1300. The latter can deliver over 700 watts to various devices.

Both ranges come in variants offering 1G Ethernet, or 10G, or a mix of both.

The 1300 series is stackable, and as extra devices are added they present a single logical switch. With some models offering 48 ports, and stacks able to comprise up to eight machines, the 1300 series offers an interesting scalability option.

Access to the switches' management console is available through the browser – either by adding a Bluetooth dongle, plugging in to a USB-A port or, for the first time, a USB-C port. The last was introduced in recognition of USB-C's increasing prevalence in laptops, and the expectation that C-to-C cables aren't hard to find.

The devices are sold outright with a perpetual license – no subscription required. That means Cisco's latest and greatest cloudy management tools are not automatically available.

But Cisco has created a management tool – the Business Dashboard – that ships as a virtual appliance and allows the creation of different user organizations. A demo seen by The Register suggested a managed service provider could create a user organization for each of its customers.

Also for SMBs, Cisco launched Meraki MX – a cloud-managed security and SD-WAN appliance. The device includes an application-based firewall, plus baked-in content filtering, threat protection, VPN, cellular failover, and VoIP health management.

As with other Meraki devices, it's managed via the cloud.

The Catalyst 1200 and 1300 were launched yesterday and are on sale now. Readers who search for them online may find documents dated months ago. Cisco told The Register that info is not out of date, but was posted early because the devices were finished and ready for sale, but not enough had been manufactured to proceed comfortably to a formal launch. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like