Cisco 300 Series Manageable Network Edge Switches


Video Introduction

The Cisco 300 Series Manageable (Edge/Access) Network Switches are the right choice for small/medium businesses and home users (with large networks) who need advanced functionality offered by managed switches. These switches are probably an overkill, if you are looking for plug-and-play functionality (though the installation can be as simple as that, if you choose).

The Cisco 300 Series switches support full-fledged feature-rich CLI (Command Line Interface) and therein lies their main strength. The 300 Series switches can be preferred over the previous 200 Series switches (Cisco) if a considerable number of devices you want to connect to it, requires POE. Cisco Switches are generally stable and don’t need rebooting for months together!

The Cisco 300 Series Network Switches support most of the features of the Cisco 200 Series Network Switches explained earlier. You might also want to refer to that page to get a fuller understanding of the main features supported by this switch. In this post, let us look at some features supported by Cisco 300 Series switches in addition to what is supported by Cisco 200 Series switches. In other words,

Advantages of Cisco 300 Series Network Switches vs Cisco 200 Series Network Switches:

  • Full-fledged CLI (Command Line Interface) – Like the Cisco 200 Series switches, the 300 Series switches also support web-based GUI configuration support. But the real power of this switch can be realized by using its CLI (Command Line Interface). In the CLI mode, users can do much more than what they can do in the GUI mode. In a way, these switches are on-par with the high-end enterprise edge switches. For the price, these switches offer a lot of features. If you don’t know about CLI and don’t want to learn the commands, you might want to buy the 200 series switches, instead.
  • Static Routing – If you subdivide your home/office network using VLAN’s (to avoid congestion), you may require Layer-3 routing if you want a device in one VLAN to communicate with a device, in another. The Cisco 300 Series switches support Layer-3 static routing, classless inter-domain routing between VLAN’s. Do remember that unlike the high-end L3 switches that can do inter-VLAN routing automatically (and cost $$$$ more), these switches need to be configured with inter-VLAN rules manually. For a small network, this should be sufficient.
  • Access Control Lists (ACL) – The Cisco 300 Series switches support ACL’s (Access Control Lists) to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing the switch. It also supports time-based ACL and port operation.
  • Easier Management – The Cisco 300 Series switches support time-saving management options like Smart Ports (that can automatically detect and troubleshoot Cisco devices), exclusive Guest/Voice VLAN (with appropriate, and automatic configuration options).
  • Rich Manageable Switch feature support – The Cisco 300 Series switches support a lot of manageable switch features like SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol), Telnet, SSH, Secure Login, STP (Spanning Tree Protocol), IGMP/MLD Snooping, GVRP (Group VLAN Registration Protocol), Bonjour discovery protocol, etc.
  • Management/monitoring – The Cisco 300 Series network switches support a number of monitoring/management features including RADIUS, TACACS+, Syslog, RMON. You can manage this switch remotely, if you want to.
  • Placement – These switches are designed to be access/edge switches in small/medium-sized networks, but they can also be used at the distribution layer in a small network.
  • Security features – The Cisco 300 Series switches support all the security features of the 200 series switches, and also support features like BPDU guard, Dynamic ARP inspection, DHCP snooping, etc.
  • Secure Core Technology – This switch supports secure core technology that can receive and process protocol/management traffic, irrespective of the occupied bandwidth in individual ports.
  • Dual image/Dual configuration file support – The Cisco 300 series switches support dual-images and dual-configuration files. This enables users to check for new features, apply new configurations, perform management tasks, firmware updates, etc. without having to power-down the switch/reboot the switch.
  • Encrypted Sensitive Info – Sensitive information (like passwords, certificate keys, etc) are stored in an encrypted form and can be accessed only by authorized administrators.
  • PVE (Private VLAN Edge) – The Cisco 300 Series switches support an interesting feature called Private VLAN Edge which provides layer-2 isolation between devices in the same VLAN.

Much more technical information: Refer to the manufacturer’s web-page for more info.

Limitations of Cisco 300 Series Network Switches:

  • Though CLI is available in these switches, they don’t use the standard IOS commands used by the enterprise-grade switches. Hence there maybe some limitations in the functionality (compared to the enterprise switches) and it takes some time for users to get used to its command-set. But, the CLI commands in the 300 series switches are similar to IOS commands.
  • Configuration changes are not automatically saved by the switch. Users need to save them manually.
  • Some proprietary features in these switches require compatible network devices (mostly other Cisco devices) to work.

Video Testimonial/Comparison:

Cisco 300 Series Network Switches Modes/Price:

Fast Ethernet Non-POE models:

  1. Cisco SF300-08 Network Switch – 8 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 1.6 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon.
  2. Cisco SF302-08 Network Switch – 8 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 5.6 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (USA): Amazon.
  3. Cisco SF300-24 Network Switch – 24 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 12.8 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (United States): Amazon.
  4. Cisco SF300-48 Network Switch – 48 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 17.8 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (America): Amazon.

Gigabit Ethernet Non-POE models:

  1. Cisco SG300-10 Network Switch – 8 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 20 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon.
  2. Cisco SG300-20 Network Switch – 18 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 40 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (USA): Amazon.
  3. Cisco SG300-28 Network Switch – 26 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 56 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon.
  4. Cisco SG300-52 Network Switch – 50 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 104 Gbps switching capacity; Price (USD)/Buy from (USA): Amazon.

Fast Ethernet POE Models:

  1. Cisco SF302-08P Network Switch – 8 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 5.6 Gbps switching capacity; All 8 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 62 W; Price (USD)/Buy from (USA): Amazon.
  2. Cisco SF302-08MP Network Switch– 8 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 5.6 Gbps switching capacity; All 8 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 124 W; Price (USD)/Buy from (USA): Amazon.
  3. Cisco SF300-24P Network Switch Р24 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 12.8 Gbps switching capacity; All 24 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 180 W; Price (USD)/Buy from (United States): Amazon.
  4. Cisco SF300-48P Network Switch – 48 x 10/100 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 17.8 Gbps switching capacity; All 48 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 375 W; Price (USD)/Buy from (America): Amazon.

Gigabit Ethernet POE Models:

  1. Cisco SG300-10P Network Switch – 8 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 20 Gbps switching capacity; All 8 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 62 W;Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon.
  2. Cisco SG300-10MP Network Switch8 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 20 Gbps switching capacity; All 8 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 124 W; Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon.
  3. Cisco SG300-28P Network Switch – 26 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Ports; 2 x Combo Gigabit SFP; 56 Gbps switching capacity; 24 Ports support POE, subject to a total switch POE budget of 180 W; Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon.

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