Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit Ethernet

Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit Ethernet
FAQ
Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit
Ethernet
FAQ
© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information.
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Contents
Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet Technology ............................................................................................................... 3
Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit Ethernet Products ..................................................................................................... 5
NBase-T Technology and NBase-T Alliance .......................................................................................................... 5
Cisco Multigigabit and NBASE-T Alliance ............................................................................................................. 6
© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information.
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Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet Technology
Q. What is Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet?
A.
Cisco® Multigigabit Ethernet is a unique Cisco innovation to the new Cisco Catalyst® Ethernet Access
Switches. With the enormous growth of 802.11ac and new wireless applications, wireless devices are driving
the demand for more network bandwidth. This creates a need for a technology that supports speeds higher
than 1 Gbps on all cabling infrastructure. Cisco multigigabit technology allows you to achieve bandwidth
between speeds of 1 and 10 Gbps over traditional Cat 5e cabling or above. In addition, the multigigabit ports
on select Cisco Catalyst switches support Universal Power Over Ethernet (UPOE), which is increasingly
important for next-generation workspaces and Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems.
Q. What are the key benefits of this new technology?
A.
Cisco multigigabit technology offers significant benefits for a diverse range of speeds, cable types, and Power
Over Ethernet (POE) power. The benefits can be grouped into three different areas:
●
Multiple speeds: Cisco multigigabit technology supports auto-negotiation of multiple speeds on switch
ports. The supported speeds are 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, and 5 Gbps on Cat 5e cable and up to 10
Gbps over Cat 6a cabling.
●
Cable type: The technology supports a wide range of cable types including Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a or
above.
●
POE power: The technology supports POE, POE+, and UPOE for all the supported speeds and cable
types.
Q. Why do I need Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet?
A.
Widespread proliferation of 802.11ac and new wireless applications and devices are driving the need for more
network bandwidth. As the industry moves toward 802.11ac Wave 2, access points will require higher wireless
bandwidth than 1 Gbps.
But existing cabling infrastructure could prevent many businesses from capitalizing on this growth. Much of the
cabling deployed worldwide is limited to 1 Gbps at 100 meters. Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet enables speeds up
to 5 Gbps on the same infrastructure without replacing a single cable. In addition to higher speeds, the
technology also delivers UPOE (up to 60W) using a multigigabit port.
Q. Would Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet require new cabling infrastructure?
A.
Traditionally, to achieve more than 1 Gbps, you would need to upgrade your Cat 5e to Cat 6a or above.
However, with Cisco’s multigigabit technology, you can use your existing Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling to achieve
speeds up to 5 Gbps.
Q. What are the cable types and data rates supported with Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet?
A.
See Table 1.
Table 1.
Cable Type
Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit Ethernet - Speeds and Cables
1G
2.5G
5G
10G
Cat5e



N/A
Cat6



 (55m)
Cat6a




© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information.
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Q. Can I use a standard RJ45 connector to connect the cable to a multigigabit switch port?
A.
Yes. This technology offers significant value for customers and partners because it protects existing
investments such as cabling and connectors.
Q. What are the data rates and speeds supported with multigigabit technology?
A.
Multigigabit supports 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps, and 10 Gbps speeds with auto-negotiation.
Q. 802.11ac Wave 2 speeds go up to 6.8 Gbps, but the multigigabit speeds supported are 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps.
How are they related?
A.
802.11ac Wave 2 speeds are the RF speeds. The Wave 2 RF speeds that are of prime interest are 3.5 Gbps
and 6.8 Gbps. When this is translated into the AP-switch bandwidth, this speed is reduced by a factor. That
results in the 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps speeds on the multigigabit switch ports to AP links. This Cisco white paper
provides more details on 802.11ac speeds:
http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/wireless/aironet-3600-series/white_paper_c11-713103.html.
Q. Does the multigigabit switch port support a 10 Mbps data rate?
A.
No, the multigigabit switch port does not support a 10 Mbps data rate.
Q. Will a multigigabit switch port auto-negotiate the link speed?
A.
Yes, when the far-end device is also multigigabit-capable, both multigigabit switch ports will auto-negotiate the
highest speed they can support over the cable you use (Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a). For example, if the far-end
device is 10 Gbps-capable and the cable can support the speed, the two devices would negotiate to the 10
Gbps speed.
Q. What happens when I connect a device with no multigigabit support to a multigigabit-capable switch port?
A.
Since the multigigabit port can support multiple speeds up to 10 Gbps, the multigigabit port will try to autonegotiate with the far-end device to the highest speed supported by the two devices. For example, if the farend device is only capable of 1 Gbps, the two devices would settle for 1 Gbps speeds. Since 100 Mbps is the
minimum data rate a multigigabit switch port can support, as long as the far-end device supports 100 Mbps or
higher, a connection can be established.
Q. Will a multigigabit switch port support POE, POE+, and UPOE?
A.
Yes, a multigigabit switch port will support POE (15W), POE+ (30W), and UPOE (60W). This is another
important innovation of the multigigabit solution. As end-user devices demand increasing power, the
multigigabit port future-proofs deployment to support the growing UPOE ecosystem. UPOE with multigigabit is
supported only by the Cisco Catalyst 4500 and 3850 product families.
Q. What is the main advantage of Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet in a brownfield deployment with Cat 5e or Cat 6
cabling?
A.
Brownfield deployments with Cat5e or Cat6 installations can avoid major cable overhaul and installation costs
for upgrading their network to support 802.1ac Wave 2 technology. Such deployments can achieve up to
5Gbps by adopting the new Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit technology without replacing a single cable.
Q. Can multigigabit technology be deployed in a greenfield deployment with Cat 6a cabling?
A.
Absolutely. Since multigigabit technology supports Cat 6a cabling or higher with support up to 10 Gbps, it can
be used in such greenfield deployments.
© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information.
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Cisco Catalyst Multigigabit Ethernet Products
Q. Which Cisco Catalyst platforms support Cisco Multigigabit Ethernet technology?
A.
Cisco multigigabit technology is supported by the Cisco Catalyst 4500, Cisco Catalyst 3850, and the new
compact C3560-CX product families.
Q. How does the Cisco Catalyst 4500 product family support multigigabit technology?
A.
The Cisco Catalyst 4500 product family supports the technology with a new 48-port line card that supports 12
multigigabit switch ports. All the ports, including the multigigabit ports, support POE, POE+, and UPOE.
Furthermore, line cards offer significant investment protection by supporting the new multigigabit technology
on both types of Cisco Supervisor Engines - Supervisor 7 and Supervisor 8.
Q. How does the Cisco Catalyst 3850 product family support multigigabit technology?
A.
The Cisco Catalyst 3850 product family supports multigigabit technology with two new 48- and 24-port
switches that support 12 and 24 multigigabit ports, respectively. All of these ports, including the multigigabit
ports, support POE, POE+, and UPOE.
Q. How do the new Cisco compact switches support multigigabit technology?
A.
The new compact switch family offers one SKU that supports multigigabit technology. This switch supports two
multigigabit ports that are POE and POE+ capable.
Q. When are the Cisco Catalyst platforms that support multigigabit technology available?
A.
The multigigabit products will be available in Q2CY2015. Please reach out to your Cisco representatives for
the specific dates of availability on different product families.
NBase-T Technology and NBase-T Alliance
Q. What is NBase-T technology?
A.
NBase-T technology is proven to boost the speed of twisted-pair copper cabling up to 100 meters well beyond
the designed limits of 1 Gbps. For instance, it allows a Cat 5e cable to reach 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps over 100
meters.
Q. What is the NBase-T Alliance?
A.
The NBase-T Alliance was formed in 2014 as a nonprofit organization by a group of industry leaders. Its
objective is to provide a common platform for the industry to facilitate wide deployment of NBase-T technology
and products.
Visit http://www.nbaset.org for more details on the alliance.
Q. Who are the members of the NBase-T Alliance?
A.
The NBase-T Alliance has a wide representation across the industry. The following link lists the various
members and participating companies: http://www.nbaset.org/Alliance/participant-companies/
Q. What problems does the NBase-T Alliance intend to solve?
A.
The IEEE 802.11ac standard has already brought 1-Gbps wireless speeds to enterprise networks. Soon, the
industry is expected to move to 802.11ac Wave 2 products that could deliver wireless speeds up to 6.8 Gbps.
However, the majority of Ethernet cables deployed between access switches and access points are Cat 5e or
Cat 6 cables, which currently support a maximum speed of 1 Gbps for a distance of 100 meters. As a result,
customers cannot take full advantage of 802.11ac Wave 2 and other emerging technologies without upgrading
their cabling infrastructure.
© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information.
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This creates a market need to support speeds that are faster than 1 Gbps on existing Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables
- a need that the NBase-T Alliance will help address.
Q. What customer benefits and industry values does the NBase-T Alliance provide?
A.
Customer benefits include future proofing your network by enabling 2.5 and 5 Gbps data rates over existing
Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables - all without expensive or disruptive upgrades to cabling infrastructure. Another
benefit is faster deployment of 802.11ac Wave 2 access points. Nbase-T technology supports POE standards
for integration of next-generation 802.11ac Wave 2 access points in existing cabling layouts. In addition, the
technology supports POE up to 60W, and is critical for next-generation workspaces that need to support
increasing POE requirements.
Industry values of the alliance include interoperability. The alliance promotes a unified, technological approach
to 1 Gbps speeds and above for deployments in enterprise mobile infrastructure and beyond. It does this by
facilitating a healthy dialogue between ecosystem partners.
Q. Where can I find more information about the NBase-T Alliance?
A.
More information about the NBase-T Alliance can be found on the alliance website: http://www.nbaset.org
Cisco Multigigabit and NBASE-T Alliance
Q. What is the relationship between Cisco multigigabit and NBase-T technology?
A.
Cisco multigigabit technology is powered by NBase-T technology, and it offers all the benefits of NBase-T
technology.
Q. Is Cisco multigigabit technology a standard yet?
A.
Cisco multigigabit technology is based on the NBase-T technology, and is not yet an industry standard.
However, Cisco is collaborating with industry partners to work toward an industry standard.
Printed in USA
© 2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information.
C67-733665-00
01/15
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