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Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Solution

Instant Access Overview

Learn how to simplify campus network operations, configuration, and management. (Video - 4:42 min)

Instant Access Overview
Instant Access Overview

Facing the Challenge of Complex Campus Network Operations

A typical campus or large branch network includes several buildings with multiple floors and dozens of access switches. Those switches connect devices like IP phones, PCs, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) terminals, and wireless access points to the network. According to Forrester Research, IT employees spend more than 60 percent of their time performing repetitive nonproductive operations on access switches, such as:

  • Configuring access switches individually, which is time-consuming and inefficient
  • Individually verifying features on access switches to ensure consistency across the campus or branch, which can be an error-prone process
  • Managing multiple software images by installing and upgrading images on each switch, which might lead to inconsistency

New network services can take longer time to roll out because of the repetitive and error-prone operations.

Meeting the Challenge

The Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Solution simplifies campus or large branch network deployment and operations. IT staff can deploy access switches instantly through a single touch point with feature and configuration consistency.

With Instant Access, Cisco Catalyst 6800ia access switches are connected to Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800 Series core switches. The entire configuration works as a single extended switch with a single management domain. In addition:

  • Catalyst 6800ia access switches can support Power over Ethernet Plus (POE+)
  • Access switches can be stacked for higher port density and resiliency
  • IT can deploy Catalyst Instant Access on all or a subset of the campus or branch network
  • IT can reuse the existing network cabling infrastructure to deploy the Instant Access solution

Catalyst Instant Access is an industry-leading, all-inclusive, campus simplification solution.

Deploying the Solution

When ease of operations is important to IT, Cisco Catalyst Instant Access provides excellent benefits. Following are just a few examples of IT environments that can benefit greatly from Instant Access deployment:

  • Wired devices (with centralized wireless if required) such as VDI, call centers, or back offices
  • Regional branches

Cisco Catalyst Instant Access offers benefits such as:

  • Single-switch configuration
  • Consistent features across the campus or branch
  • Centralized consistent security throughout the campus or branch
  • Scaled software-defined networking (SDN) deployment
  • Single software image management
  • Faster service deployments

Single Switch Configuration

All access switches are configured and managed through the Catalyst 6500 or 6800 series core switch, which saves time and increases efficiency.

Consistent Features Campuswide

Instant Access helps ensure feature consistency because the access switches and the core switch work as a single extended switch. Network downtime from feature inconsistencies is eliminated.

Centralized Consistent Security

Security policies are applied on the core switch, which provides a single consistent policy campuswide or branchwide. IT can cost-effectively comply with regulations.

Scaled SDN Deployment

SDN services can be scaled and quickly deployed because access switches do not have to be configured or programmed individually.

Single Software Image Management

With Instant Access, only the core switch needs software image installation and upgrades. This centralization saves time and helps maintain software image consistency across switches.

Faster Service Deployments

This solution helps IT quickly and easily deploy new services, such as BYOD, IPTV, and guest network. Single-switch qualification and staging also help reduce errors in deployments.

To implement the Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Solution for your campus or large branch, you need the following switches:

* This access switch can work in conjunction with only a Catalyst 6800 or Catalyst 6500 Series Switch