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Bandwidth-hungry endpoints are testing the limits of enterprise campus networks. These days networks are subject to smart devices that support rich content including High-Definition (HD) video and advanced devices. In this scenario, enterprises can secure their networks by increasing bandwidth while avoiding major hardware changes.  25Gb links between access and aggregation switches is a potent and viable solution available for enterprise campus network up-gradation. 25Gb not only offers up to 2.5 times superior bandwidth than a 10Gb lane, but it also brings a seamless and cost-effective upgrade path to 100Gb. Upgrading to 25Gb is financially viable because it allows for reuse of already deployed cables – hence the capex would be less than other options. In this blog post, we will stay focused on the economics of 10Gb vs. 25Gb.

The newly Catalyst 9500 Series Cisco Switches are designed for enterprise-level aggregation and core applications. Switches from the Catalyst 9300 Series are stackable with 4-port 25Gb network modules and can be considered for 25Gb connectivity between the aggregation layer and the access layer. Selecting Catalyst 9300/9500 switches and Cisco optics enable network operators for the construction of a 25Gb network fabric without replacing an already existing cable farm. Below is an exhibit that describes an enterprise-level network architecture with Catalyst 9500 in the aggregation layer and Catalyst 9300 in the access layer.

The cost difference between deploying 25Gb vs. 10Gb is minimal. Catalyst 9300 and 9500 25Gb ports are designed to operate at 10Gb as well. Therefore, customers can enjoy the option of using either 25Gb or 10Gb optics while having 25Gb ports. However, you won’t be able to migrate to 25Gb with 10Gb ports. Here, it is important to mention that the difference between the total BOM cost of 10Gb and 25Gb optics is around 1% only.



The advantages of the 25Gb bandwidth outweigh concerns related to the cost. 25Gb optics offer a 150% rise in bandwidth for a slight increase in cost (around 1% only).