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Fixed vs Chassis-Based Switching: The Critical Choice for Enterprise Campus Networks

Published 27 Aug 2020
This paper reviews the benefits and applicability of Fixed Versus Chassis-Based Switching within the access layer of the enterprise campus network. For years, a debate has raged on the pros and cons of fixed stackable switches versus chassis-based switches within the enterprise wiring closet. With the advent of new fabric technologies and distributed edge topologies, the enterprise wiring closet has continued to evolve adding another perspective to this debate. This paper reviews the tradeoffs of these two switching options, especially in the light of next generation campus fabric solutions, coupled with the need for secure access control due to an explosion of IoT devices connecting to the network. This document is intended for any experienced network manager, architect, or administrator who is faced with providing a network infrastructure that requires:
  • Continuous uptime for all connected users and devices
  • Ubiquitous connectivity from any location in the enterprise
  • Flexibility and scalability for business operations
  • High availability of business applications
  • Secure access control and policy to handle the rapid growth of IoT devices

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