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Need help with network design change and in choosing switch model and

Dear Experts,

We are planning to do full  upgrade because the existing network devices from core to edge level switches are currently 7 year old. Because we are non-Cisco shop and would like to migrate over to Cisco/Meraki we need help.

Would you please recommend Cisco switch models that would be suitable for us? Thanks a lot!

Environment:  College campus
User count - 1,500
Printers - 50
Wifi Access points - 500
Servers - Physical 8-10

Current network info:


2 backbone switches
15 distribution switches (DL) - 10G fiber optical uplink to the core switch
Around 60 edge switches (4 to 8 access switches  connected to each DL. switch) - 1G fiber optic connection uplink to DL switches
All switches are Allied Telesis.

Question 1:
Which switch Cisco model would you recommend for the core, DL and edge level switches?

Question 2:
- Is it better to get rid of  DL switches and replace them with stacked edge switches or keep the existing structure (15 DL switches and stacked edge switches)?

Thank you so much with your help!


Re: Need help with network design change and in choosing switch model and

Hello M Tech,


Cisco has a switch selector guide on their website to help you.


Having a 3-Tier model (Core, DL and Access) or collapsed core (Core/DL and Access) usually depends on the number of users. Since you have 1500 users, I would recommend to keep the 3-Tier model. I would recommend no more than a 1000 users connected to a single distribution block(Distribution switch with connected Access switches). If it expands beyond 1000 users consider building another distribution block that will connect into the Core.


Access switches should only have fixed copper ports. Distribution can be fixed copper or SFP. For me, I prefer SFP as this gives me the flexibility to change from copper to fiber. Same goes for the core.


For DL and Core, I would say stick to any flavor of Catalyst 9000. Note only 9500 gives you that non-fixed configuration of copper/fiber mix without requiring an additional Network module (Depending on your port density requirements). For the access layer, a 3650 should suffice. 


For Access points, go with any of the Wave-2 access points on offer from Cisco. I have not deployed Meraki and neither do I favor a cloud AP managed model. But that's my preference and if you have a limited budget, then you may choose to go the Meraki way.

VIP Advisor



You could evaluate the 3800 or 6800 switch model or ME switch model, please visit these links:

Hope it is useful



Re: Need help with network design change and in choosing switch model



as per your general requirement sheet, i am suggesting below structure.


use 3 layer architecture, 

Core - 9500 series

Distribution - 9300 series

Access layer - 9200 series


you can use 40G connectivity between, core and distribution

10 G between access and distribution.


also you can utilize staking as per the requirement


with all of this, experts can guide you for more optimized better solution with more details. explaining the pain points you have in current network can help lot.




Re: Need help with network design change and in choosing switch model

Thank you everyone for your advice! It is really appreciated.


We are thinking to choose Meraki  for edge switches. The closets to install DL/edge switches don't have any ventilation or air conditioner. Therefore, are there any rugged type of suitable for our requirement DL/access switche models that would work in high temperature during summer time  (it can reach over +45C)?

We need at least 40G uplink from DL to core switch and 10G between edge and DL switches.

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