Cisco® Catalyst® Instant Access is a solution to dramatically simplify the campus network operations, a game changer for business transformation creating opportunities for innovation in the campus. It simplifies operation through a single point of operation and management for campus access and backbone. The solution is composed of a Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800 core switch and Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia access switches are connected to the Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800, and the entire configuration works as a single extended switch with a single management domain. This allows Catalyst 6500/6800 features to be extended to network access e.g. MPLS/EVN in access. This solution is optimized for wired devices with centralized wireless. The access switches can support Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+), and the access switches can be stacked together for higher port density and resiliency. IT has flexibility to deploy the Cisco Catalyst Instant Access solution on all or a subset of the campus network. IT can reuse existing network cabling infrastructure to deploy this solution.

Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches Product Overview

The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution offers network administrators the ability to look at buildings in a campus network as a single switch. The entire building can be viewed as a single management entity. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution is managed by the parent Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800* switch. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution offers feature consistency across the access and distribution layers of the campus Ethernet network. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia is an extension of the Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 parent switch. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution is very resilient with its support of multichassis EtherChannel and stacking. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution does not use Spanning Tree Protocol in the links between the Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switch and the Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 parent switch. The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia solution supports Virtual Switching System Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches do not perform any local packet forwarding. All traffic originating from host ports (downlink ports) of a Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switch will be sent to an Instant Access parent, which makes all the switching and forwarding decisions for the traffic to be forwarded to the destination.

* All the Cisco Catalyst 6800 series switches (6807-XL, 6880-X, 6840-X) supports the 6800ia switches.

The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switch inherits the features and capabilities of its parent in an Instant Access solution. Consider the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T as an Instant Access parent switch. In this case the Cisco Catalyst 6800ia client switch will inherit all the features of the Supervisor Engine 2T, which includes Security Group Tags (SGT), Security Group Access Control List (SGACL), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), IPv6, mediatrace, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and so on:

  • 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Integrated FlexStack-Plus capability, which provides up to 80 Gbps stack bandwidth
  • Support of up to five members in a stack
  • Two 10G Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) uplinks
  • External RPS power redundancy for Cisco Catalyst 6800ia
  • Mini USB and Ethernet ports for versatile console management
  • All ports in Cisco Catalyst 6800ia series are MACsec hardware ready
  • IEEE 802.3at-compliant PoE+ for up to 30W of power per port
  • Up to 740W of combined PoE/PoE+ budget
  • IEEE 802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) enables dynamic power savings on all switch ports
  • Dynamic power mapping to scale up to 740W PoE+ power
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Removable redundant power supply available with C6800IA-48FPDR


  1. Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches Data Sheet
  2. Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches Data Sheet.pdf