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Cisco switch is part of the DNA of smart buildings

The system is at the heart of Cisco’s smart building vision which it shares with a growing ecosystem of partners

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Cisco's new switch is a catalyst for big change when it comes to digital buildings
Cisco's new switch is a catalyst for big change when it comes to digital buildings

Disparate systems like lighting and HVAC can be managed on the same switch

The switch claims to get power back on within five seconds of a power outage

Cisco is using a new digital network architecture called Cisco DNA

Cisco has announced the Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch, which it claims is the first switch built specifically for the needs of digital buildings by powering and connecting building systems onto a single, low-voltage IP network.


This milestone is at the heart of the smart building vision Cisco is defining with its growing list of more than 23 ecosystem partners. It ties into Cisco’s ambitions to change how enterprise networks are built and managed.


Cisco is using a new digital network architecture, Cisco DNA, to build more automated, responsive, self-driving networks. A new network that can dynamically respond to the ever-changing needs of the digital business.


Key features of the new switch system are:

  • Supports convergence: disparate systems like lighting, HVAC, and badging can be managed on the same switch. This is due to the switch’s support of a key Internet of Things (IoT) protocol called the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), an industry first;
  • Delivers twice the power: the switch supports bigger, brighter lighting fixtures and can get the power back on within five seconds of a power outage. The 60W per-port Cisco UPOE technology delivers twice the power of current PoE+;
  • Simplifies installation: technicians use Bluetooth and a mobile app to install and deploy it;

  • Runs noise-free: a fanless design makes it ideal for anywhere that requires quiet such as hospitals, retail shops, hotels, and the workplace.

Among the early users are Texas-based property development firm Sinclair Holdings which transformed an iconic downtown Fort Worth office space into an upscale hotel that would be managed by Marriott. Sinclair wanted to include all the digital bells and whistles for guests as well as shrink energy bills.


The hotel is already experiencing a 50 per cent reduction in energy costs. Powered by Cisco’s new switch, the property is scheduled for completion next summer. It will feature motorized blinds, as well as temperature and lighting control.


“The Catalyst Digital Building Series Switch allows us to converge disparate building systems onto a single IP platform,” said Farukh Aslam, president at Sinclair.We can now establish digital competencies for tomorrow’s hospitality industry. As one of the world’s largest hospitality brands, this allows Sinclair Marriott Autograph Hotel to enjoy real-time analytics and reduce energy costs.


"It also offers our business travelers and unique destination vacationers an authentic, enhanced boutique experience.”


Sachin Gupta, VP enterprise switching at Cisco said: “As far as convergence of IoT networks in a building, this product leap-frogs a generation of innovation. It brings new IoT protocol integration, automation and enterprise security by extending the Digital Network Architecture to digital buildings.”


The Catalyst Digital Building Series switch is available April 2017. The starting price is $895.


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