What Features The Cisco Catalyst 3K Family of Switches Supports?
The Cisco Catalyst 3K family of switches supports the following three feature sets depending on the specific model of switch:
As visually summarized in Figure 1, the Cisco Catalyst 3560-E and 3750-E Series support the IP Base and IP Services feature sets, whereas the Cisco Catalyst 3560-X and 3750-X Series support the LAN Base, IP Base, and IP Services feature sets.
Figure1. Feature Set Overview
In particular, Figure 2 shows the main differences between the three feature sets supported on the Cisco Catalyst 3K switch family.
Figure2. Feature Set Characteristics and Differences
Each Cisco Catalyst 3750-E/3560-E or 3750-X/3560-X system is loaded with a universal Cisco IOS Software image. Universal Cisco IOS Software images contain all Cisco IOS Software features. The level of Cisco IOS Software functionality available is determined by the combination of one (or more) licenses installed on the device. A specific license file stored in the flash memory of the switch can unlock a specific Cisco IOS Software feature set, from the smallest one to the largest one (Figure 3).
Figure3. Feature Set Activation in a Universal Image
For the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E/3560-E Series, there can be two versions of universal images: plain no crypto universal images and universalk9 images (which offer all the Cisco IOS Software features, including strong crypto features).
For the Cisco Catalyst 3750-X/3560-X Series, in addition to the aforementioned universalk9 images, there are also images with the universalk9-npe designation in the image name. The reason for this alternate image type is that some countries have import regulations that require that the device does not support any strong data-plane crypto functionality, such as IEEE 802.1AE, in any form. To satisfy the import requirements of those countries, this universal image does not support any strong payload encryption (that is, it is of the no payload encryption type).
Note that for the aforementioned platforms "no universal" IP Base images are still available and posted on the cisco.com guest page. This is done so that those who have not purchased a Cisco SMARTnet contract can still get software updates for their LAN Base or IP Base images (or downgrade from IP Services to IP Base and get software updates). LAN Base or IP Base updates are offered as part of the software update policy (see Updating Software on the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E, 3560-E, 3750, and 3560 Series Switches).
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