PoE allows the switch to deliver power to a device over the existing Ethernet cabling. This feature can be used by IP phones and some wireless access points. Click the highlighted icons in Figure 1 to view PoE ports on each device.

PoE allows more flexibility when installing wireless access points and IP phones, allowing them to be installed anywhere that there is an Ethernet cable. A network administrator should ensure that the PoE features are required, because switches that support PoE are expensive.

The relatively new Cisco Catalyst 2960-C and 3560-C Series compact switches support PoE pass-through. PoE pass-through allows a network administrator to power PoE devices connected to the switch, as well as the switch itself, by drawing power from certain upstream switches. Click the highlighted icon in Figure 2 to view a Cisco Catalyst 2960-C.