Aruba Switches Review

Reasonably-priced and easy to manage from a central location

What is our primary use case?

The 5400 series is a modular chassis-based switch and it allows us to buy parts for different needs, such as 10 gigs, or a one gig ethernet over copper for workstations. It's really our core switch and we actually have a couple of different models.

That's in our headquarters, and then we have some other sites that use Aruba. I think they're the 2600 series or 2700 series, the smaller, modular ones, and stackable ones. Not the chassis-based.

How has it helped my organization?

When I first started two years ago, we didn't have these centralized modular switches and we had a bunch of stackable switches and there were many loops in the network.

We had different brands too. HP, Cisco, Linksys, Aruba, we had NETGEAR. There was not a common type of interface. We had network issues almost weekly.

We were able to get it organized and centrally managed, with a spanning tree to detect loops and more.

What is most valuable?

All of the networking products that we use are Aruba, so we use Aruba Central to manage them. This gives us a single place to look at land switches, wireless switches, and switches in other offices. It makes management a little easier.

It's the same type CLI commands to manage these.

What needs improvement?

There are many options with the modular switch and you buy cards for it. If you want 48 ports of one gig, you can buy a card for that, but more options would be better.

Right now, there's only eight, an eight-port, 10 gig module and sometimes we need a little denser than eight ports. It would be good if I could get a 24-port, 10 gig module.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Aruba Switches for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The Aruba Switches are very stable. We keep it up to date.

We update the firmware and software annually, as needed. We haven't had any issues. They are relatively new.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Aruba Switches scale well, because of the modularity of it and to be able to buy different modules and interchange modules. We have a pair of them and they are linked together with 40 gig connections, so all of the cards are interchangeable between the two switches and some of that is just by design.

These are the core switches in our organization and everybody in the office uses them. This includes our remote offices. Everybody passes data through them, albeit this is somewhat less at the moment because of the COVID quarantine.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had to contact technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a mix of modular switches at this company. We had some HP, Cisco, NETGEAR, and Linksys. We looked at the switches that can provide us the port density that we needed, in one or two chassis-type units, and was also affordable.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price point was a big consideration for us and it is reasonable enough that we're able to standardize on Aruba for the networking pieces in our organization. This also includes Wi-Fi and access points.

Generally speaking, the price is good.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this is a good, solid tool. It doesn't do anything fancy but it does what we need it to do. We don't do any routing through it. We have other routers to do all of that work. Again, the modular flexibility was a big attraction for us.

I've used Switches forever, so I knew what to expect. There was no installation really needed. We knew how to set up VLAN and set up the interfaces. We're happy with it.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

5400 Series
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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