Cisco Catalyst Switches Review

Great PoE capability, good scalability, and useful analytics

What is our primary use case?

We deploy various Cisco solutions, such as Catalyst 3850 to 4500, 9000 Series, and Nexus lineup for data centers.

We've got various clients, ranging from financial services to hotels and higher education facilities. There are many use cases, such as data centers, disaster recovery.

How has it helped my organization?

Our clients are able to get analytics on how often people are in rooms or using a certain area of a building. By doing this, in the future, they can often opt for a slightly smaller space and use multi-purpose rooms instead. They have higher efficiency and lower overhead for rent and other things.

What is most valuable?

The PoE capability of Catalyst Switches is great for using WAPs and other PoE equipment, such as security cameras.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better efficiency. They are powering all the PoE ports 100% of the time instead of powering only when there is a draw on them.

It has too many options. Therefore, there is a reasonably high barrier to entry in terms of learning about this stuff. A lot of times, you need to be a CCNA, which is like your ticket into the industry, but it is not the easiest thing to get.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

You expect reliability and security when you're using Cisco. If you're getting a switch from some manufacturer on the other side of the world, it may fail after 10,000 hours.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty good. Our clients are more on the large side. 

With 4500 Series, you can add extra blades pretty easily, which makes things easier. You can also just stack them on top of 3850s or something else, add ports, and connect with fiber or ethernet. You're good to go. It is pretty easy.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used them.

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

I have always used Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on the use case, it can be pretty complex, but it is all done by people who are trained on it. The fact that you need somebody trained to do it means that it is pretty complex.

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

Cisco switches are expensive. Their price range is based not only on what the product does but also the name in the industry. 

They are good at what they do. If you need a better product, there are other lineups available.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you buy the right product and it does what you want. Don't get something that won't be what you think it will do.

I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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