Cisco Catalyst Switches Review

Supports external flash disks for storing images and file systems


What is our primary use case?

I was a Support Engineer with Cisco, I used to support customers who were using Cisco Catalyst features.

What is most valuable?

A good feature of Cisco Catalyst is that it records crash log files which can be used to literally identify the cause of a crash because they have a lot of information. And Cisco Catalyst supports the use of external flash disks for storing of images and file systems.

What needs improvement?

Currently, Catalyst is completely proprietary with Cisco. They should have programmability options, through open-source controllers.

Also, some features, are very complex to configure.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Catalyst is known for its stability, so there are not many challenges there. Of course, they do have a platform that comes with its own set of bugs, and then the bugs get fixed and then there is a new set of bugs. But it's okay. Compared to other products it is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Catalyst is a highly scalable product.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support was good in the past but now it is becoming diluted. Cisco used to have a lot of experienced folks, but now their whole process of hiring and training is diluted, so we don't see as much expertise with the TAC engineers as we once did.

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

Generally, Cisco Catalyst would be relatively expensive compared to the competition, it would be on the expensive side. But I am not involved in the commercial part.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are a lot of options when it comes to switching products. Brocade offers good switches, HPE offers a very affordable set of switches. But the purchase decision depends on a lot of factors. Primarily, Cisco provides an end-to-end solution, all aspects of networking, from UIP to security to wireless to servers. That factor plays into it.

What other advice do I have?

I would give this solution an eight out of 10. To get to a 10, it should become more open-source friendly, more customizable, easy to configure, and less complex in terms of the licensing.

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