Cisco Catalyst Switches Review

VLAN provides us with segregation, but I would like to see ongoing software improvement


What is our primary use case?

We use Catalyst for campus switches.

How has it helped my organization?

As an access switch, it really hasn't made an improvement in our organization. Access switches are similar, in most cases. It's just and end-user switch, so it doesn't really differ if it's Cisco or any other device.

Perhaps the reliability is an improvement.

What is most valuable?

VLAN gives us segregation.

What needs improvement?

Cisco should focus more on this type of product instead of on data center switches. They stopped improving the software of these switches and they are focusing on the data center. They should focus on this type of product, more than any other thing.

It might also help if they integrated their security products with the switches.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I had some hardware failure, a defect, on arrival.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would evaluate the tech support as "fair". They have multi-tiered support and especially the level-one and two don't know what they are doing. They collect a lot of information, wasting your time, and then they keep moving the tickets from level one to level two and level three, and when the issue is solved, usually level-three are the ones who solve it. They're not good at the lower levels of support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What was our ROI?

The ROI for this product is three to five years.

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

I would rate the features-to-pricing ratio at six out of 10.

My advice about licensing is that you should have a perpetual license, not one that is subscription-based.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I use a lot of switches on the campus: Juniper, Extreme, etc. I use multiple vendors. However, Cisco and Juniper are my preferred vendors.

What other advice do I have?

The most important thing I can say is that Cisco is using a proprietary protocol, so you should design your network accordingly so that you don't get vendor lock.

I would rate Cisco Catalyst a seven out of 10 because of the pros and the cons I have noted.

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