Cisco Ethernet Switches Review

Good performance and redundancy, and well worth the investment

What is our primary use case?

We use these switches in our data center core to handle all of the converged networks. They handle our SAN servers as well as other components.

The outer perimeter is handled by the Cisco 2960s, for distribution of traffic to endpoint clients.

How has it helped my organization?

These switches help to build the best network, the way we want it. There is a guarantee that makes us feel better about having a secure network.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the performance and ability to handle the flow of traffic.

The redundancy that the switches provide is very good.

What needs improvement?

There is a focus on improving the UI for managing the higher-end switches and routers, but not the traditional ones. Putting in a more complete management infrastructure would help when it comes to handling lower-end switches.

These switches are pretty expensive to put into place, so if they could bring the price point down then it would be really good.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Cisco Ethernet switches for just over ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution very well handles the capability for scaling. It is fairly simple and easy to do.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sometimes we have issues with certain switches hanging.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have only indirectly been in contact with technical support through our vendor. Our interactions mostly had to do with registering the product and downloading updates. We have not been in contact concerning a particular issue about a product.

How was the initial setup?

Our initial setup was more than ten years ago, and it is something that has been modified over time. Whatever it was, originally, has been rebuilt. As we continue to add new components, it becomes simpler and easier for us to go forward. 

The deployment for the data center core took four days to get all of the services up and running. This included the interfacing, as well as cutting over to ensure that there was no outage. A lot of this had to do with the waiting time and change control, where the cut-over was done during hours that are less used by the employees.

Our other primary switches were pretty simple to change, as and when required. This was never much of a dealy.

What about the implementation team?

Our vendor assisted us with the original deployment. Our project team consisted of four people and there was an additional person from the vendor.

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

These switches are expensive, but they are an excellent buy and definitely have value for the investment.

What other advice do I have?

The switches that we have purchased handle our load pretty well. We do not have a high data plan network.

When our switches age beyond the life cycle then each will be replaced with whatever the current model is in the market at the time. In the future, we would like to integrate Cisco Aironet, although Wi-Fi is a bit down the line for us.

Overall, this is a good product but there is always room for improvement. My main complaint about Cisco is the price aspect.

I would rate this solution 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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