Cisco Ethernet Switches Review

Good availability and load balancing and relatively easy to scale


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for data centers and also for local area networks for enterprises.

What is most valuable?

I've worked with many features on Cisco's switches. However, the newest features I've used were on Nexus switches. The VPC on Nexus switches, supported on Nexus switches, provides high availability and load balancing for virtual port channels. It is a link aggregation we used in data centers. It's been fantastic.

The security of the switches is pretty impressive. There are many security features available on the product.

What needs improvement?

The solution could always benefit from some more security features. For example, they need something which is mainly used for enterprise networks that allow for identity-based security or authentication. 

The pricing of the switches could be lowered. Right now, they are quite expensive.

The enterprise-level switches should have a simpler deployment. They should make it possible for lower-skilled workers to be able to deploy the product. It should be just as easy as turning them on, powering them up, and connecting the PCs, which would be the same as or similar to a generic simple switch. Many users can't use Cisco's advanced features and won't be able to deploy Cisco's advanced CLI or other management tools otherwise.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with Cisco's switches for more than 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and Cisco is very reliable. It doesn't crash. There aren't bugs or glitches. I have experience on switches, which we've not reloaded for more than five years, even. They have been up and running for five years and don't cause us any trouble, which is impressive.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable. They support our stacking feature, which means we can stack up to eight switches together to have scalable port numbers in terms of port numbers and also throughput. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've contacted technical support in the past, and, in my experience, they are very good. They are helpful and responsive. However, I do find that they don't answer all your questions or resolve your issues. Most of the time it depends on the customer's agreement. 

I'm not the owner of the equipment. I work for customers in a deployment project's implementation and support. Most of the time the level of support provided depends on how much money the company we are assisting has paid to Cisco.

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

I've used Foundry switches in the past, which is a brand that does not exist any longer. Those switches were also very good in terms of stability. We used them in industrial ethernet environments. However, they are not products that are produced anymore.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup's level of difficulty varies quite a bit. For ethernet switches with default configurations, it's easy enough for normal operations. However, if you want to make use of more advanced features via Cisco, it requires a lot of advanced knowledge. It's not straightforward. It requires experience and in-depth knowledge of Cisco CLR or other management tools. You need to be an expert, or to hire one.

Simple operations or simple deployments don't take more than one day. For both switches, it takes even less than an hour. However, if you want to deploy more advanced features like .money for the set or more features like routing, etc., it can take one or two days. It shouldn't take longer than that. 

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

Cisco's pricing is quite high. It's on the higher end of the spectrum in comparison to other options on the market.

What other advice do I have?

I've worked with Cisco switches, but not industrial switches. I've worked with the 2900 series switches, as well as the 2800, 3700 series, and 3800 series of switches. Those are Cisco's enterprise and LAN switches.

I would recommend using Cisco ethernet switches.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten overall.

There are some issues with the product, which is normal. nothing is ever perfect. However, compared to other options, Cisco is your best bet.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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