Cisco Ethernet Switches Review

Easy to manage and configure with the capability to scale

What is our primary use case?

We're primarily using the solution for Jim basically the whole IT infrastructure, including the broadcast facility on the management side. It uses Cisco switches, which we spread out with the 9500 Series as sort of the main switches. We also use 93180s to create the backbone or spine of our setup.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of the solution is the ability to manage the switches and the ability to have a certain level of familiarity with setting up and configuring the switches. You can link them together and manage them as one single switch.

What needs improvement?

The biggest pain point we had was getting the switches delivered. However, that likely was due to COVID and everything else. I don't think it's a Cisco issue. It's just a supplier issue, as they seem to have a hard time getting deliveries in order.

One thing we did have to work around is, on the broadcast side, we're reliant on the PTP protocol, precision time protocol, and the Cisco switches in general, don't support that. Some do, however, the majority of ones we're using did not. We worked around it, however, that would be one area for us that would have been simply solved with more capabilities for PTP on Cisco's end.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've dealt with the solution for a long time, however, my most recent project has just been over the last six or so months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has been absolutely fine so far and I have yet to run into any scalability issues just yet. A company should be able to expand if they need to.

We have about 100 people using the product at any given time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't really have direct knowledge of technical support, however, I haven't heard anybody mention anything about reaching out to Cisco. They tend to work through their vendor CDW. I'm sure they have some support agreement with Cisco, although I'm really not the person that would be able to answer that. In general, I can't speak to Cisco's support as I've never had reason to reach out to them.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't directly involved with the configuration, however, it seemed that the main problem we had was just nailing down the requirements. The way I've worked here is there's a central IT department for the company. They're remotely configuring it. There just was a lot of confusion about specific requirements getting imported. Once those were clarified, then there was no problem setting it up. 

I don't think it's a Cisco issue. It's really an internal management issue in this company. The tools were there and once we nailed down the requirements and we understood them, then it seemed to work just fine. We haven't had any problems since then.

In terms of maintenance, there's a core IT team here of about four people with a manager. Then, there are the corporate people that are shared amongst the whole corporation. At any one time, we probably have one of those persons working on some issue here, on average. Overall, we have six people who can handle maintenance, however, it's not full-time. There are other duties too.

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

The costs and licensing aren't part of my job and therefore I don't know anything of exact pricing.

What other advice do I have?

We provide engineering and technical support services with a hardware-software. It's my understanding that w don't have a business relationship with Cisco.

I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using.

My advice to other organizations is to make sure to ensure that whoever the supplier is, they can commit to delivering and making deliveries. In our case, we're waiting on one switch for instance. It's in the mail. It got lost. Now they're promising delivery by tomorrow. I don't see that as a Cisco issue, however, it is a problem when it comes to getting everything implemented. I would have locked in the vendor that could ensure delivery if I knew these issues would arise. 

Overall, I would rate the solution as a solid eight out of ten.

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