High availability and sustainable network is a prime and foremost obligatory requirement of ERP deployment, Cisco layer 2-4 switches deliver the best when robust, secured, sub- netted and resilient network is concerned.
The Catalyst switches give ease of configuration with a comprehensive set of management protocol support such as Telnet, HTTP, CLI, SNMP and much more with software's like CMS (Cluster Management Suite) and Ciscoworks, all together. Conventional Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with outstanding QoS, stackable and fixed configuration, security features like static VLAN support and in Linux OS ,TACACS with Radius Dial in authentication support where environment of installation of device(Switch) is harsh , less maintained temperature and less manageable environment like Tertiary care hospitals, Universities, Call centers, Tech labs and SMB’s where limited manpower is the major factor in considerations. Productivity of mid line layer 2 switches (Catalyst 2950G) can be coupled by using in conjunction with Catalyst 4506 Ethernet layer 3 switch acting as core of the IP routing. 2 x GBIC I/O slots (standard) for gigabit Ethernet and single mode fiber channel is one of the distinct specialties in sub- netted network, they offer.
Cost is one of the substantial aspect for layer 2 supported devices like catalyst WS-2900 series as compared to HP networking device with HP 2900 series. Yes cisco is little higher in cost but in return cisco offer resilience, reliability and dependable network for any application
Though Cisco provides lifetime limited warranty for their products like WS-2950G -48 switch, but HP 2900 series is shipped with “As long as you owned the device with advance replacement in a very short time.”
My experience is with a gigabit network of 467 active nodes spanned across 29 Catalyst WS-2950G-48 switches and inter-VLAN routed through Catalyst 4506 layer 3 switches with fiber optic backbone. Beside this I have had the experience of using HP 2920 switches which are less rugged and require a temperature moderated environment with less resilience as compare to Cisco 2950.