Cisco Ethernet Switches Review
Pros: streamlined and versatile solutions. Cons: expensive maintenance fees and they are slow with patches


What is most valuable?

Versatility and streamlined IOS

Availability of expertise on the market (resources)

How has it helped my organization?

Streamlined IOS helped to develop templates for Ethernet Switches without worrying of compatibility of commands in regards to hardware platforms.

Modularity of Industrial switches (IE3000) provides flexibility in solutions yet based on one platform.

Vast array of Industrial models (IE2000, IE3000, IE4000, IE5000).

What needs improvement?

Acceptance of open source trends (there is slight move already - just keep going)

For how long have I used the solution?

10 years overall for all switching/routing products. Industrial switches for last 5 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Well, need more pro-active option to add PoE modules to Industrial switches.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We deal with a Cisco partner - 4.5 out of 5.

Technical Support:

We deal with a Cisco partner - 4.0 out of 5. Sometimes we find the solution before we get an answer from the Cisco partner.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Everything is driven by business requirements, which in turn different from one project to another. Major points are: availability of support/expertise beyond internal resources, territorial coverage, performance and support of multiple options from enterprise to industrial environment

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

90 % in house. Vendor team has sufficient skills.

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

Cisco should look into more flexible licensing for hardware/IOS. It is hard to beat some vendors' lifetime warranty even they offer less in functionality compare to Cisco.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are multiple vendors but they are very specialized and do not support versatile solutions. For example, we had to move from Schneider switches as they were just a marketing move by vendor and did not provided better performance or compatibility with SCADA products.

What other advice do I have?

Start from your business requirements (what would you like to have) and budget (what can you afford).

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