What is our primary use case?
I have been in so many situations using this product it is hard to choose a primary use. I have worked for many companies, so we have used them as access switches, we have used them as distribution switches, we have used them as IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame) closets for floor switches. We have used them as code switches and clusters and chassis. I have gone through using all the different versions of switches in many scenarios, like remote offices, access to quotas for distribution. I have used the switches on every level and in exhaustive possibilities.
What is most valuable?
I think the most valuable feature of Cisco Switches is basically the ease of use, the ease of management. The most important thing may be the support. Support is available and having access to good support has been the difference all along as a user of Cisco products. The most important thing about product support is that everything is made very available. Most of this stuff — I would say more than 90% of the technical stuff — is available online. Anybody can just go online and Google their questions, problems, or what they want to find out about and just download the documents and then get to work with the product. Some other products are good products, but there is not so much good technical information out there to support the products. Those products become less useful and less fully utilized.
What needs improvement?
I think that Cisco UI interfaces need to be a little better. They use Java for parts of the graphical user interfaces and that messes up things from time-to-time. It is very hard to maintain that graphical user interface. If it would be anything but Java it would be better. Like if you could just access the GUI from a browser, that would be wonderful. But every time Cisco has their own product — like CCP (Cisco Configuration Professional) which is a nightmare to use.
What I believe they could do more with is enhancement of the security features. The security controls that are given to users with Cisco 4600 now can be integrated with the Cisco firewalls. I think something similar needs to be done on those Lynksys models as well.
For how long have I used the solution?
It feels like we have been using Cisco Switches forever. I have been using their products since I started my career and that was back in 1988. That makes it about 32 years now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Cisco Lynksys Switches are pretty stable. No complaints. I think, in general, the majority of the Cisco switches are very stable if not all of them.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is easy to scale the Cisco products, absolutely. There are a variety of ways to scale it.
How are customer service and technical support?
Cisco has good technical support. But Cisco is also an advantage when you go out and you want to hire someone for your group to work with the product. For Cisco products, you can find a lot of candidates with experience. If you go with some other products that are not so commonly used, they will not have as many available certified technical people. So it is not as easy to find good candidates for those other products. For Cisco, you can find a lot of people with the necessary skill set.
Technical support is one of the biggest reasons to go with Cisco as a mature and competitive product that is familiar and generally has good support.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I have been using Cisco products for my entire long career. They are not exactly the same product for the entire time but they are Cisco quality. If there is a switch between solutions it may be to upgrade or because I moved companies or that requirements change. It has been nothing unusual to switch using one Cisco product for another.
How was the initial setup?
I think it is pretty straightforward to set up and implement. I think they are pretty standard. It is not rocket science. The person doing the work should have some basic knowledge of working with switches. That would be all they need.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
When it comes to pricing, I think the licensing cost is not that bad. It is actually very competitive within the product category.
What other advice do I have?
The advice I would offer to others in implementing Cisco Lynksys Switches is that somebody on the team has to be well aware of basic networking and how the search network works. That will make them easier to use and implement.
On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the Cisco Linksys Ethernet Switches depending on the class. For example, I think the Cisco 9300s are almost an eight-out-of-ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?