Cisco Nexus Review

Offers redundancy options and diverse paths that large campuses require

What is our primary use case?

Mostly what we use Cisco Nexus for is in our access layer and distribution networks on our campus.

How has it helped my organization?

I'm the person that makes the decisions on purchasing. I have a manager above me that gives a budget, but I decide on products and spending. Some of it is previous experience with the hardware. We also trust our partners and the people that deploy it for their recommendations. We're looking across model lines. 

We're a large enterprise. We're nationwide. We tend to have limitations within a certain scope. We purchase so that we can keep our costs down and also support anything we want.

There are some limitations and we have to pick from the list of available options. 

Some of the previous Cisco equipment that we've had, i.e. the 2948's and 3560's, are similar.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is stability. We have a pretty large campus. We need the redundancy options and diverse paths that are required. Also, some of the capacity that the Cisco Nexus has.

What needs improvement?

The only major improvement required would be stability. With some of the products we had before, we had a little more downtime than we would like.

We had to spend more time either dealing with parts that needed to be replaced, or issues that we had in configurations that we needed to upgrade. The Cisco Nexus is a lot more stable and doesn't have all of the bugs when it has to do with upgrades.

Some of the fiber optic capacity increases will be good because we're already looking at 40 GB and 100 GB at a reasonable price. 

Fiber capacity is going to be something we're starting to look on our roadmap, how do we increase what we have available.

We use Cisco Nexus and haven't had any problems. We've been happy with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability for us is great. We can use Cisco Nexus for what we need it to do. In the future, I don't see any obstacles this would create. It works great.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco always does a great job. Sometimes it's difficult to get to the level of engineer that you need for support. Overall, the experience that we get is fine. Eventually, we'll be able to get the support that we require to get the issue fixed if there's a problem.

How was the initial setup?

Cisco Nexus is straightforward for deployment. If we had to have any kind of hands-on support, we could access them. If you want to you can always pay for someone to come for services. 

We may need to have services on site to be able to help us with deployment. We've used that in the past. For some of this equipment, we have enough experience within our team to be able to deploy it. Then if we run into problems, we can just call in for help.

What about the implementation team?

We have a contractor that already has contracted out to do that work locally in our facility. They take care of all that for us. Our experience with that partner was good. We're happy with them. They did a good job.

What was our ROI?

From an improvement on an availability metric perspective, we have seen ROI.

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

We do yearly licensing. I don't directly pay for Cisco Nexus. Enterprise, above me, pays for all our licensing across the United States. I know we do pay a yearly fee for our portion.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In our enterprise organization, we're a little bit different than the government. We buy into the economy of scale. Since we have centers all across the United States, we try to centralize and enterprise manage our equipment. We tend to go with one vendor and that decision is above me.

I don't get to evaluate the days of local control within our infrastructure. We moved away from that about 10 years ago so that we can take advantage of economies of scale.

What other advice do I have?

I would say take advantage of the resources that Cisco has in regards to some of the marketing and sales reps. They can provide you at least a guide on the options.

Sometimes you get locked in on a particular product, even though it's still biased. Within the company, opportunities exist to talk about other options. 

A lot of times Cisco will bring a technical engineer, it's not just a sales rep trying to sell something. They'll bring their technical representatives that understand the environment and consider other options within the brand.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Cisco Nexus at a nine. I'm not sure I know everything about it to give it a ten. 

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