What is our primary use case?
We use this solution as an aggregate router in our data center environment so that we can have an extended VLAN port between different data centers, regional and local.
The company has multiple data centers and most of the connections between them are through the 9K switches. We also have a couple of them in our lab for testing. These are used to test throughput, the system reliability, accuracy, and scalability for how many VLAN extenders we can have in our infrastructure.
We are using Spine-and-Leaf architecture for our data centers.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features of this solution are scalability and throughput. We are extending the VLAN to multiple data centers.
What needs improvement?
We would like to see this solution support routing.
One of the problems we have is that there is no confirmation for when you try to test a system command. It just accepts it and does not give you a response.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability is very good. We have been using it a lot and for a long time. It is being upgraded all the time.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Our environment is very large. We have multiple regional and national data centers, where data is sent between them.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support for this solution is very good. I have been working with them for a while. We have dedicated line support for HTTP.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup of this solution is not very complex. The problem is reliability. We get help from Cisco technical support and Cisco sales, and the deployment has to be coordinated with the Cisco architectural team to get it working on our network. There are a lot of people involved in the deployment, and before anything, it has to be tested.
We have advanced engineering, where they do the testing to make sure that the problems are being captured. If there are any issues then they are sent back to operations before they can deploy.
What about the implementation team?
We use a Cisco consultant for deployment. They are a reseller for the whole region. Everything is taken from the warehouse, prepped, and tested to make sure that everything is working. Their response is very good, and we have been working with them for a long time.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Our licensing fees are paid annually.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
The company is currently investing heavily in new technology from Cisco. This includes the SD-WAN, a network administration system, and NFV for the virtual firewall.
For this solution, we did not consider other vendors. However, we do use multiple vendors for our firewall and routing solutions.
What other advice do I have?
For anybody researching this solution, I would recommend looking at the 9K, but you have to look at all of the metrics and compare them between vendors. This is the way to come up with the best solution. Everything, including technical support, has to be considered because, for example, you can have the product but if you don't have support then you are going to have to deal with issues by yourself.
Overall, this product is good, but nothing is perfect. It is important to have competition.
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.