Dell PowerConnect Switches Review

Easy to use with a web-based GUI, highly resilient, and has good technical support


What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Dell PowerConnect Switches are one of the products that we implement for our customers. Many of the models are used to manage East-West traffic in the network. The are other models that handle traffic at the application layer.

In data centers, we generally deploy the S Series.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is simplicity. They try to make everything as simple as possible. Even if you are coming into networking for the first time, it is very easy.

The GUI, web interface is very nice if you are unfamiliar with the CLI.

What needs improvement?

When it comes to the configuration, there should be documentation and interactive help available to assist people who have experience with products from other vendors. For example, if I type in a Cisco keyword then it should highlight the differences and display what steps or similar commands are required.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Dell PowerConnect Switches for more than seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

These switches are reliable and we have not had problems with them. Since 2013, none of the sites that I have implemented have gone down due to issues with instability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Dell PowerConnect Switches are very easy to scale and it can be done on the fly. It is essentially plug-and-plug, once you have the configuration replicated.

We have customers that vary in size from SME to enterprises. There are different models available depending on the size of the organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

We handle the first level of support for our customers. However, if it is something that is beyond our capacity then we contact Dell. The support from Dell is fantastic. It is available 24 hours a day and in all regions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have dealt with switches from other manufacturers such as Cisco, and the Dell PowerConnect switches are easier to work with and scale. Physically, there are not so different, but the proprietary commands differentiate them. The cost of Dell is also cheaper than that of Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward and easy to do. If I understand the requirements and what has to go into the configuration then it will take me a maximum of 15 minutes to deploy. This is for a single switch. In a large environment, there can be many switches. If we are deploying 50 switches, for example, then we might have three engineers to do the job.

Depending on the customer's environment, it is sometimes deployed on-premises but as part of a private cloud.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy these switches and other services for our customers. Our team will design the system, deploy it, and then offer support. Normally, the deployment is seamless because we plan everything in advance and know what is expected.

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

This solution is much cheaper than comparable products by Cisco.

What other advice do I have?

Dell seems to accommodate everyone when it comes to managing these switches. The ease of use is an important selling point that has allowed them to push into the market.

My advice for anybody who is considering these switches is that they are a good product and I recommend them. There is some training available to help understand the architecture, which you should take. If you are coming from a Cisco background then you will find it very easy to integrate.

One of the things that I have learned about using this product is that there is steady development going on at all times. There are other products and technologies that are fading away, whereas this product is improving.

Another thing that I have learned about working with Dell is that they will never sell you something that is not redundant. Rather, their solutions are highly available. They don't want to have anything with a single point of failure. Essentially, the level of resiliency and redundancy is very high.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

S Series 41 and 48
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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