What is our primary use case?
We use them for Layer 2. We use the GSMs. We use the M4300s. We use pretty much all the Layer 2 and 3 switches. We use them for Layer 3 routers. We divide subnets up with them. The management interface isn't the best because the browsers aren't consistent, you have to use many browsers to get into them, but we use many of them: 24-port, 8-port, 16-port, 5-port. We connect them, 5 or 10-gig modules.
What is most valuable?
The ability to manage them is the big valuable feature. The ease of use is great.
It's very cost-effective. All my guys know them. They're pretty consistent across the platforms. There are some inconsistencies but, for the most part, they're pretty darn good. They are something all my guys are familiar with at this point and they work very well. They're guaranteed for life, covering all the things that you don't think about until something happens.
It is consistent and that means a lot. The interface doesn't change a lot and that's important. When you get a new management interface all the time, it makes it tough.
What needs improvement?
The management of them, itself, is not so good. You have to go between many different browsers, even some super-old browsers, to be able to do it. That is a super pain. That's critical. If this list were much longer than that, nobody would use their product.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I wouldn't be using them if they weren't stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is a very scalable product.
How are customer service and technical support?
I would give tech support a "C" or a "B." Their support is not what I would like it to be. The pre-sale support is excellent. The post-sale support is average.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I didn't have a previous solution. I've always used NETGEAR.
How was the initial setup?
The registration of the product is very easy to do. You register an upgrade code and away you go. In terms of how long deployment takes, I put one, two, three, four, or five in every office so, as a partner, I don't have a single deployment. I have a lot of different places that I have these in.
The implementation strategy is to get them cut over and back up and working as quickly as I can.
Regarding whether you need to be an IT expert to deploy and support a network, deploy: no; support: yes. Deployment would depend on the complexity of the user's network.
What about the implementation team?
We do everything internally.
What was our ROI?
The return on investment for us is the replacement warranty, cut and dry. That is why it's worth its weight to me. If they have a problem, we get them cross-shipped and they're taken care of.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The price to performance of this solution is very good. When it comes to pricing, as far as I'm concerned, they're very comparable with Ubiquity. NETGEAR has pricing that is as good as it gets. That's why I use them.
Regarding licensing, there is none. You register them and they're good to go.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
You have a lot of options. You always have Cisco. You had Nortel. There are many. They have a lot of competition. I'm a NETGEAR shop. I don't consider Cisco products.
What other advice do I have?
I don't know of any remote management tools. Everything we manage them with is onsite.
I would give it an eight out of ten. It's the most cost-effective solution out there. The management, as I said, from a browser standpoint, is very difficult in some cases, because we have some of them that are very old and we have to bounce around between browsers to manage them.