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ITCS user
Account Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Highly stable, great software and hardware integration, and helpful technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The Cisco software ties all the hardware together better than the competition."
  • "Cisco Catalyst Switches do not have an open architecture and you have to buy into the Cisco architecture to be able to use them."

What is our primary use case?

We have customers that use Cisco Catalyst Switches for SMB, enterprises, schools, colleges, and universities. We have worked with almost everything except the federal government.

What is most valuable?

The Cisco software ties all the hardware together better than the competition. Cisco used to license their IOS software to HPE for their own switches, which were decent switches as well. HPE has been through a bunch of different changes over the years and now has Aruba switches. 3Com was part of HP for a while and the ProCurve was the original HP switch that I remember.

What needs improvement?

Cisco Catalyst Switches do not have an open architecture and you have to buy into the Cisco architecture to be able to use them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for approximately 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable and reliable, this has been proven from many years of use.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco Catalyst Switches can be used in any sized company. We have customers in small to enterprise companies, with our largest being General Reinsurance. Multi-national companies would benefit the most from the use of Cisco switches. This is why the international community likes this solution because it can be used anywhere in the world.

How are customer service and technical support?

The paid technical support is very good.

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

I have used many other switches, such as HPE, Juniper, and Aruba.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is a definite effort to get everything set up and working correctly. They do not work out of the box. However, these days they have improved a lot and the new Cisco solutions today would be much easier to put together than the ones in the past.

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

The cost of Cisco switches is a little more expensive than the competition. However, as the saying goes, "you get what you pay for." If you want a reliable solution and other benefits, Cisco Catalyst Switches are worth the money. 

There are additional costs for support.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for others looking to implement this solution would be to work with a reseller, such as us, that has a good history of working with Cisco and can give the customer a good short and long-term plan.

I rate Cisco Catalyst Switches an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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JO
Network Support Engineer at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to set up with good support and excellent stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is easy to use."
  • "The price of the product is very expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for ethernet WAN connectivity, LAN connectivity, wireless, then integration with other third-party solutions. That's all we use it for, for the most part.

What is most valuable?

The solution is easy to use.

It is very stable and the performance has been very reliable. 

The installation process is fairly straightforward. 

Technical support has been helpful.

What needs improvement?

The solution should work to become more scalable. 

The price of the product is very expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for a long time. It's likely been 15 years or more. It's well over a decade at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. The performance is great. It doesn't crash or freeze and there are no bugs or glitches. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable enough. It could be better.

We have around 2,000 users on the switches currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been good overall. We've been in touch in the past. They were helpful and responsive and we've been satisfied with them in general. 

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

We did not previously use a different solution. We've been using Cisco switches for a very long time. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. If I need to do a new deployment, for example, we just go to the store, get a new one, and install it. We have 40 right now. The installation is very easy.

Due to the fact that we have another of the Cisco products in our environment, Cisco Prime, it helps to deploy switches faster. It's very easy. It doesn't take much time to deploy.

We have five engineers that are able to handle any deployment or maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to handle the implementation process myself. I did not need the assistance of an integrator or consultant. 

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

We do find the cost to be quite high. They should work to lower it if possible. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the product itself at a nine out of ten. It's been very good so far and we are satisfied with its capabilities. The cost is quite high, however. 

I would recommend the solution to other users and organizations. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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AI
Manager, Information Technology at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Strong features, easy to manage, and excellent support

Pros and Cons

  • "All features are very strong. It is very easy to manage. It is also certified and popular. Cisco has come up with a new management console to manage the switches. I still haven't tried it, but in my opinion, this is the best way forward. You can use software to manage the switches instead of the common line configuration. You can manage it through software, which is very easy."
  • "It can have more security features to secure the access layer."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to connect our end users. It is used for DMZ connections behind the firewalls and campus network.

What is most valuable?

All features are very strong. It is very easy to manage. It is also certified and popular.

Cisco has come up with a new management console to manage the switches. I still haven't tried it, but in my opinion, this is the best way forward. You can use software to manage the switches instead of the common line configuration. You can manage it through software, which is very easy.

What needs improvement?

It can have more security features to secure the access layer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Catalyst 9300 Series for the last two years. It is a new model. I have been using previous models, such as Catalyst 3750, 3560, and 2960, for maybe more than 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. You just install it and forget about it for years. I had a switch that was running for more than 11 years without a singular restart. That switch had a running time of more than 11 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have 400 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great. I was talking to one of my colleagues just two hours back about Cisco technical support. They are brilliant and excellent. If we have any hardware failure, we get it fixed the second day. We get multiple engineers working on the case if it is a critical issue. They are really supportive.

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

I have been using only Cisco solutions from the beginning. It has been more than 20 years now.

We plan to keep using this solution. We are going to refresh it with the latest model. We are in the process of acquiring the new model and replacing all obsolete switches with the new Catalyst 9K series. The order will be placed maybe next week.

How was the initial setup?

Its setup was easy. It took an hour to configure each switch.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself. We have three network engineers to manage the entire network. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this product to other users. I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FB
Manager Customer Engineering South (Presales) at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Robust hardware with good documentation and good support

Pros and Cons

  • "Cisco provides very good support services."
  • "The pricing could be better. Cisco is quite expensive."

What is our primary use case?

LAN access, distribution and core. 

How has it helped my organization?

We are Cisco partner and sell Cisco solutions, we have sold this platform for last 20 years. Its quite robust and work in worst environmental conditions.

What is most valuable?

In terms of the switches, the uptime and the robustness of the hardware are the most valuable aspects. 

Cisco devices are quite good. They do not fail specially the Catalyst Switches. 

The solution offers quite a robust infrastructure, hardware-wise. 

Cisco provides very good support services.

Cisco is improving and investing in R&D right now. They are investing a lot in research, and keep improving their products.

For example, they have recently launched the SDA, SDWAN, ACI etc. Software Defined-Solutions, in which you can automate your operations and enhance your operations, and avoid manual stuff.

What needs improvement?

With their constant innovation and investment in R&D, there isn't really very much the solution isn't lacking or building upon in terms of features.

The pricing could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Catalyst for long time. It's a very old Cisco brand, I have been deploying catalyst switches for last 20 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the solution quite well. It's good in that regard.

How are customer service and technical support?

We're quite happy with their support services. They also offer very good documentation.

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

Since we are reseller / partner we sell different vendors solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy.

On top of that, they have complete documentation available on their website. Whatever scenario you are deploying, you can search for an example of it on their website. That can help guild you during the process.

What was our ROI?

We are reseller / partner.

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

licensing model is changing from perpetual licenses to subscription based licensing. Subscription based licensing model is cheaper but reoccur every year or 3, 5 or 7 years.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not relevant. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Wilber Calle
Senior Project Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good routing capabilities and a fairly easy setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The product offers very good routing and ranking capabilities."
  • "The product could offer more integrations with other solutions."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution specifically for our internal network - for our users and some servers. We also have servers on the cloud as well, although largely we are on-premise.

What is most valuable?

The VLANs portion of the solution is very good. 

The product offers very good routing and ranking capabilities.  It allows for better channels.

The initial setup is very simple. An organization shouldn't have too much trouble setting everything up.

We've found the solution to be rather stable. It offers good performance.

What needs improvement?

There aren't any features that are lacking from my perspective. It's pretty complete.

The solution itself is quite expensive. It would be ideal if they could lower the pricing a bit.

The product could offer more integrations with other solutions. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have had experience with the solution since around 2000. In 2010 I began on the sales-side of the product. Therefore, I have many, many years of experience with the product at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution offers very good stability. We've found it to be reliable. It doesn't crash or freeze. It also doesn't seem to have bugs or glitches that affect its performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the layer you are talking about. Layer 2 is not scalable, however, Layer 3 switches offer very good scalability.

We have about 50 people currently using the solution.

How was the initial setup?

We found the implementation to be very simple, and straightforward. It was easy. There weren't any complexities, therefore, we didn't face any difficulty when setting everything up.

Deployment takes a few hours.

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

The pricing of the product is quite high. It's not the cheapest option on the market.

What other advice do I have?

We're Cisco partners. We have a business relationship with the company.

I'd recommend this solution to other organizations. Over the years, I've found that it works very well.

In general, on a scale from one to ten, I would rate it at a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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GM
Project Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Offers good, solid hardware and security, with great performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The hardware and the security are the product's valuable features"
  • "The cost of this product is very high and not all companies can afford it."

What is our primary use case?

We generally work with small, medium and sometimes government organizations. We do layer 3 switches, as well as 9200 as layer 2 switches. I'm an integrator and we are customers of Cisco. 

What is most valuable?

We don't use any specific protocols. For us, the hardware and the security are the product's valuable features and performance of this solution is good. 

What needs improvement?

The cost of this product is very high and not all companies can afford it. Government entities can but corporations these days are hesitant to get Cisco. They're looking for other options that can cut their costs by 30% or 40% from the cost of Cisco Catalyst Switches. I think the command line in the platform could be improved because it's divided and can complicate things, maybe they can go direct to GUI. Using all the commands is a bit difficult. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco is stable. There are no issues with outages or integration. Once it's up and running, configuration is okay, and once it's on the live network, it's fine, no issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not an issue. Cisco is their own market and it works.  

How are customer service and technical support?

If I have Smart Net, I get good technical support. Whenever I have an issue I contact them. They're very good. 

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup can be a bit complex depending on the organization. Deployment time depends on the configuration. I did an installation with around 44 switches of Cisco 3850, which took me around one week to do the installation, configuration, and handover. It depends on the number of switches and configuration required. 

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

When we propose Cisco to a company, the only issue they are concerned with is price and the yearly subscription. You have to buy Smart Net to get a warranty and that is also expensive. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Cisco is similar to other solutions such as D-Link. They have the same features. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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MA
Presales Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Stable, flexible, easy to install, and the support is fair

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the flexibility of this product."
  • "Cisco is a bit complex."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for our network.

I am a system engineer, and we sell the products to our customers.

What is most valuable?

I like the flexibility of this product.

What needs improvement?

There is a complexity with Cisco.

They should have unified software that includes all of the licenses. We should not have to pay for different software on the same platform. Each one has a specific use or a specific feature.

If you need dynamic routing then you have to purchase the software, if you need basic IP routing, you need different software. Why do you need this type of complexity?

They have their own propriety protocols while other competitors go with other standards and are easy. Cisco is a bit complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for 15 years.

We use several different versions, not just one. If they have different software for universal enterprise services, they will have specific features to use for the specific use case.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco Catalyst Switches is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution needs to be improved. It is not very scalable. For example, if you want to enable the features such as VSS, you have to add other modules and hardware.

Other competitors have this feature available from the beginning. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fair.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It is easy to install.

I was not involved in the installation but it is approximately five or ten minutes to deploy.

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

There is no licensing fee. All of the features are available on the switch from day one.

It's not a complicated license; you have to buy a license for different services or features. This is different.

Most of the features are available without additional hardware.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Cisco to other users, along with several other products.

I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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BB
Managing Director at Aster Networks
Real User
Top 20
Stable, very reliable, and easily scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The configuration is easy."
  • "The solution is quite expensive for our clients. It's a pain point for some companies. They should work to reduce the price."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for networking and the UCS.

What is most valuable?

The solution is extremely reliable as a product. The clients very much appreciate that.

The configuration is easy.

The solution is customizable.

We've found the solution to be stable.

A company can scale a solution easily.

Technical support has been very helpful.

What needs improvement?

The solution is quite expensive for our clients. It's a pain point for some companies. They should work to reduce the price.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a long while. I've used the solution basically since its inception.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with the stability of the solution. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We typically deploy the solution to medium to large-scale enterprises.

The solution scales well. It's not hard for a company to expand it as they need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in touch with technical support in the past. We've found them to be helpful and responsive. They are quite helpful and very polite. We're very satisfied with the level of support we receive.

How was the initial setup?

I'm not a technical person. I didn't actually handle the initial installation for our organization.

There is little to no ongoing maintenance required once it is implemented. I'd say you have 1% to 2% of effort going into maintenance. 

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

We've found the solution to be quite expensive. 

What other advice do I have?

We are a premium partner with Cisco.

We use various versions of the solution. It depends on the client. We have multiple clients and each instance is unique.

It's deployed both on-premises and on the cloud.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations. We've mostly been quite happy with the product.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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