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Cisco Ethernet Switches OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Ethernet Switches is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Ethernet Switches. It is most often compared to NETGEAR Switches: Cisco Ethernet Switches vs NETGEAR Switches

What is Cisco Ethernet Switches?
Cisco Ethernet Switches scale to meet the needs of networks of all sizes. They are Secure, Reliable and Seamless.

Cisco Ethernet Switches is also known as Cisco Industrial Ethernet Switches.

Cisco Ethernet Switches Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Ethernet Switches Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Cisco Ethernet Switches Customers
Linz AG
Cisco Ethernet Switches Video

Archived Cisco Ethernet Switches Reviews (more than two years old)

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CornelCristea
Network and Service Development Manager at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Excellent queue functionality, an easy setup and good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The queue functionality is the solution's most valuable feature, specifically because we are delivering a lot of Layer 2 services. Layer 2 protocol tunnels work well on Cisco switches."
  • "The solution needs to work on lowering the amount of bugs. We find them quite regularly."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for access aggregation and IP routing.

What is most valuable?

The queue functionality is the solution's most valuable feature, specifically because we are delivering a lot of Layer 2 services. Layer 2 protocol tunnels work well on Cisco switches.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs to work on lowering the amount of bugs. We find them quite regularly.

Cisco should offer different equipment. Some features which are needed at present, for example, require making ethernet loopbacks for testing purposes are not available. They need to offer something like this.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution isn't quite stable. We do find a lot of bugs. 

For Level 2 switching only, it's okay. 

When you look at advanced features, from time to time we have memory issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Some versions of the solution can scale with a stacking option. So far, we've been satisfied with the level of scalability we can achieve. We know what we can do using the right point in the network.

How are customer service and technical support?

We're satisfied with technical support. They answer quite fast when it comes to troubleshooting on the Cisco side. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and easy.

How long deployment takes depends on the configuration of standard features. It may take a few hours. It's more complex when we are using IP or VRF light functions.

You only need one person for deployment and maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation internally.

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

The equipment we bought with a perpetual license. We're not using a monthly or yearly licensing model. Any additional costs are reasonable. The hardware and software support came with additional costs.

What other advice do I have?

We are using a variety of Cisco ranges, including 2900, 3600, 3700, 4900, and 7600 series.

We use the on-premises deployment model.

In terms of advice I'd give to those considering implementing the solution, I'd say that they should know what features they want to use in order to choose the right platform. There are solutions, such as Juniper, for example, that vary in performance and in features. Be sure to ask Cisco or any other vendor lots of questions in the design phase to ensure you're choosing the right solution for your company.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. The solution lacks some stability but it compensates by offering great features.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SA
IT Operations Engineer at Infosysta
Real User
Provides stable security and configurable VLAN management

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a great solution for network switching and security."
  • "Technical support for integrations with other network products is insufficient and should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use Cisco as a business switch on a small network of about 30 users. We use it for internet sharing, as centralized management for the network and active directories, as a domain controller, and for file sharing.

How has it helped my organization?

This product provides us with stable security and configurable VLAN management.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable part of this solution for us VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network), MAC authentication and security.

What needs improvement?

For Cisco, the interface between fiscal small business switches and the Cisco Catalyst or Enterprise switch is a little bit different. So, I needed to take some time to understand how this will impact the network if we plan to scale it in the future and to learn the different interfaces. I think it would be better for Cisco to unify the interfaces between their products. It might make it easier for users to use different models concurrently as different versions of switches and improve scalability.

It is not really a feature of the solution itself, but I also think that the technical support directly from the company should be better in the area of handling integrations.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product for around 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am very satisfied with the stability. We have not suffered any stability issues with the product being unstable on the network and it is not difficult to support. It is a very rare thing to have something happen that is related to the stability of the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Once you understand how the product works, it is easy to configure. I do not see any significant limitation on the scalability of the product so long as you have chosen the right product for use in your environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

In most cases when I need to solve an issue, I search for a solution on Google and in the internet communities. I usually find what I need there. So mostly I don't need any help from support.

When I contact support, most of the time they provide good information and they are helpful, but sometimes they will not help. The problem is with acknowledging the need for integration support. If you call about integration between products, they might say something like "this is Cisco and we do not support this other product, we are supporting only Cisco products." Cisco is not the solution for everything, and they must know that the product integrates or gets integrated into a network. They are aware of that and should have the experience to help users integrate products when their product is involved. 

So, overall I'm satisfied with technical support if I call with an issue that is related only to the Cisco product, but sometimes I'm not satisfied when an issue is related to integrating or connecting with other products.

Technical support could be better in this way.

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

As I moved around between three or four companies to get better jobs and positions, all of them were using Cisco. In some places, we were using HP ProCurve switches. Having that experience previously is the reason why we went with Cisco for the network at this company. It costs more, yet we get a stable product with the most features. Cisco is more reliable, especially in a critical environment.

How was the initial setup?

For small networks, the initial setup is straightforward. You can simply connect the product to the network and it would work. But the configuration for VLANs, to configure specific ports, and to configure security, the product has a little different interface than other Cisco solutions. So the first time setup it easy. You just have to connect and it is plug-and-play. But the difference in the interface between models makes it harder to understand the version and adapt to the differences from the other types of Cisco switches. If the interface had been the same, it would have been very quick to set up.

What about the implementation team?

Actually, I did the deployment by myself. I didn't need any help or support from the vendors. If I do ever need help, I usually go to the internet and use the community and forums. In extreme cases — and very rarely — I contact the vendor directly. 

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

It is certainly not the least expensive product for switching, but I think it is the best and if you have the budget it is worth it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated other options by my previous experience, so, in a way, we did evaluate other choices, but I had already made up my mind because of what I knew.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco is the better solution if someone is considering it and they are willing to pay for it. The product is expensive to buy. In my current position, the budget is not a problem. If other people are in a similar situation where they can afford Cisco, I recommend Cisco. If they do not have a big budget and they need to be more budget-minded, I can recommend the HP ProCurve (now HP Networking) and D-links (Ethernet Switches) as my first choice for less expensive options.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Cisco ethernet switches as an eight. It is not a ten because of the differences in the interface and the quality of integration support with other products.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Ethernet Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,108 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PV
Network Administrator at a engineering company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Resilience protocol enables the datacenter to continue to function when there is some level of failure

Pros and Cons

  • "A stable product that is absolutely dependable."
  • "The product could improve in the area of simulated switches."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution to connect networks and devices.

What is most valuable?

What I like most about this product is redundancy like Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) or resilience protocol so the datacenter continues to function when there is some level of failure.

What needs improvement?

What I would improve in this product is simulation. You can simulate switches, but you cannot really simulate industrial Cisco switches. The ability to use industrial switches is missing and I would like to see compatibility with industrial switches.

I would like to see an updated feature search toolkit. The ability to look for certain features and select the features that you want or need would help to target desired results and workflow. To know what a tool is able to provide for you and the devices that can be used with those features would make research and configuration a lot easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for about 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is stable. I have seen no bugs, glitches, or crashes. It is absolutely dependable and was designed to be that way.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think this product is extremely scalable. I am fairly sure everyone in the world who's working with a computer is using it. Even you — whomever you are, and whether you know it or not.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had the opportunity to use Cisco's support for this product. If I were to rate them on a scale of one to ten with ten being the best (and separately from the product itself), I would give them a six. On some days they take and answer a question easily and they are a ten, and other days they take too long to answer or give the wrong solution. More times they are better, so that makes them a six.

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

Previously we used solutions from HP, MicroTech, and Dell. You name a popular product and we have some familiarity with it. We chose Cisco because we believe it is the best option.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this product is straightforward.

The deployment time will depend entirely on the size of the project and the plan for what needs to be accomplished.

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

The pricing varies widely depending on the support contract term and the type and number of the devices. The product is on the expensive side.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options through our past experiences.

What other advice do I have?

Advice that I would give companies considering this solution is that you need to do your research, find the correct model for your needs and size the deployment correctly. If you don't think first you can pay too much and have more than you need or pay too little and not meet your needs.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight. It cannot be higher than that because of the pricing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mohamed Y Ahmed
Technical & Pre-Sales Manager at GateLock
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Good technical support for our LAN and routing solution

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support is good and they respond quickly. I haven't had any problems."
  • "This may be something that they are already working on, but it would be an improvement if they could add a layer of security to layer two and layer three to protect the server and to protect the data."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for LAN networking.

This solution is also used for internet routing in small businesses.

The deployment model we used was on-premises.

What needs improvement?

Lower the pricing to compete with Aruba and HPE.

If they could provide a management solution for all systems then it would be an improvement. They have a product, but it's a license, and I have to pay for it. 

It is difficult to manage one hundred switches in many areas, without having a managing board.

I would like a management product to manage both the small business and the Catalyst.

In my business, I have all of these products and I have to configure them one by one, so the troubleshooting and the monitoring of each can be challenging.

Also with a managing board, it would improve the scalability as it would be easier to handle the traffic and monitoring several users.

This may be something that they are already working on, but it would be an improvement if they could add a layer of security to layer two and layer three to protect the server and to protect the data.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. If I want to add switches to the existing one, I can easily do it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good and they respond quickly. I haven't had any problems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not difficult, it's easy.

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

The pricing is reasonable, and for small business it is acceptable.

Aruba and HPE are competitors that have a lower price than Cisco.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ender Kefoglu
Partner / Owner at bimel
Real User
Top 5
Complete functionality with outstanding support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the complete functionality, but the most important thing is support."
  • "Pricing could be lower."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for connectivity of local network LAN switching.

The deployment model is on-premises.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the complete functionality, but the most important thing is support.

What needs improvement?

Pricing could be lower.

It is difficult to look for additional features to be added because there a lot of different switches, different models, and usually each model is designed according to the number of ports. It's a satisfactory unit within the usage area for that model.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for twenty-five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco solutions are usually very, very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

It depends on the customer, regarding the number of users. Recently we were awarded a contract for the Turkish military, and there will be several thousand people who will be using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is the most important. If something goes wrong then Cisco's support is outstanding.

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

I initially started with Cisco, only afterward, I started using a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

The deployment time varies on the specific project. For example, if the project requires fewer switches it can take thirty minutes, while other projects could require one hundred and fifty switches that would take a week or ten days. 

We require four to five engineers for deployment and maintenance.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco knows what they are doing and their support is great.

I would highly recommend this solution.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
US
Owner with self employed
Consultant
Easy and straightforward setup but the dashboard needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "For me, the initial setup was easy and straightforward, but for some of our customers who are not as familiar with networking, it can be complicated."
  • "The dashboard needs some minor improvements."

What is our primary use case?

Our clients use this solution for monitoring and configuration purposes.

The deployment model varies from client to client.

What needs improvement?

The dashboard needs some minor improvements. Sometimes it is difficult to find items, other times it is quick, it just depends. Most of the feedback we receive are not complaints but suggestions or ideas about the dashboard.

The stability could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than twenty years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have some glitches once in a while. There are times where it's a little bit slow or a bit delayed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had to scale yet, we are normally working with a fixed size. We haven't had to worry about upsizing or downsizing.

For our purposes, we are not using this, but on the client-side, we have anywhere from two to eight users, they are made up of technicians, support staff, and engineers.

How was the initial setup?

For me, the initial setup was easy and straightforward, but for some of our customers who are not as familiar with networking, it can be complicated.

For a technical person, it is straightforward. Of course, now and then you have to look in the manual and read it, as nothing is completely self intuitive.

Deployment can take anywhere from one to five days, depending on the requirements.

We require two employees for deployments.

What about the implementation team?

We implement this solution ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

There is no favorite function or feature, it depends on what you have to do and how you do it.

My advice regarding this solution is to understand your network, definitely have a look in the manual, understand the structure and don't just rely on trial and error. It's not target-aiming, so trial and error will not work.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Kashif Asrar Khan
ERP / HMIS / EMR Specialist at Fauji Foundation
Real User
ERP deployment & Cisco Ethernet Switches
High availability and sustainable network is a prime and foremost obligatory requirement of ERP deployment, Cisco layer 2-4 switches deliver the best when robust, secured, sub- netted and resilient network is concerned. Strong Areas: The Catalyst switches give ease of configuration with a comprehensive set of management protocol support such as Telnet, HTTP, CLI, SNMP and much more with software's like CMS (Cluster Management Suite) and Ciscoworks, all together. Conventional Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with outstanding QoS, stackable and fixed configuration, security features like static VLAN support and in Linux OS ,TACACS with Radius Dial in authentication support where environment of installation of device(Switch) is harsh , less maintained temperature and less…

High availability and sustainable network is a prime and foremost obligatory requirement of ERP deployment, Cisco layer 2-4 switches deliver the best when robust, secured, sub- netted and resilient network is concerned.

Strong Areas:

The Catalyst switches give ease of configuration with a comprehensive set of management protocol support such as Telnet, HTTP, CLI, SNMP and much more with software's like CMS (Cluster Management Suite) and Ciscoworks, all together. Conventional Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with outstanding QoS, stackable and fixed configuration, security features like static VLAN support and in Linux OS ,TACACS with Radius Dial in authentication support where environment of installation of device(Switch) is harsh , less maintained temperature and less manageable environment like Tertiary care hospitals, Universities, Call centers, Tech labs and SMB’s where limited manpower is the major factor in considerations. Productivity of mid line layer 2 switches (Catalyst 2950G) can be coupled by using in conjunction with Catalyst 4506 Ethernet layer 3 switch acting as core of the IP routing. 2 x GBIC I/O slots (standard) for gigabit Ethernet and single mode fiber channel is one of the distinct specialties in sub- netted network, they offer.

Possible Cons:

Cost is one of the substantial aspect for layer 2 supported devices like catalyst WS-2900 series as compared to HP networking device with HP 2900 series. Yes cisco is little higher in cost but in return cisco offer resilience, reliability and dependable network for any application

Though Cisco provides lifetime limited warranty for their products like WS-2950G -48 switch, but HP 2900 series is shipped with “As long as you owned the device with advance replacement in a very short time.”

My experience is with a gigabit network of 467 active nodes spanned across 29 Catalyst WS-2950G-48 switches and inter-VLAN routed through Catalyst 4506 layer 3 switches with fiber optic backbone. Beside this I have had the experience of using HP 2920 switches which are less rugged and require a temperature moderated environment with less resilience as compare to Cisco 2950.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
DNA is a very good way to do the configuration of all the equipment

Pros and Cons

  • "Good and stable operational experience with nearly no loss of hardware and very few software bugs."
  • "DNA Center is very interesting in automating the setup and monitoring as with each occurrence it gets easier to troubleshoot and provides an impression about what could be the problem."
  • "Location of customers to connect clients to the servers and transport the data and VoIP in parallel with QoS and NBAR with 802.1X."

What is our primary use case?

  • Collecting Clients in the floors.
  • Concentrate distribution and to forward over routers to other parts.
  • Fiber and copper ports with enhanced power over Ethernet and stacks.
  • NM-modules with 10G

How has it helped my organization?

  • Good and stable operational experience with nearly no loss of hardware and very few software bugs.
  • Plug and play works now.
  • DNA is a very good way to do the configuration of all the equipment.

What is most valuable?

DNA Center is very interesting in automating the setup and monitoring as with each occurrence it gets easier to troubleshoot and provides an impression about what could be the problem.

What needs improvement?

Location of customers to connect clients to the servers and transport the data and VoIP in parallel with QoS and NBAR with 802.1X.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Dmitriy Ronkin
Networking Specialist at Transportation
Real User
Pros: streamlined and versatile solutions. Cons: expensive maintenance fees and they are slow with patches

What is most valuable?

Versatility and streamlined IOS

Availability of expertise on the market (resources)

How has it helped my organization?

Streamlined IOS helped to develop templates for Ethernet Switches without worrying of compatibility of commands in regards to hardware platforms.

Modularity of Industrial switches (IE3000) provides flexibility in solutions yet based on one platform.

Vast array of Industrial models (IE2000, IE3000, IE4000, IE5000).

What needs improvement?

Acceptance of open source trends (there is slight move already - just keep going)

For how long have I used the solution?

10 years overall for all switching/routing products. Industrial switches for last 5 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Well, need more pro-active option to add PoE modules to Industrial switches.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We deal with a Cisco partner - 4.5 out of 5.

Technical Support:

We deal with a Cisco partner - 4.0 out of 5. Sometimes we find the solution before we get an answer from the Cisco partner.

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

Everything is driven by business requirements, which in turn different from one project to another. Major points are: availability of support/expertise beyond internal resources, territorial coverage, performance and support of multiple options from enterprise to industrial environment

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

90 % in house. Vendor team has sufficient skills.

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

Cisco should look into more flexible licensing for hardware/IOS. It is hard to beat some vendors' lifetime warranty even they offer less in functionality compare to Cisco.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are multiple vendors but they are very specialized and do not support versatile solutions. For example, we had to move from Schneider switches as they were just a marketing move by vendor and did not provided better performance or compatibility with SCADA products.

What other advice do I have?

Start from your business requirements (what would you like to have) and budget (what can you afford).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Engineer Monitoring and Response at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Pro's and Con's - Cisco vs. Juniper
Competitive strength – Cisco and Juniper are a good fit in any data centre. Competitive weaknesses – Cisco takes a proprietary spin on standards, increasing fear of vendor lock-in and cost to replace. Juniper has to spend time explaining the technology. Cisco’s Nexus portfolio is broad and complex, requiring advanced skills to design, deploy and manage which increases costs. Juniper’s market share remains small compared to equally well-known competitors and calls into question the company’s ability to execute and attract channel and other partners. Current Perspective – Cisco switches remains a leader in the data centre due to both market presence and portfolio breadth. Cisco switches continues to win new customers based on both its portfolio and its technology…

Competitive strength – Cisco and Juniper are a good fit in any data centre.


Competitive weaknesses –

  1. Cisco takes a proprietary spin on standards, increasing fear of vendor lock-in and cost to replace. Juniper has to spend time explaining the technology.
  2. Cisco’s Nexus portfolio is broad and complex, requiring advanced skills to design, deploy and manage which increases costs. Juniper’s market share remains small compared to equally well-known competitors and calls into question the company’s ability to execute and attract channel and other partners.

Current Perspective –

  1. Cisco switches remains a leader in the data centre due to both market presence and portfolio breadth.
  2. Cisco switches continues to win new customers based on both its portfolio and its technology partner network

Strength and weaknesses

  1. Cisco’s portfolio of switches, servers, software and services makes it one of the preeminent data centre technology partners for enterprises today.
  2. Cisco constantly strives to develop and deliver cutting edge solutions through innovations that meet the needs customers face today.
  3. By simplifying operations, Juniper’s networks increase business agility and at the same reduce operating expenses
  4. Cisco is a company driven by the market and by customers, and the resulting solutions produced and offered are a direct result of that demand
  5. Junipers inter operate with any vendor’s switch devices very well.

Convergence

  1. Cisco is the only vendor that delivers an all Unified Ports form factor of switches that can support any Ethernet or storage protocol (FC, FCoE, iSCSI, and NAS).
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
ICT Manager at a aerospace/defense firm
Real User
Modules are hot swappable, as you have dual power supplies. If you need improvements, you'll need to upgrade the hardware.

What is most valuable?

Support for various dynamic IP routing protocols and the ability to slot in additional modules while the switch is running.

How has it helped my organization?

Modules are hot swappable, as you have dual power supplies, as well as support for various dynamic IP routing protocols.

What needs improvement?

Nothing that I can think of. If you want to improve, you have the choice to upgrade the hardware.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable since deployment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable, as you just need to buy new modules, and slot them in as and when required.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Excellent customer service.

Technical Support:

I never had an issue yet with this product which required TAC intervention but from my previous experience Cisco TAC support is the best.

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

We previously used 3com switches, and we switched to Cisco in order to standardize our network hardware.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to deploy if you know what you are doing, and do proper planning. For me, it was pretty straightforward. I have years of experience on Cisco products.

What about the implementation team?

It was an in-house deployment.

What was our ROI?

It's high.

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

It's worth the price you pay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered using Cisco 3700 series switches and stacking them.

What other advice do I have?

It's best for access layer deployment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Network Operations Specialist at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Cisco 6509 Ether Switches can be a one stop and do-it-all product for a huge enterprise.

What is most valuable?

The blade module feature which provide the scalability for site expansion.

How has it helped my organization?

A Cisco Network Structure consisted of 3 Layers (Core, Distribution & Access). We used the FWSM (Firewall Services Module) to route the traffic and as a gateway to get to the WAN. As a result, we were able to collapse the Core Layer into the Distribution Layer with a few blade modules (FWSM, SUP & Ethernet).

What needs improvement?

A FoE module would be imminent in the future. This module can communicate with storage devices' and ESXi Servers' HBA (fiber) connection via fibre channel switches (Brocade or Cisco MDS). This can provide a cost effective method in a data center environment without upgrading to a more advanced Cisco Nexus core switch.

For how long have I used the solution?

5 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The power supply requires certain sockets and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Each device should require a designated UPS for it. The UPS should not be shared with other devices. An improper termination of the switch's power supply cased a power surge and took out a SUP module during an annual power test.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No extraordinary issues. Just minor day-to-day issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The Chassis can run out of slots as the environment expand further along.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Great but Cisco outsources its customer support services to India since most of our issues and outages occurred after hours. Some support technicians have a heavy Indian accent which led to difficult comprehension and time consumption.Technical Support: 4.5 out of a 5 since Tech Support personnels are very knowledgeable of the product.

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

No, I have not due to our contract agreement with Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup consist of the right personnel to set up and administer the product.

What about the implementation team?

All implementation were completed by in-house team members.

What was our ROI?

Centralized administration and reduced time consumption.

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

The SUP (Supervisor) module can provide up to 720 GBPS of data transmission compared to a stackable Cisco 3750 switches.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series core switches.

What other advice do I have?

No further comments.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
User at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Best in its class but warranty costs are high. This is the reason HP and Juniper are getting their clients

What is most valuable?

High Availability, Toughness under temperature rise situations.

How has it helped my organization?

Integration of Voice and Data over a single wire without any loss in voice quality. Security throughout LAN and WAN devices. Redundancy and extremely high availability of devices.

What needs improvement?

The Warranty costs are high. This is the reason HP and Juniper are somehow getting their clients.

For how long have I used the solution?

9 Years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Sometimes it is quite complex as there is still the need for qualified technicians. For example: in the case of Cisco Nexus series.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: GoodTechnical Support: Good

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

I have used, 3com, Dell, Dlink but didn’t find the ease of use and features rich device!

How was the initial setup?

Initial Setup with Cisco device configuration is always quite easy. They have a setup wizard that asks you the parameters that are needed to make the switch up and running.

What about the implementation team?

Yes, our Client used a vendor team. Their work was fine; they were experts in settings up the small data center.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HP, Dlink.

What other advice do I have?

Go for the Cisco Solution if Your Company can afford support Service and Warranty cost in future.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consulting Engineer EMEA at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Remote management and monitoring, multi-layer switching and flexibility are valuable features.

What is most valuable?

Remote management and monitoring, multi-layer switching, flexibility, per port configurations, possibility of port aggregation, standard management interface, loads of documentation available from Cisco and Partners, multitude of troubleshooting tools embedded in the OS, QoS.

How has it helped my organization?

Ease of deployment of internal networks, separation of departments traffic, replacement of hubs (and the respective absence of collision related network unavailability), implementation of VoIP, improved configuration and access management.

What needs improvement?

VTP should be configured as Transparent by default.

For how long have I used the solution?

Several years, on different projects.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

A close look at each part-number characteristics is recommended, especially regarding the type of Uplink Ports (do you need fiber or copper uplinks for example?) and specific protocols (do you need BGP? is RIPv2 enough, for instance), as some of them are only available in specific models or with additional licenses. Selecting the licensing type can be the slightly tricky part, although you can usually upgrade it later.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not unless it was caused by malfunction or a mixup in configuration.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

On the specific cases I used, never. Adding new switches to the networks is painless (but please be careful with the VTP configuration though, as if it’s not configured you do have the possibility of a new switch giving you trouble with the VLAN configuration).

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Excellent.Technical Support: Besides the great set of documentation available, partner support is usually good, no issues so far, on different projects.

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

Previous configuration was based on a basic router and switch configuration for each separate network, interconnecting at router level. The needs included reducing equipments, add management to the network to allow central monitoring and configuration, and adding new functionalities to the network, as well as having a buildup of different networks to separate traffic.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward if you’re installing for the first time. If it’s not the first installation, and you have multiple VLANs in place, be careful with the VTP configuration setup, as a misconfigured switch, since it’s on VTP server mode, can give you trouble.

What about the implementation team?

Mixed types of implementations. Mixed expertise levels - some partners have better technicians than others, but never had a case where the technician didn’t leave with the configuration completed.

What was our ROI?

Generally a reduction on the number of equipments to manage, less time to manage and higher uptime.

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

Day to day costs are the maintenance costs from the manufacturer (different levels available), and part of the time of the IT Team. Setup Costs have depended on projects, and specific setup needs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

A few, namely Huawei and HP. While Huawei did allow some of the same characteristics at a lower price, available expertise and documentation, tipped the balance to Cisco, and the greater flexibility and feature set tipped the balance from HP.

What other advice do I have?

Check that it’s the most cost effective solution (it’s very expensive if you only want to connect 4 users and a printer.); Check the model that fits your needs, regarding number of ports, and PoE for instance (no need of PoE for most uses.); Main uses would be to use a solution with multiple internal VLANs (needs at least IP Base License), VoIP implementations, and adding security and manageability to the network; Carefully check what License Feature set you need (there are 3 levels, LAN Base, IP Base, and IP Services), depending on your needs. You may be able to upgrade the software feature set later, but should check ahead.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Infrastructure Connectivity Engineer at Reputable Service Company
Consultant
Cisco Ethernet Switches are very reliable in any network.

What is most valuable?

Port-based security feature, network virtualization using VLAN, loop-avoidance mechanism using different variants of STP, many others.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the network reliability, It has improved the network availability which results to improved productivity of the users ( Increased ROI).

For how long have I used the solution?

4 to 5 years now

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: GoodTechnical Support: Good

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

Yes, due to demand driven by requirements.

What

What is most valuable?

Port-based security feature, network virtualization using VLAN, loop-avoidance mechanism using different variants of STP, many others.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the network reliability, It has improved the network availability which results to improved productivity of the users ( Increased ROI).

For how long have I used the solution?

4 to 5 years now

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: GoodTechnical Support: Good

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

Yes, due to demand driven by requirements.

What about the implementation team?

In-house

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Dlink, Mikrotik
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Security System Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor
Vendor
The interface needs improvement to make it more friendly but overall the products are reliable

What is most valuable?

Reliability and availability

How has it helped my organization?

Eliminates weak points, it simply does its job.

What needs improvement?

More friendly interface, less Cisco centric approach

For how long have I used the solution?

8 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Rather good, I've only needed to contact them on really rare occasions.Technical Support: There was no need for technical support. T only thing I did was a memory upgrade which was quick and not problematic.

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

Yes, linux…

What is most valuable?

Reliability and availability

How has it helped my organization?

Eliminates weak points, it simply does its job.

What needs improvement?

More friendly interface, less Cisco centric approach

For how long have I used the solution?

8 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Rather good, I've only needed to contact them on really rare occasions.Technical Support: There was no need for technical support. T only thing I did was a memory upgrade which was quick and not problematic.

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

Yes, linux based routers such as pfsense, zentyal. Those solutions were much more unstable. I also used some less known switches. First power supply issues eliminates them fast.

How was the initial setup?

If you have the proper knowledge level there is no problems with initial setup. You simply need to know what are you doing.

What about the implementation team?

In-house

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

Initial costs were reasonable and the day-to-day cost is the cost of keeping a Cisco engineer on staff

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes- 3com, Mikrotik

What other advice do I have?

Hire/educate a Cisco engineer or a fast learning IT manager.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Security System Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor
Vendor
Pro's and Con's of transitioning from Juniper to Cisco
I recently spoke with a colleague who transitioned from Juniper to Cisco. We agreed that each solutions is completely different and each one has its strong and weak points. The transition process was rather hard. It was hard to change approach and rare similarities were sometimes misleading for my colleague. Although Cisco is moving away from the standard monolithic IOS straight to modular architecture there are many disadvantages for somebody who 'thinks modular'. Personally I have experience with Cisco and although I have some difficulties and a Cisco-centric way of thinking, I prefer it over the others. But if I would possibility need to be involved in a Juniper environment, I think it would be worth to walk through the transition process.

I recently spoke with a colleague who transitioned from Juniper to Cisco. We agreed that each solutions is completely different and each one has its strong and weak points.

The transition process was rather hard. It was hard to change approach and rare similarities were sometimes misleading for my colleague. Although Cisco is moving away from the standard monolithic IOS straight to modular architecture there are many disadvantages for somebody who 'thinks modular'.

Personally I have experience with Cisco and although I have some difficulties and a Cisco-centric way of thinking, I prefer it over the others. But if I would possibility need to be involved in a Juniper environment, I think it would be worth to walk through the transition process.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
William Kosinetz
CIO with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Business decisions made today, now become key strategic advantages and capabilities of tomorrow.

What is most valuable?

Flexibility

How has it helped my organization?

We standardized on an common command line interface

What needs improvement?

When Cisco products integrate with a third party module it not easy to renew support on the third party modules software. On hardware replacement the serial numbers don't get added to the support contract and feature codes have to be reinstalled.

For how long have I used the solution?

10 Years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Very GoodTechnical Support: Very Good

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

Yes, because of cost. Then the replacements were not reliable enough.

How was the initial setup?

Complex setup. Mostly because of Data,VoIP and Video QOS.

What about the implementation team?

Both. The vendor was very good.

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

The cost on the entire infrastructure was 1.2 mil. The OPEX is 95k

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, tried HP, Dell, 3Com

What other advice do I have?

The network system will need the capacity for future expansion. To go beyond Enterprise Integration, by creating a new infrastructure. Business decisions made today, now become key strategic advantages and capabilities of tomorrow.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Engineer & Web Developer at OneTexh
Vendor
It seems a little expensive given the compromises on offerings and features.
The switches used worldwide are basically required to optimize routers’ performance. Users apt to use Cisco switches among which “Catalyst” series are most popular and abruptly demanding produced. The Cisco Catalyst series Switches are mostly wire-speed, low-latency, Layer 2-4, 1-rack-unit (1-RU), fixed-configuration switches. The catalyst series switches provide exceptional performance, bandwidth, and reliability for low-density. The abundant use of switches provides dependability, reliability and constancy by working with servers and workstations because of remarkable features like :  Layer 2 & 3 switching  Remote Management Protocols • Telnet • HTTP • SNMP  VLAN Support  Multiple spanning tree  Trivial File Transfer  DHCP  Auto IP Routing  MAC Address Filter The…

The switches used worldwide are basically required to optimize routers’ performance. Users apt to use Cisco switches among which “Catalyst” series are most popular and abruptly demanding produced. The Cisco Catalyst series Switches are mostly wire-speed, low-latency, Layer 2-4, 1-rack-unit (1-RU), fixed-configuration switches. The catalyst series switches provide exceptional performance, bandwidth, and reliability for low-density. The abundant use of switches provides dependability, reliability and constancy by working with servers and workstations because of remarkable features like :
 Layer 2 & 3 switching
 Remote Management Protocols
• Telnet
• HTTP
• SNMP
 VLAN Support
 Multiple spanning tree
 Trivial File Transfer
 DHCP
 Auto IP Routing
 MAC Address Filter
The worst disadvantage lies in the security which particularly belongs to console port to which modems or other router attached to. The console does not support RS232 DCD (Data Carrier detect). Therefore when the executional session comes to a conclusion, one has to manually detach the session.
Another problem related to catering the situation when a modem connection is lost. In this case, switches are unable to reset therefore producing a security hole because of illegal entry of modem call without the authorization.
But in the normal cases, one can take great advantages of blasting and innovative features of these catalyst series switches and other Cisco’s switches.
If you're not a fan of the Cisco switches for price alone, then the catalyst is definitely going to meet your needs. It seems a little expensive given the compromises on offerings and features. The best thing for which you can love Cisco’s is that its VLAN is automatically configured but its counterpart Juniper products need to be configured manually. Another difference Is the presence of VTP (VLan Truncking Protocol) in Cisco’s switches that is absent in Juniper. Cisco’s switches support both 802.1Q and ISL (Inter Switched Link) protocols while Juniper only supports 802.1Q.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1020
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Cisco 3560X delivers outstanding performance, manageability and reliability. Specialized skills are required for configuring them, so make sure to have someone around during implementation.

Valuable Features:

Cisco Ethernet Switches bring outstanding performance and manageability. We have been using ethernet switches from various vendors like 3Com, Allied Telesis, LInksys and HP before we bought our Cisco ethernet switches as part of our network equipment upgrade project.The results after switching our core networking devices with Cisco switches and routers was undeniable. Network performance improved tremendously, as large file transfers completed faster than before. Intranet web applications also benefited from the improved network speed.While Cisco ethernet switches usually cost a lot more than other comparable devices from other manufacturers, the value of your investment on Cisco does not there. We were also able to acquire the CNAP equipment bundle at a massively discounted rate.

Room for Improvement:

Set-up and configuration of Cisco ethernet switches can be a daunting task, and you need someone experienced with configuring Cisco devices for this task. Configuring a Cisco switch via CLI can be a daunting task for others.If you invest on Cisco switches and use their propriety technology, be prepared for the cost implications and vendor lock-in for the foreseeable future. If these are not problems for your company then the choice is easy.

Other Advice:

Overall, Cisco Ethernet Switches are highly recommended. They really improve overall network performance and gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Just be sure to have someone very knowledgeable about configuring Cisco devices on-hand to help you with the configuration and network set-up.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user2622
Tech Support Staff at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Best networking product

Valuable Features:

Reliability. We can rely/trust 100% on cisco ethernet switches to run the networks smoothly.

Room for Improvement:

Need to provision for DC Power Input

Other Advice:

Really great experience with cisco devices

Valuable Features:

Reliability. We can rely/trust 100% on cisco ethernet switches to run the networks smoothly.

Room for Improvement:

Need to provision for DC Power Input

Other Advice:

Really great experience with cisco devices
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1143
Network Manager at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Cisco Catalyst 3560G - Reliable switches with exceptional performance

Valuable Features:

Catalyst 3560G is a full duplex and supports layer 3 switching, which provides you with a lot of configuration options.Switch combines power over Ethernet (POE) capability with 10/100/1000BaseT interface / ports for maximum productivity.High performance IP routing, advanced QoS, and access control lists.Very stable switch. We use them as core switches at some of our locations and we never had any issues.

Room for Improvement:

Costly as compared to other brands, but with Cisco you definitely get reliability.

Other Advice:

Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a series of enterprise-class switches with a fixed-configuration. These switches include power over Ethernet (POE), Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet configurations, and are suitable for small enterprise LAN access or branch-office environments.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Infrastructure Expert at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Cisco has come up with Ethernet Switches that are high-performance, fully featured, resilient and equipped standard with the policy features of different cards

Valuable Features:

It has 24 x gigabit sfp + 8 x sfp ports, mac address table size96k entries, routing protocolrip-2, eigrp.operates on dc -48/-60 v power. It has the following remote management protocol :snmp 1, snmp 2, rmon, telnet, snmp 3.complies to the following standards: ieee 802.3, ieee 802.3u, ieee 802.3z, ieee 802.1d, ieee 802.1q, ieee 802.3ab, ieee 802.3x, ieee 802.3ad (lacp), ieee 802.1w, ieee 802.1x, ieee 802.1s, ieee 802.1t, has a ram of 768 mb (installed) / 2 gb (max) and a flash memory of 192 mb flash. It has the cisco ios ip base software included.

Room for Improvement:

It is expensive in terms of pricing. A reboot is also required if it jams. It has a minimum operational temperature of 32F.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1065
Senior Manager of Data Center at a integrator with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Cisco Ethernet Switches have a reputation for delivering high performance, scalability and security features for TCP/IP networks

Valuable Features:

Few pros on the Cisco ethernet switches are: 1 )Power saving design architecture 2) CDP, Cisco network discovery protocol, Smartports which make management and port configuration extremely easy and efficient 3) Increased confidentiality with MACSec layer-2 encryption 4) StackPower which helps in increasing power availability 5) Efficient QoS with priority for critical cooling 6) Added on support with hot swap, redundant power supplies and cooling

Room for Improvement:

Few cons on the cisco switches are 1) Pricing strategies 2) Gigabit EtherChannel 3) Port based ACL 4) Ingress and Egress filtering not present in all 5) IGMP snooping and ISL trunking feature not present in few good series switches

Other Advice:

Cisco has built upon its reputation in delivering high quality ethernet switches for small scale to enterprise level needs. Whether it be the Cisco 100/200 series, a few things which standout are the energy efficient technology for Gigabit ethernet, network performance through QoS, silent operation through fan less design, IPv6 support, and the green technology approach.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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