We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story

Cisco Nexus Competitors and Alternatives

Get our free report covering Cisco, Arista, Juniper, and other competitors of Cisco Nexus. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Cisco Nexus competitors and alternatives

WB
Network Engineer at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Linux shell helpful for troubleshooting and capturing traffic, but the documentation needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the Linux shell, which is useful for troubleshooting or capturing traffic."
  • "The CVP management platform needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use three different models of the 7000 series switches to make up the network in one of our data centers. We use the 7060SX as an active leaf, the 7260 as a border leaf, and the 7500 series as the spines.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the Linux shell, which is useful for troubleshooting or capturing traffic. 

What needs improvement?

The documentation for this solution needs to be improved. In the documentation, it is not easy to find the exact solution which describes the configuration step by step. It means that we've had to ask our supplier how to use certain features, and which commands to use. We can find a simple description on the website, as well as a list of the features, but a more complete description is not available. It is not clear exactly how to configure and use each of the features. For other vendors, we can find the exact configuration, with examples, that we need to deploy for any new features.

The documentation did not explain that we could not vary the speed between ports that are in the same block. For example, we cannot have 1G and 10G on the neighboring ports. All four ports have to be 1G or 10G, which was very annoying for us when we realized that we needed to change the configuration and the cabling that we had already prepared.

In the next release of this solution, we would like the option to use two switches as one virtual switch.

The CVP management platform needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for more then eighteen months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is quite stable if the configuration is done according to the best practices. We found, however, that when we made some changes, we ran into problems.

These were temporary changes for test purposes. Nowhere was it explained that making these types of changes could lead to the problems that we observed, or that we would have any trouble. One such problem was that the utilization of links was very high because of an error in our test configuration.

Generally speaking, this is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In our environment it is scalable. We can find the proper models to meet our requirements. I'm not sure how it would be in the case of very large networks, but in our data center there are a few hundred switches, so it is scalable.

We have thousands of users who use this network. This includes internal and external clients for our data center.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is quite good, but the deepness of the explanation in the documentation is not as good as I expect.

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

Most of the equipment that I have used is Cisco, although I have also used Juniper and Cumulus. For this new type of data center architecture, however, we did not use a solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the individual switches is simple.

Using the Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) feature with the CloudVision Portal (CVP) is not simple, and it takes quite a long time.

Each of the switches can be deployed in about ten minutes, after several restarts, using the management interface. If I deploy using the command line then it will take a minute or two.

The CVP is supposed to be automated, but it is rather complicated and takes time.

What about the implementation team?

For the initial deployment, we needed the help of our local supplier, the Arista representative. It was very helpful for us because we could not find good examples on the website. The best practices were descriptive from a very high-level view and did not contain detailed configuration examples.

I think that it would be very hard to prepare the whole configuration for the data center architecture without the help of our local supplier and Arista engineers.

What other advice do I have?

This solution was my first experience with the new, modern data center architecture.

My advice to anybody who is implementing this series of switches is to carefully check the features that are supported on each model. Some new features are not supported on all platforms. I know that Arista still sells some old models that do not support the newest features.

This is a good solution, but the documentation needs to be improved. More detailed configuration examples are definitely needed.

I would rate this solution a seven 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.
AH
Information Solutions Consultant at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Highly stable, straightforward CLI, and integrates well

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of this solution are the fabric backplane having upwards of 160 GB of communication. It is a top-of-the-rack solution where you have your directors sitting in the main area and then you have your nodes expanded out to your multiple cabinets. It has a very good design and could be your server backbone."
  • "I do not use GUI's very much for switch stacks. I am always in the CLI. However, I do know that Juniper in the past has lacked on their GUI's, but they have been working on it."

What is our primary use case?

Juniper QFabric is a vendor solution for core switching and routing.

How has it helped my organization?

If you are having issues with congestion in your server backbone, or your network backbone, using a fabric solution helps you solve those issues by creating paths into the switching stack. QFabric works by having only two hops, which means you are only two hopes away from any node at one time because of the interconnected links.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the fabric backplane having upwards of 160 GB of communication. It is a top-of-the-rack solution where you have your directors sitting in the main area and then you have your nodes expanded out to your multiple cabinets. It has a very good design and could be your server backbone.

Juniper is good with automation, they integrate well with other tools, such as Chef Puppet.

The CLI is as straightforward. I have had no issues with their CLI and they have a lot of information and settings that are exposed that need to be. 

What needs improvement?

Juniper has addressed a lot of areas that they needed to improve in the new fabric solutions that they released. They have a new fabric that uses the standard structure. QFabric is a smaller fabric and Juniper has adopted it to create an industry standard. When creating a new fabric they are able to expand beyond what QFabric's limitations were. I believe their limitations were 128 nodes but with the new solution, it has no end to the nodes you have.

I do not use GUI's very much for switch stacks. I am always in the CLI. However, I do know that Juniper in the past has lacked on their GUI's, but they have been working on it.

The CLI could be a little confusing if you are new to a switching stack, and especially a fabric switching stack. If you do not understand how it is all architected it could be difficult. It is definitely not for beginners. They did their best to keep it simple, such as creating templates but it is such a complicated system that requires very high-level knowledge on entry. You have to understand what you are doing to play with the configuration of QFabric.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is highly stable. In the time I have been using the solution I have not had one major issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution could improve on the nodes available. However, they have increased this in a newer fabric solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is amazing. They are responsive and handle cases extremely well.
Probably one of the better technical assistants that I have worked with over the years.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation is complex. It can also depend on how in-depth your architecture is. For example, are you going to be in layer three or are you just doing layer two? Is it going to handle dynamic routing protocols? If you are staying on layer two, how are you going to handle the subnetting in general? Are you going to be doing broadcasts? It all comes down to the architecture of the network itself.

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

The price for Juniper QFabric could improve. There are subscription, maintenance, and add-on feature fees. It is not meant for small or medium organizations. If you are looking at a fabric solution, you are going to be working with SE engineers to be able to get the solution in place. If I wanted to purchase it myself, I would never do it, it would not make sense. The use case for what QFabric solves is more for enterprises and ISP companies.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When evaluating other solutions Juniper QFabric has more features, functionality, and a solid base.

What other advice do I have?

For those wanting to implement this solution, I would advise them to definitely look at it carefully. Make sure that you understand what your needs are before you go and purchase and when you do work with a Juniper resource to be able to implement it effectively. There is a steep learning curve for this solution, but that is also true for other solutions, such as Cisco Nexus. You will not be able to pick up the knowledge to use this solution in a week.

I rate Juniper QFabric 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
Flag as inappropriate
AhmedElghawabi
Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Top 10
Easy to configure and integrates well with Cisco hardware, but incompatible with SDN

Pros and Cons

  • "Dell PowerConnect Switches are easy to configure."
  • "It would be great to have modules that integrate with SDN solutions such as Cisco ACI, Arista SDN, Huawei Agile, and IBM."

What is our primary use case?

Dell PowerConnect Switches make up part of our network and they are connected to our Dell servers.

What is most valuable?

Dell PowerConnect Switches are easy to configure.

These switches fully integrate into our Cisco switches without any problem.

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if there were an option to use the device as either a switch or a pass-through for the traffic from inside to outside. This would mean that we would not have to replace hardware in some cases. I think that the IBM switches have this feature.

It would be great to have modules that integrate with SDN solutions such as Cisco ACI, Arista SDN, Huawei Agile, and IBM.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell PowerConnect Switches since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never had a problem with any of our Dell switches. I would say that these switches are stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Two modules can be stacked on a single chassis. We have approximately 60 chassis with two modules each, so 120 Dell PowerConnect switches. These are connected to Cisco switches at one end of the network.

How are customer service and technical support?

My team has not had much contact with Dell technical support because the Dell switches belong to another team. We are only responsible for installing and configuring them.

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

We also have Cisco switches in our environment. It is probably 80% Cisco and 20% Dell.

I also have experience with Huawei, HP, and Juniper switches. Huawei switches used to use a similar set of commands, but they are different now. HP uses almost the same command set. Juniper switches are more difficult to work with.

In our data center, we have also used Arista switches.

How was the initial setup?

I have not found any problems with the installation or configuration of Dell switches. I used a basic configuration so it is simple. It takes perhaps half an hour to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We have a team but I deployed this solution myself. There is a guide available to assist with the installation and configuration. The commands are similar to Cisco, which makes it easy to use.

What other advice do I have?

We have decreased our use of Dell PowerConnect Switches in the past year because we are moving to virtualization and using SDN switches. The problem comes about because it is difficult to see the server end-point directly on the SDN. For our Dell servers, we are replacing the switches with pass-through modules because the spanning tree loops are the same. 

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution is to consider issues that might occur when using devices from multiple vendors. We found this difficult because of the integration. We like Dell because it is easy to use and it integrates well with Cisco. However, we are now having a problem where it does not integrate well with SDN. If the environment requires connectivity to SDN then these switches may not be suitable.

Rating this solution as a switch, I would say that it is eight and a half out of ten. However, with respect to integration with new technologies, it is not mature enough and I would rate it a five out of ten.

Overall, I would rate this solution a seven 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
MV
Network Administrator at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Stable, easy to set up, and the technical support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a very reliable solution."
  • "I would like to see some kind of packet tracer where people can study how the switch is operating."

What is our primary use case?

We are in the healthcare industry. Most of our switches are modular because we need a lot of ports in one location.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is reliability.

What needs improvement?

The pricing could be improved.

I would like to see some kind of packet tracer where people can study how the switch is operating.

White box switching support is something that I would like to see in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with HPE ProCurve for at least 17 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very reliable solution. In the 17 years that I have been using this product, I have had two power supply failures. However, these did not result in downtime because each switch has at least two power supplies. I was never left without the switch working due to a hardware failure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have more than 1,000 users in total but on a daily basis, there are 600 to 700 users in two locations.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support from HP is very good. The last time I had a question, not a repair, but just a question of any kind was perhaps 10 years ago. I normally have a good recovery plan in advance of making any changes, which means that I don't have to bother the HP help desk with frivolous questions.

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

Prior to this solution, I was working with Cisco switches, which we still have a lot of. We have physical network layers and for some purposes, the Cisco switches are very good. My preference, however, is ProCurve.

I have experience with switches from Dell. They lack some features but they are much cheaper than HPE.

How was the initial setup?

I find the initial setup to be easy and straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I perform the implementation, deployment, and maintenance. If I need to clear up the fiber channel, a transceiver, or something else, then I do it myself. If we need to connect and patch one of the switches then I just configure a port, send an email, and the local staff can do the patching.

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

This is an expensive switch.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to plan well. Most of the reason for error is poor planning. Be sure to ask your vendor questions because there are no dumb questions. Rather, silly mistakes happen when people implement without a full understanding.

This is a good product but there is always room for improvement in these kinds of devices.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TG
CEO at a construction company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Flexible, user-friendly, stable, and easily set up with the proper training

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Cisco switches are one of the products that we provide to our customers. It is primarily used for datacenter networking.

What is most valuable?

These switches are flexible and user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

Installing and configuring these switches requires the proper training.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been selling Cisco Catalyst Switches for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product has very good stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the design, not the product. Based on our demand, we will continue supplying these switches to both new and existing clients.

Which solution did I use

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Cisco switches are one of the products that we provide to our customers. It is primarily used for datacenter networking.

What is most valuable?

These switches are flexible and user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

Installing and configuring these switches requires the proper training.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been selling Cisco Catalyst Switches for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product has very good stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the design, not the product.

Based on our demand, we will continue supplying these switches to both new and existing clients.

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

We also work with Cisco Nexus switches.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward for somebody who has been trained. Somebody has to have the training to properly configure and work with it. It cannot be used out of the box by somebody who is unfamiliar with the technology.

The length of time required for deployment depends on the size of the environment and the number of switches.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy and maintain this solution for our clients. We have a team of between 12 and 15 engineers.

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

This is an expensive product.

There are different versions of these switches, where some of them have licenses and some do not. The subscription is often renewed every three years.

What other advice do I have?

In summary, this is a good product and I recommend it.

I would rate this solution 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
Flag as inappropriate
Get our free report covering Cisco, Arista, Juniper, and other competitors of Cisco Nexus. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.