Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Cisco Catalyst Switches.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
Licensing is somewhat expensive and should be improved. Cisco should provide customers with a more advantageous licensing model included with the purchase of the equipment. They have done some good by providing low-cost multiyear DNA center licenses with the purchases and have increased the number of benefits provided with the HW warranty, but must still work on lowering smart-net cost.
Cisco switches are really expensive compared to other solutions, which is something that should be improved. They are almost double in price. As of late, Cisco has been moving from one technology to the next and they don't support each other. If you want new features then you have to buy a new product and forget about the old one. This is from a licensing perspective. For example, the Cisco DNA license versus then Cisco One license are things that I don't know about. I would like to see better compatibility between Cisco and other vendors. There are a lot of features that are for Cisco devices only, and when you bring in a second or third vendor there are a lot of problems. Fixing this incompatibility would be an improvement. I have not tried a lot of other brands, but I have connected both Huawei and Aruba Wireless with Cisco. Connecting Huawei with Aruba Wireless works well with no hangs. However, connecting Cisco and Huawei is terrible. Sometimes you have to restart one, whereas other times you have to restart the other. I do not recommend mixing equipment between these two companies.
The price is high and it should be improved.
They should make so that they let users know five to ten minutes before productivity is restored in the case of power loss.
The current catalyst is probably outdated so we will most likely move to the newer version of the solution soon. Some additional features that should be included in the next release could include the ability to create real integration, standard policy pushing, and optimizations.
They should make it more affordable, improve the cost, manageability, and central management. I would like to see a cloud-managed feature.
The prices are high. It's more expensive than other similar options. I would like for them to include more cloud options in the next release and a smaller router.
It should have better security and the prices can always be lower. The cheaper the price, the better but if the quality is good, it's worth it. They also have to improve the firewalling. SP access should be included in the next release.
The newer models are not so stable. Other products like 6800, 3750, were stable but starting from 3850 it got worse. We have a lot of issues and a lot of bugs. It's a new product so it's understandable but it should be improved.
Cisco should focus more on this type of product instead of on data center switches. They stopped improving the software of these switches and they are focusing on the data center. They should focus on this type of product, more than any other thing. It might also help if they integrated their security products with the switches.
My dream is to have the netflow in the port, for the administration and the utilization of user traffic, similar to the Meraki.
One feature that I would like to add is for the following: At times, when I add an access list for a hostname, it doesn't actually add the hostname, it adds the IP address. So in the back-end, if my server changes the IP address, I have to go in manually and change the IP address. If the capability was there in Cisco to add a hostname instead of the IP address that would be really good.
It would be helpful to have the ability to load new IOS software without performing a reboot, or to be able to perform the reboot without disrupting end-users.
I would like to see hosting multiple applications on the existing IOS.
For the access switch for distribution, I would like to see them support 100GB, 40GB.
In terms of additional features or improvements, I would like to see more fiber ports, more security features, and perhaps the integration of wireless features into the switch.
One issue is that the competition is giving a lifetime warranty, whereas Cisco has a limited warranty on most of it. Also, Dell switching is coming up with a solution where you can put your own OS inside their switching infra. That is where they are talking about open networking. We can show that our Cisco is also an open-source. We are open to different switching operating systems if the customer is willing to put it in. We can support multiple operating systems inside the switching infrastructure. It removes the hardware and software dependency on each other. That is where I think there is room for improvement so we can talk about open networking. Cisco should also come up with open networking access.
Currently, Catalyst is completely proprietary with Cisco. They should have programmability options, through open-source controllers. Also, some features, are very complex to configure.
Recently I have had a little hiccup working with Catalyst switches. They used a few power integration features but I'm not sure they really resulted in much power saving. But, it caused cross-vendor equipment trouble. For example, if I put some sort of equipment other than Cisco in a Cisco network, where the energy is marked as an option for Catalyst, sometimes I end up with a link breakage situation. This is because Cisco can understand its own structural power dependency and optimization, but it cannot understand the power optimization for other vendors' equipment. I had a really tough time managing the networks. Also, Cisco has been introducing some software options in Layer 3 switches. I don't find that to be important so far, when there are have SDN options all over the world now. Certain switches are even leaving that out of the licensing option, and they are providing you embedded options so that you can actually use open-source SDNs. I don't believe that this is a good option, that Cisco is actually keeping so many licensing options for Catalyst. That is my opinion on the Catalyst 9000 series.
I have found no major drawbacks in the Catalyst platforms. The price is high, but for seemingly the best LAN switching platform available, coupled with Cisco's excellent support, the price doesn't seem to be too much.
It would be good if they added some machine learning which would allow us to abandon the rigid rules for processing traffic priorities and, at the same time, save money, because equipment with similar logic (like DPI) is much more expensive. Soon, we plan to migrate to the cloud infrastructure. It would be good if the Cisco switches worked quickly in the cloud, like their hardware devices. Ideally, they would be like OVS-DPDK, but they would work out-of-the-box.