What users are saying about
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring#question3' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>
Top Rated
337 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring#question3' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>
79 Ratings

Cisco Catalyst Switches

<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring#question3' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>
Top Rated
337 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'>trScore algorithm: Learn more.</a>
Score 9.1 out of 100

Cisco Nexus

<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring#question3' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>
79 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'>trScore algorithm: Learn more.</a>
Score 9 out of 100

Highlights

Though both from Cisco, Catalyst and Nexus network switches support different use cases. Cisco Catalyst is an extensive product line of managed, smart, rack-mountable or compact, campus LAN or Industrial Ethernet switches for enterprises. They aim to bring wired and wireless connections under unified control, with integrated security. Cisco Nexus switches are data center switches that support high application performance and virtualization and boast efficient power consumption and cooling relative to their performance.

Both types of switches can be deployed together in the same network and managed centrally through Cisco DNA Center; Cisco’s network controller and management software available on a per device license. In data centers, Cisco Nexus devices can also be managed with Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), a network management and DCIM product for Cisco NX-OS enabled devices; and in turn, Cisco Nexus switches provide the backbone for Cisco ACI in creating a software-defined data center. Both Catalyst and Nexus switches tend to be deployed in enterprise environments, and to a lesser degree across mid-size companies.

Features

Cisco Nexus switches are recognized for their performance, high density and fast packet forwarding, their high availability and redundancy, and for the overall flexibility of the product line. There are very few data center functions (e.g. cloud services, virtualization, etc.) that Cisco Nexus switches cannot support.

Cisco Catalyst switches come in a variety of resilient, stackable, as well as rugged and durable hardware units. End users described them as easily and flexibly configured and very reliable with high-uptime relative to alternatives. Additionally, Catalyst switches support VLAN quite well, and its software is extensible for a variety of purposes.

Limitations

A few limitations should be considered when thinking about deploying Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches.

Cisco Nexus switches often require more maintenance than Catalyst switches and some other Cisco products. Reviewers on TrustRadius report that they can be buggy and difficult to update and maintain given some of the quirks (or user unfamiliarity) with NX-OS. While they are certainly powerful and can be used in many ways, Nexus switches can be difficult to set up without expert guidance or knowledge. Some end-users also find the licensing confusing. 

While the pricing models for Nexus switches can be confusing, the Cisco Catalyst licensing is clear but expensive. Certain Catalyst devices require a license to function. End users on TrustRadius have also voiced concerns about difficulty upgrading, lack of compatibility with non-Cisco products, and the perception that Catalyst switches and their firmware seem to update or become obsolete too quickly. 

Pricing

Cisco switches and networking devices are available through Cisco channel partners, also called value-added resellers (VARs). Cisco devices are generally regarded to be on the high end of the pricing spectrum. Cisco Nexus 3000 series switches are available for between $2,800 to $11K, and Nexus 7000 devices are available for between $10K to $70K for a single device. A Nexus 9000 can cost anywhere between $30K to over $100K.

The Cisco Catalyst series has multiple models. For example, a Catalyst 2960 Series switch costs a few hundred dollars and would be well-suited for smaller campuses. On the other end of the spectrum, depending on available ports, a Cisco Catalyst 9600 Series switch can cost between $15K to about $65K. The Catalyst IE 3200 & 3300 for industrial environments are available for about $5K.

Likelihood to Recommend

Cisco Catalyst Switches

I can't think of any situation where you would not want to use this type of switch. Once installed, it did not take long to see a company-wide improvement in throughput. By comparison, our old system seemed to have a choke, it was slow. The upfront cost for the hardware and management will pay for itself through increased productivity. We should have realized this years ago and made the update to our equipment.
mike nugent | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus switches are designed for data center environments or other environments that require high bandwidth switching. This includes mainly server connections with many virtual machines residing on them, fabric channel of ethernet[,] or something similar. Nexus is not suited for user switches, WAN switches, or other switches that don't need a lot of processing power.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pros

Cisco Catalyst Switches

  • Stability and Reliability - We have not had many failures over the past years using Cisco Catalyst switches.
  • Flexibility - Cisco Catalyst switches offers a wide portfolio of switching equipment which can address a variety of needs. This includes switches with stacking and non-stacking capability, fixed rackmount and chassis options which can be mounted in data centre racks and and also compact switching which may be more feasible for small SOHO offices.
  • Scalable Performance - Cisco Catalyst switches offers various port speeds from 1Gbps 10Gbps, 100Gbps etc. This is available in both copper (RJ45) and fibre (SFP). Many models also offer a variety of uplink speed options which future proofs the invest in Cisco technologies allowing us to upgrade depending on our changing business requirements and available budgets.
Zakarieya Abderoef | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cisco Nexus

  • These switches are easily programmable. If you are looking at SDN but aren't quite there yet, this switch line is a great starting point. They support DevOps tools, which make automation extremely quick and efficient.
  • There are so many options in this product line, making Nexus a great switch for pretty much any deployment. You can stack switches or use the modular switch, whatever fits your need.
  • These switches support VXLAN, allowing for a multi-tenant network environment, and is perfect for cloud services.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Cisco Catalyst Switches

  • Would like to see a second power supply so it can get power from two different sources.
  • Hard to find a USB flash drive that will work when loading images for upgrade.
  • IOS upgrades are a pain to perform. Upgrades should be an easy process. Would like to perform the upgrade through a web browser.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cisco Nexus

  • If you are on the wrong code it can be buggy
  • When deploying, one switch was bricked (dead) during an upgrade of the NX-OS, and had to be replaced
  • If you are not familiar with NX-OS it can be difficult to configure
  • They lack some of the functionality that the Nexus 9k has
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 10.0
Based on 1 answer
Its perfect
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 7.6
Based on 3 answers
In our environment (and especially during COVID and the Work From Home era), I would really like our network devices to be more resilient [against} errors in remote configuration. Having a standard, easy to use, configure, commit/deploy, rollback system should be installed, but it's not there. Other companies have been providing this for over 20 years, and Cisco does this on some of their devices. Why not all?
Collin Lichtenberger | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 10.0
Based on 2 answers
Our network is very well design. Any components or device failure. Doesn't affect network availability
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 9.7
Based on 3 answers
These switches are very fast. They've been designed to work within the data center. We connect them to Cisco UCS-B Mini servers with the storage being directly attached. They are able to handle the data traffic pretty easily. We can also move servers pretty fast from data center to data center without overloading them. This has allowed our company to stay running during any kind of conditional outage. We have come to really rely on them for business continuity.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Cisco Catalyst Switches

Cisco Catalyst Switches 9.0
Based on 1 answer
We rarely have issues with the product. I have only had to contact support one time since we put it in and that was to see if another vendor was giving me accurate information on an issue I was having.
Ryhlen Schoeberl | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 8.4
Based on 9 answers
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cisco support is really good at being quick with their replies until they discover it's not a "network-down emergency." They start by immediately responding to your e-mails & inquiries, and the minute they discover that it's not a huge deal the tech-support employee "goes on vacation," defers you to someone else, and that person immediately takes three days to answer any e-mails... and then he just asks for different outputs.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

In-Person Training

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 8.0
Based on 1 answer
Trainer didn't has good handon experience.. he was bookish trainer.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Online Training

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Never had it
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 10.0
Based on 2 answers
MPBGP VXLAN fabirc was implemented with multi vrf bgp over external links to our IP core
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Cisco Catalyst Switches

* Arista Switches** Arista switches are great, don't get me wrong, but the lack of PoE support, the lack of stacking, has really hindered their entry way into the campus market, 99% of my use cases are campus switching for end users, not data center, in this market, cisco wins hands down every time.
Dustin Reeves | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cisco Nexus

Extreme is an excellent edge networking device. We have not evaluated Cisco Nexus core networking versus Extreme for core networking yet. We expect to compare them soon. However, at this time, we have not had the need to try and replace the Cisco Nexus because of it's incredible reliability. I expect Cisco Nexus to stand up well to comparison.
Justin Czachor | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

Cisco Catalyst Switches

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Cisco Nexus

Cisco Nexus 9.6
Based on 2 answers
The Nexus 3000 series switches are data center switches, so I would say they have similar security ability to other switches in this segment. I don't have a lot of experience doing more than basic ACL security on switches, but I know these can be integrated into other security solutions like Cisco ISE and 802.1x authentication. It could also be integrated into an ACI solution to add micro segmentation, which would bring in other security functions.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Cisco Catalyst Switches

  • Cisco catalyst switches have allowed our networks to run smoothly with no interruptions.
  • These switches are scalable so we were able to add more switches as needed, without interrupting the network activity.
  • Automation techniques allowed us to deploy configuration with minimum effort.
Andrew Yudin, MBA/CCNP | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cisco Nexus

  • We have been very successful with network uptime
  • It's has always met our future needs to date when adding new data center hardware
  • We have had these for almost 5 years and it still has support available to ensure maximum ROI before we need to regreen it
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Screenshots

Cisco Catalyst Switches

Cisco Nexus

Pricing Details

Cisco Catalyst Switches

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Cisco Catalyst Switches Editions & Modules

Additional Pricing Details

Cisco Nexus

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Cisco Nexus Editions & Modules

Edition
Starting Price$49.00
Maximum Price$200,000.00
    Additional Pricing Details

    Add comparison