Cisco NX-OS vs. Windows Server

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco NX-OS
Score 9.3 out of 10
N/A
Cisco NX-OS is a network operating system presented as a solution to help network operations move at the speed of business, with comprehensive automation, extensive visibility, and flexible open architectures for data center networks. NX-OS is the network operating system for all fabric architectures, from traditional L2/L3 to overlay-based fabrics.Cisco NX-OS powers the modern data center.N/A
Windows Server
Score 8.6 out of 10
N/A
N/AN/A
Pricing
Cisco NX-OSWindows Server
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco NX-OSWindows Server
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Best Alternatives
Cisco NX-OSWindows Server
Small Businesses

No answers on this topic

Ubuntu
Ubuntu
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies

No answers on this topic

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Score 9.2 out of 10
Enterprises

No answers on this topic

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Score 9.2 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco NX-OSWindows Server
Likelihood to Recommend
9.2
(14 ratings)
8.1
(62 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
2.4
(5 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(1 ratings)
4.3
(6 ratings)
Performance
9.5
(11 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
7.9
(3 ratings)
2.8
(18 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
2.2
(3 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
7.5
(11 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco NX-OSWindows Server
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
This easy solution can be a great help for the big companies on easy multiple data processing and effective networking solutions for the various departments and also generating the real-time data reports with Cisco NX-OS is excellent. For the new users, it takes no time to become a pro on full manipulation of the features and offer the best and quality management services.
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Microsoft
If you have one user or 1000's of users (especially using Windows), Windows Server is a no-brainer! The only reason I would suggest going with a Linux server is if you have old hardware (Windows Server is more process intensive than Linux). But, Linux is open-source, so anyone can publish updates/security updates, but on the flip side, malicious people also have full access to Linux's codebase allowing for much easier writing of exploitations/viruses/malware/ransomware.
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Pros
Cisco
  • Cisco NX-OS is very simple to use and user friendly CLI
  • NX-OS has a modular config so easy to configure.
  • NX-OS comes up with copp policy where we can define most of our system level ontrols instead of defining separate ACLs
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Microsoft
  • Easy to use due to its intuitive graphical user interface.
  • Very popular and makes integration easier.
  • Lots of software drivers available.
  • Has many functionalities such as Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, VPN, RDP, VDI server, etc.
  • Many patches and updates available. Maybe abit too much too often.
  • Cost effective and with budget.
  • Remote desktop feature simplifies remote access to this server.
  • It has a built in VPN and ssl certificate feature.
  • Event viewer is available for alerts, although it seems too cumbersome to go through the logs.
  • If you got too many Windows systems to manage, then SCCM is an option.
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Cons
Cisco
  • Being used to Catalyst IOS the change in some commands gets annoying
  • It also came with a new license model compared to IOS devices
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Microsoft
  • DHCP Server could be better - we use the router for DHCP Routing
  • Print Server - not a fan of using the server as a print server since you have to license it. Direct access to printers via IP addresses is a much more efficient way to go
  • Better backup program - we utilize a third-party program that gives us more flexibility when restoring individual files.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
I've carefully reviewed the servers and services currently running on Windows Server 2012, and given the opportunity would renew them as is going forward. There are two systems I currently have in place, one is a very large Linux implementation for a large ecommerce site, and one is a very large backup solution front ended by FTP servers running Linux. Neither are well suited for Windows, but the overall network infrastructure is and will be Windows Server for the foreseeable future.
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Usability
Cisco
NX-OS has many similarities with the traditional IOS which is quite beneficial when it comes to configuration and learning. As a native Linux system, there are a lot of tools and features that can be enabled for any use case.
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Microsoft
There are simply too many different parts of Windows Server to make it a cohesive piece of software. While some of the newer features found in Windows Server 2012 and 2016 have nice UIs that are logically laid out, there are enough parts of the system that is still based on old code with clunky UIs and confusing options to make Windows Server a particularly user-friendly experience.
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Performance
Cisco
Our switches running NX-OS have provided solid consistent throughput. We haven't had any issues with it not being able to handle what we threw at it. The latency is extremely low. It also has multiple management options that we hope to pursue in the future.
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Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Cisco
Cisco support never fails me. In terms of timely response, no one is on par with them. They really value the impact of having technical issues and potential business stoppage. Also, their support staff are well equipped with knowledge and skills and easily resolve the most common incidents. Most of the time, we can resolve an issue by just calling them once.
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Microsoft
Microsoft's support is hugely wide-ranging from articles online to having to contact them directly for the more serious issues. In recent years when I have contacted them directly, I have found the support o be excellent as I have found myself connected to very knowledgeable people in the field in which I needed the support. The online support available is vast and I tend to find most of the time that there is always someone out there who has had the same issue as me in the past and knows something about how to resolve it! This is the advantage of using industry standard and long-established systems such as Windows Server.
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Implementation Rating
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
Make sure that you have detailed processes in place for every server instance you plan to install/upgrade, if possible get the base OS loaded and Windows Updates applied ahead of time, and if using a VM take a snapshot prior to installing each role, as well as along the way.
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Alternatives Considered
Cisco
When compared to these data center switches, I think Cisco Nx-OS based data center switches fare very well in terms of performance and reliability. When looking and talking about security, Cisco and Juniper Junos are comparable but Huawei switches lag in terms of security due to various reasons like who owns and controls them.
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Microsoft
I didn't use any other system which gives the same functionality and I am not aware of any. The full integration between all components and especially the ability to integrate mail via Exchange or even via a hybrid setup with the Ofice365 cloud, including the ability to directly manage the cloud from the server, using Power Shell, is something I didn't see anywhere else.
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Scalability
Cisco
Up to now, we haven't had a major ground-shaking attack on our networks but we take no chances by using NX-OS alongside a SIEM. All endpoints and workloads are secure so I would say we have plenty of trust in their security model.
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Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Cisco
  • overall a good prodcut
  • overa all a good product it will help you in ROI by removing some tools from your environement
  • The software have HA and lastest technology features included
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Microsoft
  • Because of our Microsoft Campus Agreement, Windows products are fairly affordable for us and that has been a huge blessing. We are considering some Azure cloud options and some of that is covered under our Campus Agreement, making it a nice incentive to start migrating certain apps and functionality to the cloud
  • I don't have access to our budgets so I cannot give a good answer as far as the impact of ROI on our institution, but if your company can afford it, you cannot go wrong with Windows server. Not having to send your sys admins to Linux or Unix school alone is a big savings as well as not having to train your staff on using a Linux desktop instead of a Windows-based one.
  • The compatibility with end users of all varieties and platforms will definitely impact your ROI in a positive way. We have Apple users, Android, Windows, and even a few Linux end users on our campus and Windows server works quite well with all of them.
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