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Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500)

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500)

Overview

What is Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500)?

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Series offers industry-leading density of routed 100 GE ports for high-scale WAN aggregation.

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Recent Reviews

Cisco Routers Rise to the Top

8 out of 10
December 06, 2018
Cisco Routers are being used across the whole organization in the multiple locations of the hospital. They help establish a secure and …
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Awards

Products that are considered exceptional by their customers based on a variety of criteria win TrustRadius awards. Learn more about the types of TrustRadius awards to make the best purchase decision. More about TrustRadius Awards

Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Product Details

What is Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500)?

The Cisco® Network Convergence System 5500 Series offers density of routed 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GE) ports for high-scale WAN aggregation and is designed to efficiently scale between data centers and large enterprise, web, and service provider WAN and aggregation networks.

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Features

  • Supported: Handles traffic growth with fixed or modular systems delivering 100G and 400G density.
  • Supported: Power efficiency keeps costs in check with systems delivering lower power consumption, down to 0.3 Watts/Gb.
  • Supported: Allows for unique network experiences with Segment Routing and EVPN powered by cloud-enhanced IOS XR.

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Screenshots

Screenshot of Fixed and modular options

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Video

Tech Field Day: Cisco Service Provider NCS 5500 Overview

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Competitors

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsCisco IOS XR7
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) Series offers industry-leading density of routed 100 GE ports for high-scale WAN aggregation.

Juniper MX Series, Nokia 7750 Service Router (SR), and Arista 7500R and 7500R3 Series are common alternatives for Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500).

The most common users of Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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Comparisons

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Reviews and Ratings

(18)

Attribute Ratings

Reviews

(1-7 of 7)
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Judy L. Berglund | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
ResellerIncentivized
The Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System scales to 400 GbE, and in my experience, it is utilized at various large service providers where critical bandwidth is necessary. The Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System also provides Software Defined Networking, which is a major plus in applying networking in a virtualized manner. In any managed service provider, you are responsible for handling a very large number of clients in an enterprise solution, and scales down for mid-tier MSP's. Segment routing is also enhanced with cloud enhanced IOS XR, which is Cisco's operating system. This aids in creating unique networking experiences that can be tailored to specific needs/wants.
  • Provides functionality to both Top of Rack (TOR) and Spine and Leaf role models
  • High Port densities
  • Deep packet buffering
  • Ultra low power consumption
  • Learning Curve for employees not versed on Cisco Technology
  • Expensive
  • Port Upgrades can become very pricey based on the number of ports being added
  • Maintenance costs can be very expensive, especially when renewals come up
Cloud based solutions, these need the necessary bandwidth going from point A to point B.
Automate as much as possible from a WAN Core edge standpoint, take away the always on maintaining of the routers/switches on the network. Automation is extremely important in today's world.
The Cisco 5500 Series Network Convergence System would not be a very viable solution for a small company, especially from a budgetary standpoint.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We primarily use the NCS 5508 as an edge platform connection to major customers and other service providers. We have been moving to this platform and away from the ASR 9K for these use cases. The NCS 5508 has been a relatively flexible platform that we use mostly for moving lots of packets at speed, mostly 100G connections.
  • It has the 100G port density we require
  • The use of merchant silicon leads to very frustrating issues particularly related to the missing ability to do egress DSCP marking, which we use extensively in our network
I feel that it is well suited as a small core or edge platform where 100G and 10G connectivity is needed, but only in cases where certain egress features that were available on the ASR9K, for example, are not required
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
The Cisco 5500 NCS is a full-featured very versatile family of routers. There are currently 4 different chassis models that suit various network needs from Enterprise, to Data Center, to Service Provider edge and Service Provider core. We are currently using the Cisco NCS 5508 in various parts of the network due to its versatility.
  • It is versatile due to the diversity in models and form factors.
  • Low power consumption compared to similar models
  • Mature operating system code allowing for quick production installation and configuration.
  • The 5508 router may not be as capable as the equivalent ASR 9000 as an edge device.
  • QoS/TCAM memory and Forwarding capacity with the NCS on high-traffic load
  • Protection during amplified DDOS attacks could be another concern.
The Cisco 5500 Series NCS appears to be well suited as a fairly simple core network device that doesn't require a lot of one-off configuration setup. It may have some restrictions if used as a peering and/or edge device due to control-plane protection design and QoS/TCAM memory and Forwarding capacity. The 5501 is well suited as a switch due to mature code and hardware capability.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use the NCS5508 series as our data center interconnect to aggregate multiple cages with a data center together, as well as to converge multiple physical sites together. The NCS5508 connect to other 5508's over our NCS2000/1000 DWDM infrastructure over a large metro region. They are a good price and solved our problem appropriately. They also have a huge amount of bandwidth (36x100Gb blades) and are running XR, which is great for automation.
  • Large bandwidth per blade at 36x100Gb.
  • IOS-XR for full functionality of automation and service provider experience.
  • Great price per port when looking at the scaling opportunity.
  • Horizontal blade designs are rare these days because if the gear is shipped in a rack, the blade can bend. The NCS5500's blades are horizontal.
  • Not a NCS5500 specific issue, but XR has a ways to go, but will continue to grow with customer input.
It is a full-featured XR box with a ton of bandwidth at a great price. It could be used in a spine/leaf design, it could be used in a traditional core/dist/acc design, or as a data center interconnect. The box really is versatile if you have a use case for 100Gb ports, which we did, and I think this is where the industry is going.
Carlos Bedia | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are using this platform across our whole organization for standardization of the services we deliver in our department for each site in our topology. The NCS 5500 allows us to scale up to 16 slots on a 5516 with each card having its own features and memory addressing depending on the network design.
  • High-density 100g ports
  • Card features scale with application or design
  • Support for segment routing and WAN aggregation
  • When upgrading components of the NCS 5500 it can take a particularly long time and many steps to confirm additional components. Have all updates on the need basis instead of a one-step process.
NCS 5500 is well suited for situations where you need high-density 100g ports for your application. It may not be the best choice if you need fewer bandwidth ports. There are other products, depending on the application, that might be better suited for what you need. Consider your application need and port requirements.
Jorge Melo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We're using Cisco Routers for all our L3 corporate-wide. They're also bridging the gap for wifi connections for employees, hosts, and lab environments. They're paramount for our security strategy, and make it easy to capture and analyze traffic patterns, prevent outages, and forecast infrastructure growth needs. Cisco Routers are true performance and reliability workhorses.
  • Packet routing and forwarding.
  • Monitoring and usage tracking.
  • Distributed and high-availability architecture.
  • The price tag is on the high side.
Cisco Routers are perfectly suited for mission-critical setups, where you want a device with top-notch performance and rock-solid reliability. Its high-grade security features combined with great monitoring capabilities are also second to none. If you're on a tight budget or don't value these premium features you may opt for a lower level brand.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Cisco Routers are being used across the whole organization in the multiple locations of the hospital. They help establish a secure and efficient pipeline of wifi connection for both our staff, patients, and families. Pushing forward on a mobile learning strategy, our network is helping my team and department determine where, when, and how our staff is accessing educational resources. Analysis of traffic patterns are helping us determine infrastructure needs and laying a foundation for our internal device expansion.
  • Excellent monitoring capabilities to track usage and map traffic.
  • Top tier mesh networking allows use to expand our network capabilities into low signal areas.
  • High traffic load bearing bands allow for excellent visitor usage.
  • Pricing
  • Our routers are already outdated, even having been installed within the last 2 years
  • I was using Meraki as a test environment before being acquired by Cisco.
Cisco Routers are perfect for large scale enterprise environments where mesh networking is a great benefit. Cisco helps us determine traffic patterns and network loads that inform our infrastructure expansions. Their equipment might not be as appropriate for small business, especially in cases where the business is not granting wifi access to guests and/or staff [that] are less likely to move across multiple access points.
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