TrustRadius
Cisco offers the Catalyst 2960-X and XR series of campus LAN switches.https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/ku/AF/F0JDW2AQTDDO-180x180.JPEGCatalyst 2960X a Strong Choice for Mid-Business Switching.Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series,The Catalyst switches allow us to implement user access switches in each of our offices. They are stable, stackable and strong servers that allow us to meet all of our use cases for offices, security and access.,Stacking features and scale well. Easy to add more port density quickly and easily. Speed and flexibility. Able to take on large workloads from bandwidth and traffic.,Depending on the model, price can be a bit high compared to other vendors with similar features. Web Enabled admin page could use improvements.,9,ROI is good as the switches are very strong and last a long time. Updates and IOS feature enhancements allow the platform to be in place for a long time.,We have not had the opportunity to take of these advantages just yet.,We have not had the opportunity to take advantage of the larger manageability features of the switch. The WEB GUI has been flagged by our security team as having some potential security issues/violations with possible exposure.Solid Platform for best of breed servicesCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 2960-L Series,We mostly use the platform as the L2/L3 boundary for our remote sites. It also performs the Access layer function in sites that are more critical. Our end devices require PoE+. Gigabit throughput is an essential requirement as well. The StackWise technology helps with savings on licensing and with SFP+ for uplinks.,Solid switch with high throughput. The StackWise feature is great. PoE+ allows us to plan for the future.,The cost could be better. Additional modularity in the form of uplink flexibility. Boot up time could be improved.,8,End device power saving by providing PoE+. License cost saving through stacking. The budget impact makes large scale deployment challenging.,We have not benefited from this, but this capability is something that we are still investigating.,The 2960X platform is centrally managed from our Cisco Prime management platform. Great for a centralized view of an implemented network infrastructure.,Huawei Ethernet Switches and HPE Aruba Ethernet Switches,LAN Campus Access Layer deployment. Remote site L2/L3 demarcation. PoE+ provision for CCTV system.,Product Features Product Usability Product Reputation Prior Experience with the Product Vendor Reputation Existing Relationship with the Vendor,We consume key capabilities that are inherited as part of the Cisco 2960X platform. Capabilities include but are not limited to: gigabit throughput, Flexstack, PoE+, Private VLANs, VLAN ACLs, HSRP, and QoS.,8,8,8,We did not engage Cisco Services, as the vendor had sufficient depth to be able to deliver the product to us.,9Switch uplink bandwidth upgradedCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We started by upgrading our access switches to the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR series three years ago in order to increase the uplink bandwidth to ten gigabytes. All access ports are also operating at a level of at least one-gigabyte per port to improve the performance of end users' computer speeds within our network.,Providing PoE for our access points and telephones.,There is too much noise when you are powering on the switch.,10,We have reduced cost in buying external power adapters for Cisco wireless access points.,At our organization we are using Cisco Catalyst 2960- X/XR Series Switches to improve the performance on the virtual client machines that we connect to via Microsoft remote desktop services, access cloud storage, and computing resources. We used to experience a lot of disconnection before we started installing Cisco Catalyst switches at our access layer.,Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches have very intelligent capabilities that provide engineers with plenty of choices when implementing them on both the distribution or the access layers. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR switches have a management port which provides redundancy in remote connection to the switch after virtual local area network interface configuration.,Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series SwitchesReview for 2960-X/XRCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,They have been used in the small remote sites access and core layers. But they are also been used in the large sites as access layer.,They work very well at the access layer or distribution/core layer at small remote sites. They are small and 1 RU devices. Fits perfectly on the small rack space They have fiber ports for uplink and copper ports for the access devices They support legacy stacking, so easier to stack Also with the DNA licenses, we can manage the devices using DNA center,They are light weight switches so will be not used for the core/distribution at large sites They have limited fiber ports, so can't be used in the fiber heavy environment Throughput is also low compared to other series of cisco switches,8,We have deployed the switches in many small/medium remote sites. The XR series have been used as distribution layer and X are used at the access layer. They are running smoothly and cheaper compared to other switches.,As 2960X/XR switches can't be used for the DNA SDA deployment, we have been managing these switches using Cisco DNA center for basic automation like templating, swim, pnp.,Other than the DNA center to manage the switches, we currently not using advanced customization and manageability. The DNA center is used for zero touch provisioning, dan-n templating, and image upgrade for now.,Great and reliable switchCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We use them at all of our branch locations to provide IP phone, workstation and other end device connectivity. We have had a great experience using this switch and continue to deploy them for new locations. They are reliable and provide exactly what we need and expect. I would recommend this device to anyone.,Reliable connectivity Ease of installation Long lasting device,Anytime we have had a hardware issue Cisco was quick to replace or repair the device. Anytime we have had a software issue we are unable to resolve ourself TAC has been quick to resolve for us.,10,We use them at all of our branch locations to provide IP phone, workstations, printers and many other devices. They are very easy and quick to configure and setup.,We do all custom configurations and these switches have worked great.,Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series ReviewCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,DOT1.X Port Level Security QOS DHCP Snooping Database L2 and L3 DAI (Dynamic Arp Inspection) DHCP Relay PoE for Cisco Access Points and VOICE over IP Phones,DOT1X L2 Switching DHCP Snooping Power over Ethernet,L3 Routing IPSec support / MACSec Support (LImited) VXLAN Support (none),9,Product Stability (very limited SW or HW crashes) Port Security Features Limited to none IPSec or MACSec support easy learning curve excellent Vendor documentation,We haven't implemented those features yet. Working on a Proof of Concept though.,Customized at Switchport level in terms of L2 Security settings as well as DHCP assignment / reservation Settings. Also heavily and successfully relied on QoS Settings at switchport Level. Additional Features like port-Security turned out to be very useful in the Switch Access layer Level.,Arista Campus SwitchesCatalyst All the Way!Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We use Cisco Catalyst switches throughout our entire campus. Our network infrastructure is strictly Cisco, except for the industrial switches we use in our emergency blue light poles. We've always been a Cisco shop, long before I was hired. We used to implement the 3700 series, but now we are transitioning to the 2900's as we do not need routing on our campus access switches. Moving to the 2900 series has saved us a good deal of money. Using Cisco switches ensures we won't have any interoperability/compatibility issues with our Cisco IP phone system and allows Cisco to provide support without having to involve other vendors.,I haven't worked on many other brands of routers/switches, but I can say with certainty that Cisco's IOS network operating system is very well written. Using the question mark helps you find a command or complete its options very easily. Cisco's Catalyst documentation is superb and if you can't find what you're looking for there, you can find a ton of great blogs by certified Cisco engineers. Cisco may be notorious for creating their own proprietary protocols, but for every proprietary protocol they also support the industry standard protocols. Cisco Catalyst switches are genuine workhorses; we still have some switches on our network that are older than 10 years and still performing great! I like the way Catalyst implements vlans; very easy and straightforward I like the stacking capability of Catalyst. it's very easy to configure and you are now managing a single switch, composed of multiple switches,Cisco Catalyst switches, like all Cisco products, are insanely expensive. However, the tech support they provide is unparalleled. You can get support from Cisco TAC (Technical Assistance Center) any time of day/night. It would be easier if Cisco stopped creating their own proprietary protocols and only supported the industry standards. One thing I don't like about Cisco IOS is that you must remember what interface you are configuring, as the command prompt will not tell you. It's not a huge deal, but it's worth fixing. Since Cisco's hardware and support maintenance is so expensive, they should drop the modular pricing on their IOS and give ALL their customers the full OS with all capabilities included. Their IP base OS doesn't even support cryptography! Who DOESN'T use SSH these days?,8,Getting more than 10 years out of our switches has more than met our ROI. The Catalyst 2900 series (Layer 2 only) is well priced and has saved us money, compared to buying the considerably more expensive L3 switches. When we were purchasing the 3700 series, the switches were so expensive we had trouble getting the budget to upgrade them. Make sure you actually need L3 switches at the access level before purchasing them! Since we are a Cisco shop, the Catalyst works exceptionally well with our Cisco CallManager, Nexus switches, and wireless environment,We have not had the opportunity to do SDN, so we currently manage all switches individually. However, I'm sure that's coming in the fairly near future. We could definitely use some automation on our network. We also have not done much with analytics at this point.,No UI needed for this product! The command line is very easy to navigate, making the switches easy to manage. When they are stacked, they are even easier to manage since you're only managing a single switch rather than say 4. They are easy to configure and even easier to maintain. They are very well made and last at least 10 years from my experience. We have not done customization with these however.Cisco switches are solid performersCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We use them as our end-user access layer switches.,Great at connecting end-user devices Very good at securing the edge of the network Easy to troubleshoot any issues that you might encounter,Cost per port could always be less Ports could be labeled better Management ports should be on the back,10,Price point works for office switches Life Time return to manufacture warranty is a welcome feature,By standardizing on these switches we've reduced our deployment time and reduced costs as well.,We block any non authorized DHCP server saving end user down time and our troubleshooting time.,,Product Design and Features. Cisco doesn't hold back on the feature sets for their products. Need layer two only, no problem. Need a multi layer switch they have that as well. Need advanced switching feature like rapid spanning-tree, or support for LLPD. The breath of their product offerings is very large, solutions for everyone, from a small shop to global enterprises and all company sizes in between. Generally you'll find that if you need it, it's available. It can be a little daunting at time to find the right product with so many options available. Vendor support of the products they sell. You find a lot of tech companies that love to sell you stuff. What they don't seem to like to do is make sure it works and help you when you have problems with it. Given this, once you've experienced Cisco technical support and then compare them to what other vendors describe as technical support you will quickly find that very, very few other vendors come even close to the service levels that Cisco provides. Everything from assistance with something your unsure about how to deploy to a critical "my network is down" where they stay on the phone until it's back up and running around the clock if need be. Product reliability. I've been using Cisco gear for over 20 years. With rare exception everything is built to last. The latest ASA appliances have some of the best four post rack mount hardware I've ever seen. Easy to install, easy to attached to the rack and easy to get the gear in and out of the mounting hardware. Switches and routers built to run hard, run long and just work day after day. Basically things are design with "no failures" allowed mentality. When one of there suppliers shipped a faulty component, Cisco stepped forward and proactively replaced the faulty devices long before they would have failed in customer installations. That to me speaks volumes about how they care about their customers.,Product Features Product Usability Vendor Reputation,I would recommend that you think about the types of devices that you are likely to be connecting to your switch ports. For example we knew that the majority of our ports would be phone with computers, then printers, postage machines, UPS management cards and trunk uplinks. For each of these roles we created a standard configuration for those types. These port standards are combined with global commands like "spanning-tree portfast edge bpduguard default", logging, aaa authentication and others to create a very maintainable switch configuration. Try to standardize as much of the configuration as you can and the benefits to you are quicker troubleshooting when problems occur and the configuration will be easier to maintain.,10,10,10,We did not engage Cisco services for either the planning or for deploying our Catalyst switch upgrade. Based on all my other experiences with them as a company I would not hesitate to engage them for something like this. They have always stepped up to the plate and made me feel like they had my back.Performance, Sustainability, Management and Reliability.Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series,The administration and segmentation of our voice and data VLANS is very important for us, along with the nodes they host. They are also extremely reliable. Our datacenter has gone through several remodels in the last year, and the catalyst switches have come through everything with no problems at all.,Reliability Administration Sustainability Management,The end of life periods The support for legacy hardware,9,Positive, our clients prefer Cisco switches over other brands almost immediately,So far we've only used virtualization but we are on the way to implement mass scale time saving automation through Ansible.,The usage of GUI has enabled us to set up technicians that can manage and customize the switches without going all the way through the CLI.,3Com H3C Switches and SonicWall TZFair GameCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We are using Catalyst Switches exclusively at our access layer, feeding back into 4500 IDFs. Catalyst is a solid device that is pretty much hands off once configured, with the exception of the occasional IOS update. Updates are fast and versatile, from either USB, FTP, or Serial.,port security IOS update SNMP / monitoring setup TACACS / RADIUS setup scalability chassis aggregation,enable BPDU guard by default reassign logical interface numbers when renumbering switches in a stack reduce noise,10,long life low cost many features,We have benefited from the automation feature, and certainly feel that the configuration is seamless. We have not taken advantage of any virtualization or analytic features at this time.,Manageability is very simple. I would like to see more versatility (dummy-proofing) in regards to consoling into a non-master and making changes to the member and not the entire stack. We have had technicians make this mistake in the past and it seems to cause problems down the road when changes are made directly to a non-master.,,data forwarding network expansion maintenance refresh,Price Product Features Product Usability Product Reputation Vendor Reputation Existing Relationship with the Vendor Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor,for multiple unit deployment, create a template to deploy. Or load into Cisco Prime to deploy templates,9,10,10,not at this time, but have frequently brought in Sales Engineers for new deployments and technology,9,1500,2,end-user deployment end-user management,greater segmentation expansion,10,No,would not change, we made the right choice,Implemented in-house,No,Change management was minimal,network downtime IOS matching,9,Self-taught,with some basic knowledge of how to use the help system, Cisco IOS is straightforward,10,No - there is no facility to customize the interface,No - the product does not support adding custom code,We did not customize the interface,No,No,troubleshooting a link flap on a core, Tech team was extremely helpful,switchport configuration vlan configuration management configuration,file copy stack ring configuration between dissimilar models matching IOS versions between dissimilar models,No,10,10,10,10,PLC network camera network,,Single Signon,10,deploy slowly and read all requirements,pricing and CLC offerings,be clear about potential volume for better pricing,Yes,Newer features Higher stack ring throughput Higher throughput uplinks,Higher throughput improved user interface,No,No2960 XR Switches - great option!Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3650 Series,[They are being used] As distribution switches for the whole infrastructure.,Good performance Easy configuration Good handling integration Price Functionality,In special areas with a lot of dust IOS upgrade bulletins for customers Bugs and vulnerabilities,10,Leasing is a good choice Cost avoidance in MP Production increase,These days [I am] looking to integrate a monitoring system for my switches because that will allow me to have a good vision of my direction.,Currently working with 4500 and 296xr switches allows me to segrate and keep a high level of security in my network, in an 24/7 environment.,Cisco Wireless LAN ControllersThe best Cisco productCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3850 Series Other,It's being used to interconnect many geographically distributed buildings around the country and perform 802.1x authentication based on an external identity store.,IP Routing Layer 2 Access 1x,Process Automation Resources Management Readable crashdumps,10,Increased the quality of service Increased security Added value to courses and IT Infrastructure,We are benefited by virtualization by creating different VRF domains for different branches of business like professors and students in an academic environment and employees and consultants in a corporate environment. We are less benefited by analytics feature cause they just send data to an external tool that do this job.,The manageability is a good point once we can stack many switches by floor and manage them as one unique box per floor. We do not use advanced customization.,HPE Ethernet Switches, Extreme BlackDiamond, Extreme Ethernet Switches, Cisco Aironet Access Points, Cisco ASA, Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers, Fortinet FortiGate and Cisco IronPort Web Security ApplianceLifeNCatalystCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We have multiple switch stacks at each of our three locations, they serve to allow our end users to interact with our core, servers and internet based hosts. Our switch stacks all have 10GB redundant uplinks to the core, to provide assurance of no bottlenecks while processing data requests. These switch stacks also serve the needs of our PoE devices such as desk and conference phones and access points.,LAN traffic processing PoE power management and sensing Uptime, they can run forever in some of the worst conditions ive seen... Particularly one in an autoshop covered in oil, drained and it still functions today.,Modularity in the lower end models could use a bit of a hand Power cord stress relief and retention options Integrated environment sensors, option to connect external directly,10,Uptime is generally hard to define in value but it sure is noticed when its not up Support is there when needed Warranty is above and beyond,Simple drop in expansion is great, when a switch stack becomes full to capacity it is easy to extend the capacity of that switch stack. Also how quickly and versatile this process is is just an amazing feat. As long as a switch has the same ios running you are golden. My organization has used catalyst switch stacks for years with little need for anything more than regular maintenance with great glee.,Catalyst Switches have the ability to provide a rich feature set, that can meet the needs of any organization needing a physical infrastructure. The ability to customize and define these needs are able to keep pace with the ever-changing environment that is business.,Juniper Ethernet Switches2960s They Just Work!Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3850 Series,We are a school system and use various models of catalyst switches at our edge, distribution, and core. They are being used to connect end users and devices. They serve as protection to the rest of the network and route our traffic.,While we do make changes to the software on the switches, we expect them to work. They do this phenomenally. We rarely have a problem with the hardware. We use our catalyst switches as a layer 3 device to route traffic between buildings while segmenting our network. We are using port security to help protect the rest of the network.,Cost. We love our Cisco switches but, other vendors present cost savings that is difficult to justify not using their product. SmartNet is a huge cost for a k-12 organization. We purchase licensing when we purchase the product. This should allow access to software upgrades. Other vendors offer a lower cost for the equipment, lifetime warranty without change, and software updates without charge.,10,While the initial cost of the Cisco products are high, they just work. They continue to work even after their end-of-life!,We have not yet implemented any of the virtualization or time-saving automation. We do plan on looking at this in the future.,We have not yet started using the advanced customization and manageability that is offered.,Cisco, Always and ForeverCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We use Cisco Switches throughout our entire campus. Our core switches in each of our data centers provide a solid and stable platform for our end users while creating a secure environment and easy to manage backbone for the IT department.,Ease of Configuration Stability Speed Reliability,Boot time Handling power surges,10,Quick deployment times Reliability,We are aware of the automation features for the switches but have not taken full advantage of it.,Our network team is able to manage our switches easily from a central point and the ability to label and configure the switches down to the port level has really helped with management and troubleshooting.,Catalyst Switching - 2960-XOur organization supports almost 16,000 students and over 1200 staff members across 12 campuses. As is typical for most public education providers, we have a limited budget for infrastructure. Catalyst switching, especially the 2960-X, allows us to easily manage stacks of switches in each closet for high port density, with the capability to run 10Gbps (or higher with port channels) backbone connections.,Single management IP per stack, one logical switch composed of several physical switches. 10Gbps to the edge switches Reliable - very few service interruptions due to switch failure.,SMARTnet can be expensive for continued support Earlier version of code had a bug that impacted our environment No real netflow capability No SDN capability,10,Fewer outages related to switching than our previous setup Lower administration/management costs for switch management Reduced power consumption - PoE has been more efficient than power adapters for all our phones.,HPE Ethernet Switches2960 Access SwitchesCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,We use the 3960 switches at the access layer in user access wiring closets.,Supports 802.1x authentication Fully compatible with ISE Reliable,Will not support high power PoE Max PoE is 30 watts and can only support 15 watts on all ports,8,Very cost-effective With the lifetime warranty their ROI is very high,We have used Cisco ICE to authenticate devices and dynamically assign VLANs.,Management is through the CLI interface. They can also be managed with Cisco Prime and other third-party management software packages like SolarWinds Configuration Manager.,Alcatel-Lucent Ethernet Switches
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Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches
25 Ratings
Score 8.7 out of 101
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Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches Reviews

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Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches
25 Ratings
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Score 8.7 out of 101

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Brian Socia profile photo
June 14, 2019

Catalyst 2960X a Strong Choice for Mid-Business Switching.

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Catalyst switches allow us to implement user access switches in each of our offices. They are stable, stackable and strong servers that allow us to meet all of our use cases for offices, security and access.
  • Stacking features and scale well. Easy to add more port density quickly and easily.
  • Speed and flexibility. Able to take on large workloads from bandwidth and traffic.
  • Depending on the model, price can be a bit high compared to other vendors with similar features.
  • Web Enabled admin page could use improvements.
The Catalyst switches are good for any small or medium business application. The basic feature set should accomplish most business requirements from a network perspective.
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Roberto Damon profile photo
May 20, 2019

Solid Platform for best of breed services

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We mostly use the platform as the L2/L3 boundary for our remote sites. It also performs the Access layer function in sites that are more critical. Our end devices require PoE+. Gigabit throughput is an essential requirement as well. The StackWise technology helps with savings on licensing and with SFP+ for uplinks.
  • Solid switch with high throughput.
  • The StackWise feature is great.
  • PoE+ allows us to plan for the future.
  • The cost could be better.
  • Additional modularity in the form of uplink flexibility.
  • Boot up time could be improved.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches are well suited at LAN campuses, as well as locations where high throughput and stability is of utmost importance. Stacking and future fitting for PoE+ is also one of its strengths. It's less suited for situations where budget is key and enterprise type services are not a priority. They're also not well suited for a situation where an SMB type solution is able to provide the same services.
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Lawrence Mashimbye profile photo
May 20, 2019

Switch uplink bandwidth upgraded

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We started by upgrading our access switches to the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR series three years ago in order to increase the uplink bandwidth to ten gigabytes. All access ports are also operating at a level of at least one-gigabyte per port to improve the performance of end users' computer speeds within our network.
  • Providing PoE for our access points and telephones.
  • There is too much noise when you are powering on the switch.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches are very good for both distribution and access layers since they produce ten-gigabyte uplink bandwidth, as well as one-gigabyte bandwidth per port for each connected end device. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR switches are exceptionally great at powering Cisco wireless access points and telephones that require PoE for power.
Read Lawrence Mashimbye's full review
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June 27, 2019

Review for 2960-X/XR

Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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They have been used in the small remote sites access and core layers. But they are also been used in the large sites as access layer.
  • They work very well at the access layer or distribution/core layer at small remote sites.
  • They are small and 1 RU devices. Fits perfectly on the small rack space
  • They have fiber ports for uplink and copper ports for the access devices
  • They support legacy stacking, so easier to stack
  • Also with the DNA licenses, we can manage the devices using DNA center
  • They are light weight switches so will be not used for the core/distribution at large sites
  • They have limited fiber ports, so can't be used in the fiber heavy environment
  • Throughput is also low compared to other series of cisco switches
They are well suited if the requirement is to have 24 or 48 copper ports and 4 fiber ports. They are also well suited if the throughput requirement is low. They are not well suited in the large or critical sites. They don't have enough fiber uplink to support the loads.
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June 11, 2019

Great and reliable switch

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use them at all of our branch locations to provide IP phone, workstation and other end device connectivity. We have had a great experience using this switch and continue to deploy them for new locations. They are reliable and provide exactly what we need and expect. I would recommend this device to anyone.
  • Reliable connectivity
  • Ease of installation
  • Long lasting device
  • Anytime we have had a hardware issue Cisco was quick to replace or repair the device.
  • Anytime we have had a software issue we are unable to resolve ourself TAC has been quick to resolve for us.
[They] Are excellent for branch offices for an access layer switch.
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June 04, 2019

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Review

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
DOT1.X Port Level Security
QOS
DHCP Snooping Database
L2 and L3
DAI (Dynamic Arp Inspection)
DHCP Relay
PoE for Cisco Access Points and VOICE over IP Phones
  • DOT1X
  • L2 Switching
  • DHCP Snooping
  • Power over Ethernet
  • L3 Routing
  • IPSec support / MACSec Support (LImited)
  • VXLAN Support (none)
Very good access layer switch Product line; suitable for a small environment as well as for larger switch fabric environments (building for ex. daisy chain setups). Solid L2 Port security features; PoE support also included. SW Update also relatively robust and easy to roll out; the switches run without any Problems (SW or HW crash) for many years.
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Omar Campos profile photo
January 08, 2019

Catalyst All the Way!

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Cisco Catalyst switches throughout our entire campus. Our network infrastructure is strictly Cisco, except for the industrial switches we use in our emergency blue light poles. We've always been a Cisco shop, long before I was hired. We used to implement the 3700 series, but now we are transitioning to the 2900's as we do not need routing on our campus access switches. Moving to the 2900 series has saved us a good deal of money. Using Cisco switches ensures we won't have any interoperability/compatibility issues with our Cisco IP phone system and allows Cisco to provide support without having to involve other vendors.
  • I haven't worked on many other brands of routers/switches, but I can say with certainty that Cisco's IOS network operating system is very well written. Using the question mark helps you find a command or complete its options very easily.
  • Cisco's Catalyst documentation is superb and if you can't find what you're looking for there, you can find a ton of great blogs by certified Cisco engineers.
  • Cisco may be notorious for creating their own proprietary protocols, but for every proprietary protocol they also support the industry standard protocols.
  • Cisco Catalyst switches are genuine workhorses; we still have some switches on our network that are older than 10 years and still performing great!
  • I like the way Catalyst implements vlans; very easy and straightforward
  • I like the stacking capability of Catalyst. it's very easy to configure and you are now managing a single switch, composed of multiple switches
  • Cisco Catalyst switches, like all Cisco products, are insanely expensive. However, the tech support they provide is unparalleled. You can get support from Cisco TAC (Technical Assistance Center) any time of day/night.
  • It would be easier if Cisco stopped creating their own proprietary protocols and only supported the industry standards.
  • One thing I don't like about Cisco IOS is that you must remember what interface you are configuring, as the command prompt will not tell you. It's not a huge deal, but it's worth fixing.
  • Since Cisco's hardware and support maintenance is so expensive, they should drop the modular pricing on their IOS and give ALL their customers the full OS with all capabilities included. Their IP base OS doesn't even support cryptography! Who DOESN'T use SSH these days?
Cisco Catalyst is best suited for medium to large enterprises. If you have a SOHO, save your money and buy a cheaper switch. However, in medium and large companies where business continuity and SLA's must be met, you can't go wrong buying Cisco Catalyst.
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David Peck profile photo
January 08, 2019

Cisco switches are solid performers

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use them as our end-user access layer switches.
  • Great at connecting end-user devices
  • Very good at securing the edge of the network
  • Easy to troubleshoot any issues that you might encounter
  • Cost per port could always be less
  • Ports could be labeled better
  • Management ports should be on the back
These shine at getting devices connected to the network. Don't try and use them as core switches.
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Luis Alberto Torres Cabrera profile photo
December 05, 2018

Performance, Sustainability, Management and Reliability.

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The administration and segmentation of our voice and data VLANS is very important for us, along with the nodes they host. They are also extremely reliable. Our datacenter has gone through several remodels in the last year, and the catalyst switches have come through everything with no problems at all.
  • Reliability
  • Administration
  • Sustainability
  • Management
  • The end of life periods
  • The support for legacy hardware
Established datacenters are a perfect fit for catalyst switches, but sometimes they are not so good on smaller IDFs
Read Luis Alberto Torres Cabrera's full review
No photo available
January 21, 2019

Fair Game

Score 10 out of 10
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We are using Catalyst Switches exclusively at our access layer, feeding back into 4500 IDFs. Catalyst is a solid device that is pretty much hands off once configured, with the exception of the occasional IOS update. Updates are fast and versatile, from either USB, FTP, or Serial.
  • port security
  • IOS update
  • SNMP / monitoring setup
  • TACACS / RADIUS setup
  • scalability
  • chassis aggregation
  • enable BPDU guard by default
  • reassign logical interface numbers when renumbering switches in a stack
  • reduce noise
Catalyst Switches are perfect for access layer deployment where 1GB throughput per interface is adequate. Would not use outside of this scenario as there are other product lines with redundant power supplies and a larger backplane. Excellent when used in an environment that may need to scale quickly, as chassis aggregation is quick and painless in most cases as long as the IOS image versions are compatible. Would be nice to see the status of version mismatches though, such as when a switch tries to join a stack that is not compatible with the other members. There should be some feedback regarding auto image deployment from the master to the newly added member.
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December 08, 2018

2960 XR Switches - great option!

Score 10 out of 10
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[They are being used] As distribution switches for the whole infrastructure.
  • Good performance
  • Easy configuration
  • Good handling integration
  • Price
  • Functionality
  • In special areas with a lot of dust
  • IOS upgrade bulletins for customers
  • Bugs and vulnerabilities
For manufacturing I found these switches as an alternative for daily use, in which you get an awesome experience. As an IT engineer, [I find it has] easy configuration, good high security level and high speed performance.
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September 28, 2018

The best Cisco product

Score 10 out of 10
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It's being used to interconnect many geographically distributed buildings around the country and perform 802.1x authentication based on an external identity store.
  • IP Routing
  • Layer 2 Access
  • 1x
  • Process Automation
  • Resources Management
  • Readable crashdumps
It's very versatile and can fit into many businesses, but in an industry scenario it may be susceptible to damages. I think they have a specific model for the industry segment.
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June 14, 2018

LifeNCatalyst

Score 10 out of 10
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We have multiple switch stacks at each of our three locations, they serve to allow our end users to interact with our core, servers and internet based hosts. Our switch stacks all have 10GB redundant uplinks to the core, to provide assurance of no bottlenecks while processing data requests. These switch stacks also serve the needs of our PoE devices such as desk and conference phones and access points.
  • LAN traffic processing
  • PoE power management and sensing
  • Uptime, they can run forever in some of the worst conditions ive seen... Particularly one in an autoshop covered in oil, drained and it still functions today.
  • Modularity in the lower end models could use a bit of a hand
  • Power cord stress relief and retention options
  • Integrated environment sensors, option to connect external directly
Catalyst Switches are best suited for any office or space that requires hardwired connections for a device to communicate with another device whether it be locally another end client or someone or something across the world or down the block. About the only place, I could imagine not using catalyst would be in dense data centers where a nexus infrastructure would be more suitable.
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Dellea Underwood profile photo
June 25, 2018

2960s They Just Work!

Score 10 out of 10
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We are a school system and use various models of catalyst switches at our edge, distribution, and core. They are being used to connect end users and devices. They serve as protection to the rest of the network and route our traffic.
  • While we do make changes to the software on the switches, we expect them to work. They do this phenomenally. We rarely have a problem with the hardware.
  • We use our catalyst switches as a layer 3 device to route traffic between buildings while segmenting our network.
  • We are using port security to help protect the rest of the network.
  • Cost. We love our Cisco switches but, other vendors present cost savings that is difficult to justify not using their product.
  • SmartNet is a huge cost for a k-12 organization. We purchase licensing when we purchase the product. This should allow access to software upgrades. Other vendors offer a lower cost for the equipment, lifetime warranty without change, and software updates without charge.
Cisco Catalyst Switches are well suited to most environments. The only restriction is temperature. We have areas that are not temperature controlled. These areas can get extremely hot during the summer. We are not willing because of cost to install a high end Cisco switch in these areas.
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Rafael Gomez profile photo
June 13, 2018

Cisco, Always and Forever

Score 10 out of 10
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We use Cisco Switches throughout our entire campus. Our core switches in each of our data centers provide a solid and stable platform for our end users while creating a secure environment and easy to manage backbone for the IT department.
  • Ease of Configuration
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Boot time
  • Handling power surges
They are perfect for end nodes deployed in telecom rooms and core network points.
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Steven Peters profile photo
June 12, 2018

Catalyst Switching - 2960-X

Score 10 out of 10
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Our organization supports almost 16,000 students and over 1200 staff members across 12 campuses. As is typical for most public education providers, we have a limited budget for infrastructure. Catalyst switching, especially the 2960-X, allows us to easily manage stacks of switches in each closet for high port density, with the capability to run 10Gbps (or higher with port channels) backbone connections.
  • Single management IP per stack, one logical switch composed of several physical switches.
  • 10Gbps to the edge switches
  • Reliable - very few service interruptions due to switch failure.
  • SMARTnet can be expensive for continued support
  • Earlier version of code had a bug that impacted our environment
  • No real netflow capability
  • No SDN capability
These are great in an environment that needs a high number of access ports and 10Gbps+ backbone speeds.

The 2960-X is not really designed for SDN or network programmability. They just don’t have the horsepower to support it.
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June 13, 2018

2960 Access Switches

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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We use the 3960 switches at the access layer in user access wiring closets.
  • Supports 802.1x authentication
  • Fully compatible with ISE
  • Reliable
  • Will not support high power PoE
  • Max PoE is 30 watts and can only support 15 watts on all ports
Well suited for cost-effective access layer closets where high power PoE is not required.
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About Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches

Cisco offers the Catalyst 2960-X and XR series of campus LAN switches.
Categories:  LAN Switches

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series Switches Technical Details

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