Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches Reviews

17 Ratings
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December 11, 2020
Mark McCully | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
Our company uses multiple Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches as the network cores at our two main data centers. We have all of our core switches configured in high-availability pairs as well. We primarily use Cisco networking equipment at the core, top-of-rack, wireless, and edge routers. Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches have provided the stability, speed, scalability, and security that is demanded by our enterprise-class infrastructure. We feel very confident in the Cisco Catalyst platform, and it has been very reliable.
  • Speed, stability, and security
  • Familiar management language and interface
  • Enterprise-class WAN and LAN protocols and features
  • Not the cheapest option
  • Level-one Cisco TAC support not the best
  • Somewhat disruptive software upgrades
Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches are enterprise-class network core switches. They are not meant for small to medium size companies or satellite offices. These switches are useful to provide a highly available network backbone where all of your firewalls, edge routers, top-of-rack switches, and fabric interconnects can terminate on a scalable and secure network.
Our company's server infrastructure is 95% virtualized, so that is something that is definitely top-of-mind for us. We also have custom infrastructure build scripts that can provision Cisco Blades (ESX hosts), network segmentation, virtual load balancers, and individual virtual machines (Windows or Linux). We tap into the APIs that the Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches make available to provision resources on the core switches for different pieces of whatever infrastructure we are running as code scripts. Using automation to build out infrastructure resources allows us to turn over new environments to our application development team much faster (with less likelihood of user error or build issues).
Read Mark McCully's full review
June 12, 2020
Bart Verbaandert | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We use the Catalyst 9400 series mainly as core and distribution switches as they offer great value for a large number of 10G ports combined with high throughput. Simultaneously they offer the full suite of enterprise features needed in our environment, and also offer investment protection, as there is support for features we'll be aiming to use soon like DNA center and SDW-WAN.
  • Offer a large concentration of high speed ports, even supporting PoE.
  • Very robust switches that have a large MTBF.
  • Support all of the enterprise software requirements.
  • Can be a bit pricey compared to competition.
  • Software quality could be better (bugs), although it has improved significantly in the last year.
Very well suited for campus core switches, lots of options for connectivity. Less suited for the access layer. It can be used in a smaller datacenter as well.
We're actually still evaluating the DNA center and plan to roll it out near the end of the year. So far in the lab, it has been performing well, also in combination with the other cat9x00 switches.
Read Bart Verbaandert's full review
January 29, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches offers high availability for the network, and we avoid production issues during upgrades.
  • Switching
  • Security
  • Shop floor
  • Data center
Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches are less appropriate for industrial assets connectivity. But we appreciate the Catalyst C2960X, C6500, and other old Catalyst Series because of stability and robustness.
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November 07, 2019
Luis Castañeda | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
Switchs access, offers connectivity to end users.
  • Estabilidad // Stability
  • Throughput // Throughput
  • Disponibilidad // Availability
  • Campuses
  • Wireless
  • VPS
En campus y switchs de acceso son muy buenos, no es apropiado en áreas pequeñas por el tamaño

On campuses and for use as access switches they are very good. They are not appropriate for use in a small area because of their size.
No lo hemos aplicado en tema de virtualizacion

We haven't applied them in a virtualized setting.
Read Luis Castañeda's full review
July 09, 2019
Benjamin Salmond | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We use these switches for our Access layer switches. They can handle the amount of users and traffic we need.
  • These switches handle a full amount of users with ease, especially with dual 40G uplinks.
  • The options for power redundancy are amazing.
  • We have not had any issues with the 9400 series switches, so right now I have no notes for this.
I only work on Cisco products so I have a little bit of a bias. With that being said, I have had to work on Brocade and Juniper a few times, as well as other Firewall products, and I have found them confusing and not user-friendly. I think that the configuration of the Catalyst IOS is very straightforward and easy to teach others. For me, they are great for the access, distribution, and even core of the campus architecture, depending on the amount of traffic necessary, such as a collapsed core.
We have not put these capabilities to use yet, but are looking into whether the benefit is worth the time and effort to use this feature.
Read Benjamin Salmond's full review
December 04, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We use these 9407 switches to aggregate LAN to WAN connections and as discrete data center switches in a secure environment.
  • Fit nicely into our use case
  • Routing
  • Switching
  • Software needs improvement, where features are added (Stack wise) or removed (GLBP) without solicitation from a wider audience or depreciation, respectively
  • Software bugs recently in basic features like AAA
  • Ability to turn off all unused services or features to reduce the attack surface
  • Cisco CoPP functionality is not like it was on the Cat 6k platform - users cannot create custom policies for use at the control-plane interface
Cisco Catalyst Switches are well suited for those that enjoy software headaches and double-dipping support contracts (SmartNet and DNA Advantage). Cisco introduced the platform without clear documentation on licensing (our involvement was the onus for Cisco to create clear documentation at the cost of our time and frustration), configurations (dropping GLBP yet allowing it to be configured), features (selling us Stack Wise as replacement for GLBP) or intentions (we purchased the 9407 to replace a currently supported 6509 and literally a week or two after purchase, Cisco dropped the 9600 series as the replacement for the 6500-E series). The pains in Cisco licensing, software quality and lack of transparency in regards to hardware and features is disheartening.
We cannot even get basic features to work, so no. We would like to be able to turn off all these bells and whistles when they're not in use.
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June 05, 2019
Eric Stearns | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We use Catalyst 9400 switches at our newest hospital. They have been rock solid since the hospital opened. They are a great asset because of their redundancy and throughput that enables us to support WiFi 5 and eventually WiFi 6.
  • Dual supervisors and up to 6 power supplies keep them running continuously.
  • Multigig ports and a high throughput backplane keeps the data flowing as fast as users need.
  • Currently, only half of the uplink ports on the supervisor cards can be used. This is supposed to be remedied in a future software release.
  • Version 16.10 is full of catastrophic bugs, use another version.
They aren't cheap, and I mean that to describe both their price tag and construction quality. These aren't for small businesses, but when your enterprise needs speed and reliability Cat9k switches are for you.
Read Eric Stearns's full review
June 13, 2018
Christopher Hall | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We use them as a collapsed core design at all of our remote offices. They allow us to perform all the requirements of a medium to small office without having too many pieces of equipment. The security and management are there along with the speed.
  • Reliability - they keep going.
  • Features - no other switch can meet as many diverse needs.
  • Supportable - it’s relatively easy to find people who can setup run and operate.
  • Cost, but even as I say that I do not want quality to go down.
Not suited for the data center. I love using them in our user focused environments
We are unfortunately just getting started on this. I know the benefits will be there.
Read Christopher Hall's full review
June 17, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
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  • Catalyst 9300 Series
  • Catalyst 9400 Series
  • Catalyst 9500 Series
We previously had another vendor's switches, but they went EoS after owning them for fewer than 5 years. It was clear that Cisco was investing significant resources into their new flagship Catalyst 9000 switches and we could count on owning these switches longer than the previous switches. So we purchased a fleet of Catalyst 9300/9400 switches to replace all campus access switches. These switches have features we need such as secure dot1x ports, expandability, fault tolerance, and programmability (APIs, onboard python scripting). They also support future needs like 802.3bt, multi-gig connectivity, and fabric mode (Software Defined Access).
  • IOS-XE has a large feature set
  • Running VMs and containers on the switches
  • Hardware is reliable
  • Programmability support
  • We've run into a few bugs on IOS-XE, particularly earlier versions.
  • Many of the cool and necessary features being touted by Cisco require newer versions of IOS-XE (16.9.X and up). As of 6/15/19, the recommended MD is still 16.5.X, which we prefer to use for stability.
Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches are well suited for:
  • businesses looking to replace their campus switches and need a platform that will be around for a while.
  • businesses requiring programmability of the network devices.
  • businesses that need newer standard support such as multi-gig ethernet and 802.3bt (POE++).
  • businesses that want to use Cisco's Software Defined Access.
Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches are less suited for:
  • businesses that want the latest features but aren't willing to run the latest code non-maintenance release code.
Although we've replaced the majority of our campus access switches with Catalyst 9000s, we're still fairly new to the platform and have not used any of the newer time-saving features in production. We are currently evaluating their capability to run containers and local Python scripts.
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February 12, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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  • Catalyst 2960-L Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We use Cisco Catalyst Switches for our infrastructure and to enable our business to perform better in various aspects.
  • Fast and flexible.
  • Stability.
  • Support.
  • Security issues.
  • Cost.
  • Skill level.
If you are looking for a simple and secure solution for an IT infrastructure, you will be able to make great use of the product Cisco Catalyst Switches. The high performance and stability guarantee a good foundation for your business.
We use many virtualization solutions and the switches make it easier to implement new solutions. We can automate many things and focus on our core business. Changes can be integrated quickly and easily.
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February 05, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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We are using Catalyst Switches as the basic access through distribution to the core layer. It is our base for connecting users to the company network. In some cases, we use small versions like 2960C to the biggest once like 9400. It depends on the current needs. Sometimes we even use older ones like 3560 or 4500.
  • Stable connection to the corporate network
  • Basic security functionality with ISE
  • Uninterupted connection with full bandwidth
  • Size variations (short versions with 48 ports and full PoE)
  • Port density - for example version with 2U and 96 ports
  • Stacking over fiber optics (without dedicated cables with fixed lengths)
I simply don't use any other switches in professional usage. I prefer a homogeneous environment - especially when using other Cisco features like ISE. Deployment of 802.1X with Catalyst switches is rather simple. With a mixed environment with other vendors, it is painful. The scenario in which Catalyst Switches are not suitable is a very simple network with one or two switches - the functionalities simply are not used then.
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Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches Scorecard Summary

What is Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches?

The Catalyst 9400 Series is presented by Cisco as the next generation of the industry's most widely deployed enterprise switching platform, recognized as CRN's 2017 and 2018 Network Product of the Year. These modular access switches are built for security, IoT, and cloud. The vendor states they deliver state-of-the-art high availability, support up to 9 Tbps, provide the latest in 90-watt UPOE+, and form one of the building blocks for SD-Access, Cisco's enterprise architecture solution.
Categories:  LAN Switches

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches Competitors

HPE Networking Switches, Dell PowerConnect Switches, Ruckus ICX Switches (formerly Brocade ICX Switches)

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches?

Cisco offers the Catalyst 9400 enterprise series of LAN switches.

Who uses Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches?

The most common users of Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches are from Enterprises and the Telecommunications industry.