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Cisco's Catalyst is one of that company's brand of network switches.https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/yc/hA/F0JDW2AQTDDO.JPEGCisco Catalyst Switches ReviewCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3650 Series Catalyst 3850 Series Catalyst 6800 Series Other,We use the Catalyst range as our access, distribution and internal core routing layer. This pretty much makes up the core of our campus network with recent upgrades to 10 Gig and some movement for 40 Gig within our data center. We like the idea that we have a lot of control within our layer two environment and are able to implement many security functions within our switching layer.,Spanning-Tree - The ability to handle loops and BPDU Guards is unmatched in my opinion. We heavily rely on this functionality to mitigate some layer 2 issues we sometimes face. Syslogs and SNMP - We love the detail at which we can obtain syslog information and filter based on levels. Much of our troubleshooting of faults with the detailed SNMP traps assist in mitigating issues early. L3 Switching - I love the fact that we can easily do routing and switching within the same unit, and for our internal core operations, it's perfect. High-speed port density are coupled with routing into a single unit on the larger Catalyst switches.,For the larger Catalyst 6800 and even the older 6500 switches, while Netflow is supported within the units, experience in these areas has been unsatisfying sometimes. We noticed the supervisor engines over time ramp up their CPU utilization which can cause performance issues. Perhaps take this into account and tailor your Netflow sample configurations differently for the Catalysts.,10,The switching component is always the most expensive area within any investment. It's a justification of capability and resilience over cost, so if you want to be assured of your operations, go Cisco Catalyst. The challenge is not within the actual Catalyst product line but more within the cabling infrastructure that links into the technology as well as choosing the right switch based on your scenario. This comes with experience and reading a lot of Cisco Design Guides.,We have benefited from automation, but to achieve the benefits, you need the right tools to facilitate such functions. We use Cisco Prime which meets our needs. With the Catalyst range, you won't be disappointed with the ease of integration and manageability. For example, we can simply schedule an upgrade of all switches at a given time (say 3 a.m.) and rely on Prime to execute this for us. It loads the new IOS, reloads the catalyst upon completion, and then cleans up the old image without issues. It also handles your configuration backup.,Catalyst ranges come with heaps of customization which we use, and it's totally based on feature requirements. It's difficult to explain all the customization capabilities, but we get a lot of analytics from our operations by integrating with Cisco Prime. Based on the data collected, we can anticipate congestion in our network early and start making plans for augmentation.,Dell PowerConnect SwitchesCatalyst 2960 fond adieuCatalyst 2960-L Series Catalyst 3560-CX Series,We having being using the Catalyst 2960 switches for years. They are very reliable. We use them as part of our CCNA, CCNA Security & CCNP Route course. They provide a "virtual" solution for students who can be on different routed networks.,Connect up students to the routers Cope with getting their configs regularly wiped over many years Cope with being turned on and off regularly for many years,These switches are EOL but they are still performing well. Sadly the last IOS was 15.2, so there are labs that where they can't be used for in CCNP.,5,We had a great ROI as we got most of these second hand from the IT department when they upgraded their Cisco gear to Nexus switches.,We have derived great benefits from students trying out different configurations on the switches such as: Storm Control; Port security mac address; PortFast; BPDU, Root Guard; Loop Guard; VLAN, Trunks.,Switches that are flexible!Catalyst 3850 Series Catalyst 6800 Series Catalyst 9200 Series Catalyst 9300 Series,We use Catalyst Switches internally, and we sell them as part of our solutions for our clients. We also use them as part of our LaaS consumption based offerings.,Huge amount of features and options, allowing flexibility Redundancy in power, stacking and virtualisation Rich set of software features,Often very expensive Complex for new users,10,Total cost of ownership is usually lower due to the availability of skills in the market, reliability, and lifespan.,Our organisation has not leveraged these features yet.,We manage large volumes of Cisco Switches for our clients, using both Cisco and third-party tools. Cisco’s standards-based approach makes this possible.,HPE Aruba Ethernet Switches, HPE Networking Switches and Juniper Ethernet SwitchesCisco 2960X switch - reliable and powerful enterprise accessCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series,Cisco Catalyst Switches are stable, reliable and feature rich. They allow easy expansion with stacking and enabling of advanced features when required.,Wired 802.1x just works, which increases security Stacking greatly simplifies network management and design PoE lets you power phones, Access Points, etc.,Boot time of a stack could be improved Stacking cables are thick and heavy with a large bend radius Configuration wizard for standard installs would be good (without requiring Prime),10,Feature future proofing with software updates. Proven and reliable with excellent uptime. Fits in most racks, even small comms racks.,The 2960 is more aimed towards an enterprise access switch in a typical 3 tier network design with layer 2 edge.,Switch stacking greatly simplifies the management of multiple physical switches at one, logical device. The design is also simplified as port channels can be created to other devices for active uplinks instead of having blocked links with STP.,Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series SwitchesThe Pros and Bugs of Cisco SwitchesCatalyst 3850 Series,Cisco 3850's are being used at all levels of my organization. We use them for our access layer switches and also at some locations to do MPLS or for more advanced layer 3 capability. We have some 3850's running as the core of some locations as well since these switches are so versatile in functionality.,Cisco 3850s are well supported throughout the industry Cisco 3850s have some really nice features that can be leveraged for enhanced functionality Cisco 3850s have a decent reliability track record (more on this later),Cisco 3850s code upgrades have introduced many bugs in the last 2-3 years that have caused some downtime and other issues at our organization Cisco pricing and SMARTnet contracts can be very confusing, especially on 3850s PoE on 3850s have been less than reliable in the past few years,7,I believe our Cisco gear has mostly had a good impact on our ROI, as downtime is still manageable and most switches do a decent job at staying up and running for many years. A 3850 (now 9300) can cost upwards of $8,000, so please plan ahead as these can have a negative impact on capital budgets. However, going cheap on switches has never paid off in the long run.,We are currently still in the early stages of planning for a Cisco DNA implementation. Our gear currently supports it, we just have to invest the time in setting up the automation as it does not magically set itself up as some people would lead you to believe. There is definitely a learning curve and lots of work to be done by actual humans before you can automate deployments, switch replacements, etc.,Our organization does indeed benefit from Cisco's ability to bake in a lot of functionality into their products. Need some layer 3 functionality at a location with a 3850? Pay Cisco some money and activate that IP services license! Boom, now you have layer 3 without buying another piece of equipment. This alone makes Cisco a very attractive product for a lot of companies.
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Cisco Catalyst Switches
244 Ratings
Score 8.7 out of 101
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Cisco Catalyst Switches Reviews

Cisco Catalyst Switches
244 Ratings
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Score 8.7 out of 101
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Edwin Sandys profile photo
March 06, 2019

"Cisco Catalyst Switches Review"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the Catalyst range as our access, distribution and internal core routing layer. This pretty much makes up the core of our campus network with recent upgrades to 10 Gig and some movement for 40 Gig within our data center.

We like the idea that we have a lot of control within our layer two environment and are able to implement many security functions within our switching layer.
  • Spanning-Tree - The ability to handle loops and BPDU Guards is unmatched in my opinion. We heavily rely on this functionality to mitigate some layer 2 issues we sometimes face.
  • Syslogs and SNMP - We love the detail at which we can obtain syslog information and filter based on levels. Much of our troubleshooting of faults with the detailed SNMP traps assist in mitigating issues early.
  • L3 Switching - I love the fact that we can easily do routing and switching within the same unit, and for our internal core operations, it's perfect. High-speed port density are coupled with routing into a single unit on the larger Catalyst switches.
  • For the larger Catalyst 6800 and even the older 6500 switches, while Netflow is supported within the units, experience in these areas has been unsatisfying sometimes. We noticed the supervisor engines over time ramp up their CPU utilization which can cause performance issues. Perhaps take this into account and tailor your Netflow sample configurations differently for the Catalysts.
Let's put it this way - when is a catalyst switch not required!? In essence, the challenge is not justifying whether Catalyst Switches is the right path because we all know it's the better choice. It's a matter of which model is the right choice based on your scenario.

But making the choice of which model to place at which point is not always easy, even with the "Help Me Choose" option that Cisco offers. Always look at the datasheets and understand what you require, then make the selection before consulting with your Cisco account manager.

For the access layer, go with Cisco 2960X with the 10 Gig Fiber Uplinks. If you have multiple switches within the same rack, add on the stacking feature. Get these access layer switches to aggregate into some of the Cisco 3850s or more as your distribution nodes before finally linking into the larger Catalyst 6800 or the newer 9500.
Read Edwin Sandys's full review
Peter Mckenzie profile photo
March 05, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst 2960 fond adieu"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We having being using the Catalyst 2960 switches for years. They are very reliable. We use them as part of our CCNA, CCNA Security & CCNP Route course. They provide a "virtual" solution for students who can be on different routed networks.
  • Connect up students to the routers
  • Cope with getting their configs regularly wiped over many years
  • Cope with being turned on and off regularly for many years
  • These switches are EOL but they are still performing well. Sadly the last IOS was 15.2, so there are labs that where they can't be used for in CCNP.
These switches as mentioned are great in student labs, handle being turned on and off connected and reconnected, programmed and deprogrammed.
Read Peter Mckenzie's full review
Daniel Hosking profile photo
March 07, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Switches that are flexible!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
We use Catalyst Switches internally, and we sell them as part of our solutions for our clients. We also use them as part of our LaaS consumption based offerings.
  • Huge amount of features and options, allowing flexibility
  • Redundancy in power, stacking and virtualisation
  • Rich set of software features
  • Often very expensive
  • Complex for new users
Cisco Switches are great where there is a unique requirement, such as in health for end to end QoS, security and redundancy.
Read Daniel Hosking's full review
Darren Hosking profile photo
March 07, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco 2960X switch - reliable and powerful enterprise access"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco Catalyst Switches are stable, reliable and feature rich. They allow easy expansion with stacking and enabling of advanced features when required.
  • Wired 802.1x just works, which increases security
  • Stacking greatly simplifies network management and design
  • PoE lets you power phones, Access Points, etc.
  • Boot time of a stack could be improved
  • Stacking cables are thick and heavy with a large bend radius
  • Configuration wizard for standard installs would be good (without requiring Prime)
Well suited in environments requiring advanced features and security and small to large enterprises with a dedicated communications room. Switches can be noisy
Read Darren Hosking's full review
No photo available
March 07, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "The Pros and Bugs of Cisco Switches"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3850's are being used at all levels of my organization. We use them for our access layer switches and also at some locations to do MPLS or for more advanced layer 3 capability. We have some 3850's running as the core of some locations as well since these switches are so versatile in functionality.
  • Cisco 3850s are well supported throughout the industry
  • Cisco 3850s have some really nice features that can be leveraged for enhanced functionality
  • Cisco 3850s have a decent reliability track record (more on this later)
  • Cisco 3850s code upgrades have introduced many bugs in the last 2-3 years that have caused some downtime and other issues at our organization
  • Cisco pricing and SMARTnet contracts can be very confusing, especially on 3850s
  • PoE on 3850s have been less than reliable in the past few years
I think Cisco 3850's and their other Catalyst layer 2/3 switches are best suited for large organizations that are willing to deal with bugs in code updates when they are trying to use the more advanced functions provided by Cisco. These functions make this essentially a layer 3 device that can be very convenient to leverage in a larger enterprise, but also introduce issues that can affect your organization. We have had issues that were supposed to be corrected in code upgrades, only to have other issues introduced once upgraded. This can be very frustrating in an environment that is 24/7 or requires no downtime.
Read this authenticated review
No photo available
March 07, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Great Product"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
These are excellent access and core layer switches for the campus network. They make the deployment of a campus so simple with a high level of features available.
  • Campus core switching
  • Campus access switching
  • Campus routing handling default routes and Switched Virtual Interfaces (SVI)
  • Rolling software updates with no downtime
  • More integration with the WAN
  • A simplified ui for non technical users
Campus switching and routing - I would always deploy a Cisco Catalyst Switch if I could. I would prefer a Cisco Nexus switch for the data centre.
Read this authenticated review
MOHAMMED ALQISHAWI profile photo
January 26, 2018

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Great product"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use it as core switching for data center and all remote locations.
  • Very easy to manage
  • Hardcore equipment
  • Can stack as many switches as I want
  • Web GUI
Cisco switches and routers can be used anywhere.
Read MOHAMMED ALQISHAWI's full review

Cisco Catalyst Switches Scorecard Summary

About Cisco Catalyst Switches

The Cisco Catalyst family of switches includes enterprise LAN access, distribution, and core switches. The vendor says the switches are designed for an entirely new era of intent-based networking, deliver stellar performance and functionality, and prepare your network for the future with breakthrough innovations for security, mobility, IoT, and the cloud.

Cisco Catalyst switches offer advanced security capabilities, scale for IoT, and cloud readiness.

Cisco aims to transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Cisco and its valued partners sell Cisco hardware, software, and services to businesses of all sizes, governments, service providers, and consumers.


Categories:  LAN Switches

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