Reviews (1-25 of 58)
We were looking to segment our network as we transitioned from a small organization to a larger one. It allowed us to get a better understanding of the needs of our end users, implement appropriate security mechanisms and make network management easier.
Our newest scope for re-design is to stack several devices and allow even easier management and reduce the need for loop detection mechanisms.
We just deployed the a couple Catalyst 3650 Stackwise-160 and the migration was almost flawless from the 3560-x series (standalone). The only issue is that we are experiencing a LACP etherchannel which will explain more further down. We have replaced all our HP access layer switches with the 2960-X POE.
- Management and administration
- Integration with the rest of Cisco's product lines
- Community support
- Hardware design and layout
- Price. There are competitors that provide similar service levels at the most reasonable prices.
- The innovation of emerging technology in areas of network management and integration.
- Model numbers can be confusing when wanting to find exactly what you need.
- Cisco IOS feature sets are even more confusing than the model numbers
- Be ware of IOS bug(s) that could affect your infrastructure. But every vendor will have them
Beware to fully research potential bugs in the Cisco IOS you are deploying. I missed one with etherchannel and it caused me a 30 minute headache.
- Stack up to 8 high providing high port density with a single managed IP address
- Autosmart ports allow zero touch provisioning of edge connected devices
- IOS commands are congruent amongst most models (Obviously different features available for different products)
- My only complain is the boot time for a stack. Just more of an education thing to end users than a nuisance. Letting them know it may be 5-10 minutes before connectivity is restored in the event of a power loss.
- Connects various switches via trunks for network accessibility to departments
- Ability to do routing network packets
- VLANS for departments have been created successfully
- Servers, printer and PCs have been able to connect to the each other via the Cisco Switch
- It is quite expensive. Most Cisco switches are not cheap and organizations usually focus on Cisco certifications especially the CCIE for cost reduction.
- 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?
- Access switches
- Colapse Core switch
- Many redundancy functions, depending on the model, there are stacks, VSS, even working separately provide L3 redundancy with HSRP for example
- Maybe interference speed, the highest I have seen is 10Gbps. Nexus is working in 40 Gbps and even 100 Gbps
- 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
- Provide access to end users
- Easily configurable for basic needs
- Allow devices to be powered via Ethernet
- Price point on a perpetual licensed model is high compared across the industry.
- Licensing model is getting better with Smart Licenses however not all devices support this.
- Even though it´s not safe to have an old equipment running on an infrastructure due to security reasons, Cisco equipment mostly runs forever...
- Catalyst Switches provides a business class solution when it comes to reliability, performance and technical support.
- Vlan management, STP, Storm control, jumbo frames, arp
- VTP, IP routing, VLSM
- CLI, Ssh v2, CNA
- They're expensive!
- They're noisy.
- They're hard to find in other countries like Africa
- Licenses management are hard to understand
- Licenses are very expensive
- Command line configuration is very easy to mass deploy config changes and base configurations.
- 1x authentication
- All bugs publically available and not hidden behind Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for "internal" bug id
- Longevity of recent IOS software releases
- Adding new features to older stable tested trusted software code
- Reliable as hell - rock solid switches. Once configured, we rarely think about them.
- Excellent support - Smartnet support may be expensive, downtime costs more.
- Industry standard - hiring technicians that are proficient with Cisco is easy - not the case for other vendors.
- Cisco should consider lowering their cost. Competitors are becoming more reliable and are far less expensive.
- They are port dense enough to allow us to deploy an easy to manage number of devices while still meeting the needs of the building.
- Easy to manage. The Catalyst switch and the IOS software inside have been great. We have hit a few small bugs and issues in the software but a quick update later they are running strong.
- The hardware is very stable. I have only had one or two switches that had hardware issues in the 17+ years of using all kinds of different models. I cannot say that about all networking gear.
- Power supplies, I have had many power supplies go bad over the years. They are hot swap-able (if you have the redundant power or power stack) and easily replaced but there have been a lot of bad ones.
- Power over ethernet has been an issue a couple of times. Since I use these as access layer I have lots of utilization via phones, laptops, cameras, other devices. I have ran into power issues where I was consuming more POE than the switch could handle several times.
- We chose Cisco Catalyst because it was the industry standard when we first entered the switched network arena back on 2001. Many network admins had a good working knowledge of this product, so finding programming and installation experience was easy.
- Cisco Catalysts are extremely dependable. I still have some original C3548XL’s from 2001 that are still functioning. Most times we have only replaced them because needs changed and we needed more ports or needed the ability to have layer 3 capability.
- Catalysts offer a good level of security and are easy to customize ports for specific needs.
- I still like the CLI interface as I have used it for years, but the browser based interface makes it easy for the network techs to do basic checks, etc. when they need to enable ports, look into a port lockout, etc.
- Price point has always been higher and a concern as compared to other products.
- Ongoing support costs are also pricey, but if you have a large enough quantity installed, you can purchase a couple of spares and self-insure at a lower cost.
- They're dependable, I've been working with a wide variety of Catalyst Switches, specifically 3750 and 3850 series for 8+ years. Only once have I encountered an issue with the hardware.
- Layer 2 Access control, as well as the ability to handle closet routing, should the need arise. The versatility of this line of Switches is outstanding. From POE to VoIP solutions the 3850 line provides it all.
- The new generation of 9300 and 9500 Switches promise much much more, we've only been using them for a few months in-house and have yet to implement the SDA architecture. However the North and South bound API'S included with this OS are very robust and pretty awesome.
- The CLI is a bit of a legacy. Maybe a revamp of this portion.
- More robust out of the gate routing capabilities. Stop license gating features. For the 3850 series perhaps adding a more robust API as well.
Also, the remote management capabilities of both the 9300 and 3850 when coupled with ISE or even the new SDA Architecture further enhances the feature-rich access switch that is the Catalyst series.
Where these switches in my opinion have no place is the data center, their latency tolerances are to low, buffers to small, and layer 3 capabilities to lacking with out substantial licenses. Because of this they also have limited use cases inside of a core solution, the 4500 series and the 9500 series are where i would look for the needs of a core solution.
Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco Catalyst provides a longterm stable network fabric for enterprise infrastructures."
- The device profile can be modified by installed a new license, e.g. introducing new routing protocols and advanced features.
- Features such as stackwise and power stacking makes the devices very modular and customizable.
- Hardware is very mature and provides years of stable operation.
- Software is constantly updated and supported.
- The hardware is reasonably priced, however the licenses can be a surprise on the initial investment budget.
- Leadtimes are often quite long.
- Global list prices seems inflated and unrealistic.
Cisco is very capable of long term stable enterprise operation. Combined with Cisco's Smart Net Total Care its a very capable setup, which can be back fully operational within hours, in case of a major breakdown.
Due to the price, most of the Cisco Catalyst Switches aren't relevant for consumer installations in private homes.
- It comes with the latest routing protocols out in the market and they include proprietary protocols which are very good.
- Encryption is good. No sensitive information is running unprotected.
- Reliability. Products can work for years with no downtime.
- Price. They are expensive devices.
- Cisco develops so many products that sometimes it's hard to catch up.
- Configuring these devices require a high level of preparation.
- port security
- IOS update
- SNMP / monitoring setup
- TACACS / RADIUS setup
- chassis aggregation
- enable BPDU guard by default
- reassign logical interface numbers when renumbering switches in a stack
- reduce noise
- Layer 3 Distribution
- Layer 2 Access
- Rich Feature Set: Flexible NetFlow, MPLS, Multicast, Built-in Wireshark
- StackWise Logical Stacking
- These switches have the ability to do Wireless and act as a WLC, but the feature set is extremely lacking.
- Stacking is quite good and starting with the 3850 the connections at 480Gbs. In INSTALL mode, with a couple of commands, you can upgrade the entire stack.
- Port security is quite easy and customizable. Together with DHCP snooping and dynamic ARP inspection, you can guarantee a good level of security
- Usually they are pretty stable if they are running a basic configuration. We haven't have any hardware issues with 3850 in years.
- Bugs. Cisco (but also other vendors) is not exempt from bugs. Sometimes they can be quite frustrating, and also create serious issues to users
- The price is still too high, even if the new 9300 has the same price as the 3850. With 3850, to get to the L3 license from the L2, the price is just ridiculous
- Sometimes waiting 6 weeks for a switch is too much. They can definitely improve the shipment time.
In general, access switches are a good fit to connect users and it's not suggested to used them for servers.
- Support for several types of interfaces on a single chassis.
- Hardware and software stability. We have some switches on our network that are at least 15 years old.
- Ease of implementation and software upgrades.
- The price point for some of the modular products, particularly in the 6500 series chassis makes it difficult for some companies to implement. So, competitors sometimes "win" because Cisco is just too expensive.
- Well suited to campus networks and any voice-enabled network.
- Less appropriate in data center environments.
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.
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