Reviews (1-7 of 7)
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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
- 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
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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