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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.JPEGCatalyst for the rest of usCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3650 Series,We are currently using the Catalyst series in our Core, Distribution, and Access Layer network design. It is used in the majority of the organization across multiple locations. 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. Update: 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 Documentation 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,8,Return on investment compared to a reduced time of management has improved our overalls goals on network management Being a small-mid size organization it can stretch our budget when we implement new initiatives Even those not on the network have the ability manage these devices due to documentation and IOS command structure The new stack makes the management of multiple devices quite easy. Yes I know not a new concept, but doing it well is not something all vendors can do The tools and options available naively in the Cisco IOS gives us more troubleshooting options and usually quicker than some 3rd party options.,We haven't really dived into automation nor analytics with this line, but Our VMware admins love the Cisco Discovery Protocol compatibility that is used with vCenter. They are able to to tell the network setup without having to bother the network admins. Due to the partnerships with VMware there are also other efficiencies that we could use, like the Nexus series, however I just don't have the budget nor manpower to implement.,Cisco does a fantastic job with allowing you to customize just about any feature you may need to and more. The command line interface is robust and advanced so you know that this is not a port from the web UI. We have also configured all our devices with a snmp monitor and the amount of data we get from the Cisco devices is far more superior to other vendors that we have.,Extreme Ethernet Switches,Foglight for Virtualization, PRTG Network Monitor, VMware ESXi, VMware vCenter Server,Interface management remote admin / ssh / console security,web access delegate access to lower tier support,No,8Catalyst 2960X and 3560CX ReviewCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3560-CX Series,We currently utilize a mixture of Catalyst 2960X and 3560CX switches at our edge in 42 locations throughout our county. Overall we have over 900+ catalyst switches deployed. The biggest thing they address for us is the Auto SmartPort feature that provisions edge ports based off of MAC OUI. This allows us to auto-provision end-user computers, phones, and access points without an engineer having to touch each switch to ensure proper VLANs and QoS are set up.,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.,10,They have returned engineer hours spent on manually configuring ports and resolving issues related to STP. They have also allowed end to end congruence of configurations. Each location is similar in its configuration which allows for easier manageability.,We most certainly have benefited from the automation features of the catalyst switching line. As mentioned in previous questions, we utilize the Autosmart port feature quite heavily. It has really helped our engineers regain time spent doing menial tasks such as manually assigning VLANs and QoS policies which are now handled by the Autosmart port provision feature. We have done a little bit with analytics and watching NetFlows but only in a troubleshooting scenario. It's not something that we keep an eye on all the time.,Manageability with the Catalyst switches has been pretty simple and straight forward. We utilize a multitude of tools to monitor and retrieve data from the switches for simple up/down notifications, to watching CPU load, or CPU temperature. Since the Catalyst line follows industry standards for SNMP, as long as you can find the respective MIB you can monitor pretty much anything you need to.,,Edge switching for our campus LAN environment. Ease of mangement by stacking 8 high and allowing high port density with only 1 management IP. Provides easy no-touch provisioning for end devices using AutoSmart ports.,Product Usability Product Reputation Prior Experience with the Product Vendor Reputation Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor,Number one recommendation hands down is ensure that you secure the devices from the get go. The obvious things like not using default vlans. Don't advertise CDP on edge ports. Only allow VLANs you need on your trunks rather than all vlans. Use DHCP Snooping, ARP Inspection, the list goes on and on. There are tons of best practices guides out there for hardening catalyst switches. But these are a few of the recommendations I can make right off the top of my head.,10,10,10,We did not engage in any Cisco services. We purchased the product, configured it, and installed it all ourselves. Cisco does offer a great portfolio of services, we just didn't personally have a need for any of their offerings. We have since looked at other products and used other services not directly related to Catalyst switches and have nothing but good things to say.,10,,4,We've been able to utilize the compact switches in compact environments where cooling and space are limited.,Just continue using the product to meet our needs at the edge. With the upcoming release of the Catalyst 9200 there may be some more opportunities to be innovative.,10,Yes,Honestly if we had to do it again I don't think that we'd change anything about how we evaluated and selected the product. Cisco is the gold standard leader in switching and still continues to hold a majority of the market share. We did look at other vendors during our evaluation and selection process but none of them even came close to being able to offer the usability of the catalyst line for us.,10,No - there is no facility to customize the interface,Yes - we have added extensive custom code,We didn't add anything special to our Catalyst switches other than the AutoSmart ports. The switches do offer a lot of feature sets that we don't currently utilize in our space. As mentioned in other sections of my review the Catalyst line is vast, from layer 2 switching all the way up to ISP carrier class. They really do have a switch that can fit just about any need.,Yes,No,When we first installed the Catalyst series switches at one of our high schools we were having problems with multicasting over wireless. We contacted TAC and were immediately escalated to a tier 2 engineer. The engineer spent a majority of his work day on a call with us to help us resolve the issue. By the end of the call we had resolved our initial issue as well as resolved a couple more that we didn't even know we had. The engineer went above and beyond what was expected!,Out of the box configuration is pretty straight forward using the in software setup wizard if you choose to go that route. Setting up vlans and interface policies are pretty straight forward. The CLI in general is pretty easy to navigate. Utilizing the ? feature and tab completion, you can complete just about any task with little effort.,Not neccesarily difficult but more time consuming is the the programming of the macros for AutoSmart ports. However, once configured they work quite well and will save you a lot of time in the long run. Multicast can be a bear, but the same as above, once you get it working, it's rock solid.,No,10Cisco Catalyst LAN SwitchesCatalyst 2960 X/XR Series Catalyst 3560-CX Series,The Cisco Catalyst Switch is used for many purposes in our various departments around our organizations. Each location has a multilayer switch that can do routing as well. Users LANs are able to connect to them from their distribution switches to the core switch to gain connectivity to the network or other departments. In terms of Networks, this has helped a lot,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.,10,Expansion has been made in our organization. We recently use a 24 port switch but as the company grew, we required a more robust switch Core switches are able to do MPLS to reach other locations Most switches are now 48 port and support fiber ports not only Gigabit ports,My organisation does more of voice and data . All switches in my organisatiom act as core switches and distribution switches for end users, computers and voice phones. Virtualisation and all are done on our internal servers. The organisation does not support automation as well.,All switches in the orgainsation only performs routing, Switching and VLAN Management of dhcp sessions are also done on multilayers switches but only for few sites outside the organisations.,Cisco RoutersCatalyst 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.Catalyst switches in enterprise networksCatalyst 3850 Series Catalyst 6800 Series,They are used as access and distribution switches. They are used in enterprise networks and also data centers management networks. In general, they are really stable.,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,9,They are really stable An investment for years Great support and knowledge for lots of engineers,Not really. I would like to actually.,Well, at least I have not seen that customization, they basically do what they were made to do. Regarding manageability, it is OK, a CLI would be the best option to manage them.,,Network access Data Center Core switches,Product Features Product Usability Product Reputation,Reduncay always in mind,9,10,10,Yes, for pricing. Nice recomendations,10,30,30,Basically network connectivity, maybe full rendundancy,Network connectivity,10,Yes,Network Programability,Yes,When I open a case and after so many days they realized what the issue was, it took a long while, but the tech support was patient,Relatively simple to set up,Implementing new features which are not part of the normal usage,10
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Cisco Catalyst Switches Reviews

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Cisco Catalyst Switches
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Graham Murison profile photo
January 15, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst for the rest of us"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are currently using the Catalyst series in our Core, Distribution, and Access Layer network design. It is used in the majority of the organization across multiple locations.

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.

Update:
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
  • Documentation
  • 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
Great for connecting end-user devices and inter-VLAN routing. There is a lot of configuration examples for implementing this feature. We also use single-mode fiber to connect multiple campus locations. With this, there was an issue of uni-directional link detection causing link failure. The Cisco Catalyst handled this quite well after I figure out which feature to enable (udld).

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.
Read Graham Murison's full review
Matthew Cable profile photo
January 11, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches: "Catalyst 2960X and 3560CX Review"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We currently utilize a mixture of Catalyst 2960X and 3560CX switches at our edge in 42 locations throughout our county. Overall we have over 900+ catalyst switches deployed. The biggest thing they address for us is the Auto SmartPort feature that provisions edge ports based off of MAC OUI. This allows us to auto-provision end-user computers, phones, and access points without an engineer having to touch each switch to ensure proper VLANs and QoS are set up.
  • 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.
They are best suited for edge switching applications. We do have a couple in the data center doing legacy copper VM hosts that perform ok. But edge switching is most definitely the best suited, at least in our specific situation. I know that some of the higher end catalyst switches have the ability to do layer 3 functionality, but that's not something that we've personally delved into with the catalyst line.
Read Matthew Cable's full review
Olumayowa Mosuro profile photo
January 08, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco Catalyst LAN Switches"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco Catalyst Switch is used for many purposes in our various departments around our organizations. Each location has a multilayer switch that can do routing as well. Users LANs are able to connect to them from their distribution switches to the core switch to gain connectivity to the network or other departments. In terms of Networks, this has helped a lot
  • 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.
It is easy to configure and it is very straightforward. You can segment departments on plans and also configure routing protocols well suited for the organization. Also, DHCP can also be configured but in the case of our organization, DHCP is usually configured on a Windows Server. We also use the Cisco switch to configure access control policies for security purposes
Read Olumayowa Mosuro's full review
Omar Campos profile photo
January 08, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "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.
Read Omar Campos's full review
Bryan Valverde Piedra profile photo
January 11, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst switches in enterprise networks"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
They are used as access and distribution switches. They are used in enterprise networks and also data centers management networks. In general, they are really stable.
  • 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
Enterprise networks completely
Read Bryan Valverde Piedra's full review
David Peck profile photo
January 08, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "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.
Read David Peck's full review
Manuel J Gomez profile photo
January 16, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches: "Catalyst Switch Review From HCR"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The switches provide access to our clients for day to day business objectives. They also provide PoE services for cameras, phones, and door locks.
  • 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.
These switches are installed in areas to provide client access, they are well suited for this task. In SMB environments they are a bit out of reach due to price point.
Read Manuel J Gomez's full review
bryan weaver profile photo
January 13, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst switches"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
[They're being used for] All campus and edge switches on site and at remote sites.
  • VLAN separation
  • VoIP phone systems
  • ACLs for management
  • None
Cisco Switches work very well for VoIP phone solutions as you can have both a data and voice VLAN assigned to each switch port.
Read bryan weaver's full review
Justin McDermott profile photo
January 12, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco 9000 series"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the 9000 series for ACI and SDN. That forms our core network.
  • SDN for the 9000 series.
  • Large administration base
  • Industry standard
  • Needs more constant innovation
  • Cost
With the 9000 series the SDN possibility is endless.
Read Justin McDermott's full review
Yoane Maior profile photo
January 12, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco is the tomorrow!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I've been using Cisco Catalyst for several years now and it offers a very solid networking solution that's why I even recommend them to the people in my job field. Very happy with the service provided by Cisco and also with the education (certifications) for me, Cisco is the Future.
  • 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
Data centers and small branch offices where more than 20 hosts are installed sharing multiple services.
Read Yoane Maior's full review
Gabriel Fortin profile photo
December 10, 2018

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst and Nexus"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
They are being used to configure access for users and as distribution layers for the access switches. In some cases we have these switches as core switches for buildings.
  • Aggregation points
  • Access Points
  • Core Users
  • Use stand by configuration and not the "on enter command"
These are very flexible switches that can be placed in very different places and scenarios. Depending on the traffic size you will use one or the other but it's still the best solution for switches.
Read Gabriel Fortin's full review
Luis Alberto Torres Cabrera profile photo
December 05, 2018

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "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
Greg Fuller profile photo
August 03, 2018

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst switches in higher education"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Used in our academic, administrative and residence hall buildings. We use them to connect all wireless access points and wired devices within the buildings. They provide us with 10G connectivity between data closets and 1G with UPOE out to the edge devices. Our clients want reliable dependable connectivity, and the Catalyst switches provide that for us.
  • Command line configuration is very easy to mass deploy config changes and base configurations.
  • 1x authentication
  • Segmentation
  • 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
Quick deployment of you already have a Cisco environment. We use all Cisco products with our catalyst switches (phones, switches and routers) and they all integrate.
Read Greg Fuller's full review
No photo available
January 09, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco Catalyst - the industry standard for a reason."

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The whole organization is using Cisco Catalyst equipment. Cisco provides the backbone of our network as well as all endpoint switching. Cisco equipment allows secure connectivity for all clients and systems on our network. The 3850 series switches particularly offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to both Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching.
  • 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.
If you are building an enterprise environment I absolutely recommend Cisco Catalyst. There is nothing more dependable or reliable on the market and you won't have difficulty finding engineers to support it. If you are building a small office network with low requirements, you should look at alternatives to see if you can justify the cost.
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January 08, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Fair and honest"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
They are our primary access layer switch. We use them in our distribution centers and our office buildings. We have anywhere from a single switch in some locations to stacks of up to 6 in a single node. They very effectively give us the ports needed to get our users on the network and operating.
  • 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.
If you are a Cisco shop and have the full stack of Cisco gear then Catalyst makes sense. Even if you're a multi-vendor shop these could still be the right choice depending on your specific need. I would say that if all you need is ports and nothing else then I would actually start looking at Meraki switches. They are more cost-effective for just a port but you lose many additional features that may be needed.
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December 05, 2018

Review: "Cisco Catalyst Switches - A quality product that is tough to beat!"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have used Cisco Catalyst switches since 2001. Catalyst Switches are being used for a site core stacked switching solution and for an access solution. I chose the 3750 and 3850 models to be our core switches. Their stacking capability allows additional switches to be added to the stack to expand the core as needs increase. In locations where only a single access switch is needed we chose the 3560 series, as it is a lower cost device and still provides all the capabilities of the 3750 except stacking. Both of these models accept SFP modules which we fill with fiber uplinks to interconnect.
  • 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.
I like to use Catalyst Switches for a site core stacked 3750/3850 switching solution. I use edge switching using 3560s for access and to interconnect with fiber via SFPs. This provides the lowest cost solution that can handle most traffic/environments as compared to a modular solution.
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November 12, 2018

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Next Gen Catalyst Good choices"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We're using Catalyst Switches for both access and a collapsed core solution. I find the 3850 product to be a great option for just about anything access-related. We're currently using both the 9300 and 3850 series switches as classroom access solutions. We're using them mostly for our students to connect back into our private cloud solution. They work great for this.
  • 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.
The 9300, 3850 and 3750 series switches all excel at edge switches. Living in a closet that has minimal air flow or temperature control is where these switches excel hardware wise. The low and relatively quiet operation is excellent, the StackWise capability is also a great option and improves the overall flexibility of these catalyst switches.
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.
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January 16, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco Catalyst provides a longterm stable network fabric for enterprise infrastructures."

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Cisco Catalyst 3850/9300. It provides a stable fabric for our internal network infrastructure. We always install these devices as switch stacks to ensure full redundancy on both power and the dataplane. The switch stacks can always be expanded with more interfaces as the installation grows. This can even be achieved without service windows and zero network outage.
  • 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.

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January 14, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco Catalyst from a SysAdmin perspective"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco Catalyst is used across the organization. It is used to connect buildings in different countries. Cisco Catalyst products are very reliable and they can work for years with no downtime. The company recently refreshed the old switches and routers that worked for years, but they never failed any single time. These products can be configured in so many different ways according to the business necessities and they provide very strong security protection to the valuable infrastructure.
  • 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.
  • Scalability.
  • 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.
Cisco Catalyst is well suited to interconnect branch offices across the globe. It works very well with the data and voice transmission. Something that stands out is the ability of QoS because by tuning up these settings, you can provide a very good quality of voice over IP. Using a scenario like this, it lets you cut budgets on phone bills.
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January 11, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Fair Game"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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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January 10, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "We recommend Catalyst"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Catalyst Switches for the end-user access layer of our network. They are easy to use and limit the time it takes to get users on the network. The high density they provide also simplifies how we design our access layer network.
  • Performance
  • Ease of use
  • Efficiency
  • None
They are well suited for being access layer switches as well as doing some layer 3 functions as well.
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January 10, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Enterprise Campus use of 3850 Series Switches"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
48U-L, for Layer 2 Access Switch for end users. 12 or 24XS, for Layer 3 Distribution Switch to aggregate building-level Access Switches.
  • 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.
For enterprise access and distribution, these things are great. Compared to earlier models these devices seem nothing but superior. They have been extremely reliable, as expected from Cisco.
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January 09, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Cisco Catalyst is a pretty solid choice, but is it the only one?"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are trying to follow the hardware refresh policy that Cisco is somehow enforcing. So every, 4-5 years, we change all the catalysts in the entire organization. At the moment we have mostly 3850 and just started the installation process of the new 9300. As access layer switches we use them to connect users.
  • 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 a Cisco environment, buying access switches of the same vendor is almost a must, but sometimes it could be also a good idea not be locked with one vendor only. This really depends on the company and the environment.
In general, access switches are a good fit to connect users and it's not suggested to used them for servers.
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January 09, 2019

Review: "Many, many years of experience with Cisco Catalyst Switches"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
My company has been using Catalyst Switches since I was hired 10 years ago. We use them for user access, core switching, and data center switching. In the modular series, it is easy to find and purchase any type of interface you need. These switches are extremely stable, easy to maintain and troubleshoot, and Cisco support is always available if there is an issue.
  • 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.
These switches are so versatile, they can fit into any corporate organization. In fact, there is a 12 port switch sitting on my desk for testing, and I can't even hear it. The larger modular chassis are great for distributing out to buildings with multiple floors and network closets.
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January 08, 2019

Cisco Catalyst Switches Review: "Catalyst Switches are AWESOME"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Many of our issues revolve around security or location of users. The Cisco Catalyst Switches allow us to integrate with intelligent security platforms to accomplish this goal.
  • Simple configuration
  • Effective redundancy
  • Layer 2 and Layer 3 capabilities
  • Modularity
  • Price
  • Configuration consistency
  • Well suited to campus networks and any voice-enabled network.
  • Less appropriate in data center environments.
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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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