Cisco Catalyst Switches Reviews

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December 15, 2020
humberto martinez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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We have dedicated [Cisco] Catalyst Switches handling the connection of our ESX hosts and SANs to the network, it manages all the traffic from our VMs to the core switch and to the end users.
  • They are reliable, i have never seen a catalyst switch fail
  • They do what they are suppose to do, they are reliable and easy to setup
  • Lots of resources available: vendors, professional services, training
  • Some of them does not offer power supply redundancy
  • Web interface is not the best, you need to use cli
  • They are not easy / cheap to stack
[Cisco] Catalyst Switches are not cheap so they are great option if you have enough budget, also your network administrators will need deep technical knowledge (Cisco offers a wide range of technical resources though) but if you want to have a less specialized team you may want to check other options like Meraki (other high profile Cisco products)
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December 13, 2020
Andrew Yudin, MBA/CCNP | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Switches are being used throughout all of our data centers globally. From 100 megabit all the way to 40 Gigabit these switches are workhorses that move all of our data traffic within and across data centers. These switches are capable of providing incredibly reliable and fast connectivity while offering great performance.
  • Great performance. Incredibly fast and reliable.
  • Automation. Template based, programmable pipeline.
  • Scalable and highly redundant.
  • Better cloud integration
  • More automation features
  • Better compatibility with ACI
[Cisco Catalyst Switches] are well suited in the Enterprise data center environments such as Telco providers, offering up to 32x 100-Gigabit ports for backbone connectivity. The higher-end models such as Catalyst 9500 is less appropriate for a small or medium network.
Read Andrew Yudin, MBA/CCNP's full review
December 13, 2020
Dustin Reeves | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 2960-L Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9200 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
  • Catalyst 9500 Series
  • Catalyst 2960-L Smart Managed
  • CATALYST 3850
    • Utilizing the layer3 routing functions to have both our router/switch converged into one platform
    • VLANS
    • BGP
    • EIGRP
    • LAYER3
    • LAYER2
    • MULTICAST
    • MULTICAST WITH AV
  • 2960
    • Using them as strictly LAYER2 devices with layer3 ip mgmt and ip vlans only
    • Simplicity / scalability (stacking) @ remote locations where simple switching is only thing that is needed, and some intervlan routing.
  • 9500 series @ datacenter
    • 40gbit throughput is huge for us.
    • Layer3/Layer2 functionality really helps us in the datacenter space with these switches
  • VLANS
  • LAYER3
  • EIGRP
  • BGP
  • DYNAMIC ROUTING
  • MULTICAST
  • STP
  • STORM CONTROL
  • ACL
  • 3RD PARTY SFP TRANSCIEVERS
  • SUPPORT
  • TAC
  • Campus deployment is where cisco catalyst switches REALLY thrive
  • Satellite locations that dont require a lot of config and really good templating makes these switches great to push out a standard config and run.
  • Anywhere you need to put a switch that requires HIGH PORT DENSITY cisco catalyst stacking really shines
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December 10, 2020
Tom Shepherd | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3650 Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9200 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
  • Catalyst 9400 Series
  • Catalyst 9500 Series
We are using [Cisco[ Catalyst Switches for Core, TOR and Edge switching. We also have a selection of older switches that we use for testing and training purposes. The switches provide high performance and resilient network for our servers and user access. A reliable and well performing network is the backbone of any good IT system.
  • Configuration - Its very well documented and easy to understand
  • Reliable - The hardware rarely fails and support is good
  • There is lots of diversity in the product range
  • The CLI is great for seasoned pros, but daunting for new users
  • Cost, they are not known for their affordability
I would always highly recommend a Cisco Catalyst Switch to a colleague or a customer and they are well known and some of the best in the business, normally the reason an alternative is suggested or used is down to price. Another benefit is using storage and switches from the same vendor which makes support calls easier.
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December 09, 2020
Curt Sminkey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 2960-L Series
  • Catalyst 3650 Series
[Cisco Catalyst Switches] provide network access to just about every end-user network device - a PoE VoIP phone, a computer, security IP camera, ETC. They are in our main data center, MDF's and IDF's in all of our buildings throughout the company. Without them, our business would not be able to function as it does now.
  • They are extremely stable and reliable
  • Extremely easy to manage once you are familiar with Cisco IOS
  • They are probably on the higher end as far as costs
  • Some IOS firmware upgrades can get a bit hairy
I honestly can't imaging not using Cisco Catalyst Switches. I've used them exclusively in the last 4 places where I have worked. Yes, the can be pricey as compared to other vendors. We've found at places where we have no IT support, such as smaller remote offices, Cisco Meraki switches do become a good option as they are much easier to manage remotely.
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December 09, 2020
Brian O'Connor | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
We utilize the [Cisco] Catalyst Series Switches in 4 IDFs and our MDF. We are using QoS for our VoIP infrastructure as many VLAN features to segregate the traffic on the network. We are running 12 VLANs for multiple purposes, as well as video surveillance. We haven't had any issues with performance with layer 1.

Being able to investigate the ARP table easily to determine port mapping is also a great feature.
  • VLAN Security
  • QoS
  • Port Blocking
  • Contract Cost
  • Integration of more models with Cisco Network Assistant
[Cisco Catalyst] Switches work excellent when you have a Cisco VoIP solution because of automatic VLAN tagging with the IP phones. We've deployed phones in another network with using Catalyst switches, and the implementation time is increased because of some manual configuration. I think these switches are well suite for medium to large business, but a small business may not want to make the investment of contract pricing and configuration expertise.
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December 07, 2020
Claudio Hoffer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
Cisco Catalyst Switches are the most reliable switches we used for many years. From a security standpoint to it's invaluable reliability, Cisco always deliver more than expected. We needed to minimize data transfer problems, excellent technical support and a well known interface. The Catalyst series give us a greater peace of mind.
  • Easy to use and well known interface
  • Solid security features
  • Better control over traffic than other brands
  • Aesthetics! The housing looks the same since the 90s
  • Cpu usage seems too high when used in distribution layer
  • Free trainings to better train non Cisco Certified users.
It is all about budget. Cisco Catalyst Switches are affordable priced switches that will exceed your company needs and expectations. Install them, configure and they will work almost without intervention. I think they could be less appropriate for organizations without an Network specialist on site. There are other Cisco Series that cover this situations better.
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December 05, 2020
John Jacob | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 2960-L Series
  • Catalyst 3650 Series
  • Catalyst 9200 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
They are the standard base structure for our station and Data Center networks. We are able to route and manage the network easily, creating VLANs and routing priorities, QoS and general data management such as permit or deny multicast.
  • Layer 2 and 3 routing in particular with the CAT 9200 and 9300 series
  • VLAN management
  • Standardization of SNMP data for monitoring
  • Security
  • Generally last well beyond the expected life of the devices.
  • Licensing can be difficult
  • The basic archetectural design could use some impovement. Get rid of the concept of a new box and just purchase modules that can repopulate the case. Saves them money that can be passed on to the purchaser, not to meantion recycling.
  • Having to dig for this last one. Boot time is a little excessive.
We have a spread out environment of numerous remote locations across the United States. Standardization is critical to keep communication flowing easily and to accommodate the rapid changes our environment often requires. The [Cisco] Catalyst Switches have the memory and resources to handle the Core and Managed switching functions in these locations, that are in a cost range that can be justified.
In the Data Centers the Catalyst server well enough for the edge and fringe managed switches but the Core functions require a little more robust power that we get from the Nexus 9000 series.
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December 14, 2020
abdulai-fadiga ccnp | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3650 Series
In my organization, Cisco Catalyst Switches are at the core of L2 and L3 communication. At Layer2 we use the switches to interconnect all of the access-layer devices including PCs, IP phones, printers, etc. One of the main advantages of these switches is their POE feature set, which allows us to save hugely on power costs. We also have a pair of redundant Cisco Catalyst Switches serving as our OSPF backbone, this pair of switches is used to terminate all connections coming in from branch locations around the country, enabling stable communications throughout the company.
  • One thing that is fascinating about Cisco Catalyst Switches is that they really do last
  • The CLI configurations is fun once you get used to it
  • It's effective in securing access layer devices with ACLs
  • The IOS is very stable and can be trusted
  • Overall cost--Cisco licenses are expensive
  • They could bring some uniformity to the design for ease of integration
  • The command line is very complex if you're not familiar with it
Cisco Catalyst Switches are best suited for the core of enterprise networks. This is because of the stability in design. These switches have also proven to be very efficient at handling throughput. Cisco Catalyst Switches are also very well suited for the enterprise access layer because of their efficient VLAN segmentation and access control methods. Although these are very powerful switches, they are not well suited for data centers, in part because of their limitations in features and flexibility.
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December 10, 2020
Robert Rogers | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 9200 Series
We have a large campus and these Cisco Catalyst Switches are extremely reliable and are used in various environments from server rooms to maintenance garages. Their failure rate is extremely low and that helps with our tight budgets. They are an industry standard so it is quick to get new support staff up tp speed.
  • Solid performance, even with questionable wiring.
  • Great reliability; I had a switch that had a AC unit dripping on it for weeks before it failed.
  • Stacking allows greater backbone bandwidth between switches.
  • More or expandable flash storage.
  • Faster software bug fixes.
  • Ordering process is cumbersome.
They are great where you need to segment your network or apply quality of service or stack for a large number of devices. Using them in a small network would constitute overkill. They are a bit noisy, so I would not put them in an office space the requires low noise.
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December 08, 2020
Derek Benson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 3560-CX Series
  • Catalyst 3650 Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
Cisco Catalyst Switches have been a staple in many organizations I have been at. They are a great switch for your access layer that is easily expandable as needed with Stackwise cables. In addition, there are many versions of the Cisco Catalyst Switches line with varying port capacities and port types, so there is something for everyone. At my current company we use these switches to form our access layer.
  • Very granular configuration available; IOS of all flavors; is still the tried and true switch/router OS
  • Cisco Catalyst Switches are resilient; while probably not best practice, we have switches that have been running for years.
  • A lot of options available in switches (copper to fiber ratio)
  • As with most to all Cisco products, there is little room for just anyone to rack and stack the device and start setting it up; it is going to take someone with some training and experience, of course. This might make any IOS product (Catalyst or otherwise) not as accessible to smaller businesses without the IT resources or without getting consultants/outside help involved
  • Sometimes Cisco documentation/support/tehcnical docs are a bit heavy and become difficult to navigate, much like Microsoft and probably any technical giant. There is just a ton of information that can be hard to go through without ending up in the weeds.
  • Contacting support can be slow at times and sometimes language barriers make troubleshooting slow.
Fantastic series of switches for a small to large corporate environment in an access layer deployment. For any core layer needs, I would look toward the Cisco Nexus series. For businesses without the IT staff to configure and support them (which therefore probably don't have much use for VLANs, advanced routing, etc.), I would advise smaller businesses to steer more toward something over the counter.
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December 05, 2020
Diego Gamez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
  • Catalyst 2960-L Series
  • Catalyst 3560-CX Series
  • Catalyst 3650 Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 6800 Series
For our organization, Cisco Catalyst has helped us a lot to segment in a logical way and increase the policies of access to the network, being able to complete the segmentation at a physical and logical level of all the departments of the corporation has been an achievement thanks to this product.
  • Network segmentation
  • Port security
  • VLAN segmentation
  • Network access
  • GUI administration
  • SSH interface
  • Web security administration
The Catalyst Cisco equipment complies with everything related to an Enterprise Switch; they provide access to the corporation quickly and safely, but the most remarkable thing is that they are very solid. I have had almost no incident regarding some physical failure with the equipment.
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December 04, 2020
Thomas Osborne | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9300 Series
We use the Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches in our business as access-layer switches and for some of our smaller offices as core switches. The Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches are a great solution. We also have Cisco DNAC, which we use to manage these switches, though we also manage some of these individually. We like stacking the 9300s for reliability.
  • Switching
  • L3 Gateway
  • EtherChannels
  • Cost
  • Too new, potential issues
  • Potential bugs due to how new they are
These Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches are great in situations that you wish to have good reliable switches. They integrate very well with Cisco ISE as well as DNA Center. They're a bit costly, so having these in a small office/home office scenario might not be realistic. They are very overpowered, it seems, and a market leader for everyday enterprise switching.
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December 03, 2020
Ryhlen Schoeberl | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3850 Series
We are using Cisco Catalyst Switches to provide network access to our managed server network where we house our hosted servers and equipment. We are able to then use our ASA firewall to prevent our hosted servers from communicating with each other and back to our corporate network by limiting access by a couple IPs to that network.
  • Able to have a failover setup
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Great support
  • Can be pricey
Cisco Catalyst Switches are great for L2 routing and stacking for redundancy in the network. They also communicate with our UCS setup and have never had any issues with the setup. I would not use the 3850 as a core router. The only potential issue I see is that they are coming to end of SW support next year and end of support is in 2025.
We rarely have issues with the product. I have only had to contact support one time since we put it in and that was to see if another vendor was giving me accurate information on an issue I was having.
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December 07, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3650 Series
Cisco Catalyst Switches are the backbone of our infrastructure. We depend on these for connecting servers and storage on our virtualization platform. They are an industry standard and our engineers are able to support them easily. You will know the hardware support on the server and storage will easily handle the workload.
  • They are dependable
  • Sends traffic efficiently
  • Monitored easily
  • Vendor support can be difficult
  • Pricing can be high without buying in volume
  • Resellers can be difficult to negotiate with
We use the [Cisco] Catalyst Switches in production where they work wonderfully. The support contracts can be pricey so we often use lower end models in our lab environments. We do not have heavy workloads so do not push these switches to their limits. For our environment they are great. Reliable and easily supported.
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December 05, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3560-CX Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
We use both the 3850 and 3560-CX switches as endpoint switches and cores for remote locations. Due to the nature of construction, uptime and quick deployment are some of our highest priorities. We deploy these for our remote locations connect via microwave link. In many of these places dynamic routing is required to ensure uptime is maintained, even if a power outage occurs at one of the other locations.
  • Switching/Routing
  • Stability
  • High tolerance to environmental conditions
  • Cost!
  • Physical size
  • Flexibility with port types
[Cisco Catalyst Switches] are excellent devices for areas you would like to deploy and never have to look at again. They are rock solid and can operate in many different environments. Dusty, cold, hot - you name it - these run through anything. They work particularly well in our locations that require multiple paths back to the data centre.
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December 15, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 6800 Series
Overall, the majority of our switching is being handled by the different models of Cisco Catalyst Switches. About 2 years ago we were tasked with upgrading our central/core switch. This project was meant to solve the problem of having a strong network core that has some built-in redundancies.
  • Compact (as far as core switches go) but with lots of expansion options.
  • Typical good Cisco hardware quality.
  • A strong Support team (Cisco TAC) to stand behind the device.
  • The disparate expansions and plugins can be hard to mange license-wise.
  • The costs for a fully loaded Catalyst core switch is massive.
  • Doing upgrades and patches can be a major project.
Absolutely the longest-running devices that we manage. Typically we can let a switch run for years without it needing to be rebooted or serviced. In fact, sometimes parts go bad in it but the problem doesn't exhibit itself until the device is hard reset. That's pretty outstanding and makes it easy to recommend to anyone.
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December 15, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960-L Series
  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
The different models of Cisco Catalyst Switches service different features of our company. The 9300 is our core system, where we utilize the VXLAN feature between numerous sites. The 3850 and 2960 are used in multiple locations for L2 transport. The 3850 gives us the ability to use L2 and L3 functionality where needed.
  • VXLAN gives us the ability to present the same environment over a L3 connection
  • L2 traffic
  • L3 traffic in the retail locations to cut back on the amount of equipment needed
  • Cost is always an issue
  • DNA licensing required when not needed
  • Command line interface
Cisco Catalyst Switches have been most useful for the VXLAN feature. For those unfamiliar with VXLAN, this is virtual extensible LAN. In most causes people use this in a central location among several sections making the environment look like one. In our case, we utilized it over an L3 connection between buildings 10+ miles apart with multiple 9300s. This was built to give us a true DR hot site.
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December 14, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3560-CX Series
  • Catalyst 3650 Series
At our organization we are using Cisco Catalyst Switches (mostly 3560s and 3650s, both the regular and X models) for our main switching backbone for the network. We chose these because they are known industrywide as the top-end switches. They have that reputation because they are rock solid and work for years without needing to be serviced.
  • Absolutely solid switches that run for years
  • Cisco TAC (Support) is fantastic and knowledgeable
  • Compatible with the majority of connected devices
  • Cisco is always going to be toward the top price wise
  • Could use more intuitive GUI for newer users not used to command line
  • More accessories could be included
I am very likely to recommend Cisco Catalyst Switches to pretty much any company that has computers to connect to their network. There is a large range of Catalyst devices that can fit into almost any network. Of course you're going to pay for that privilege, but you can be comfortable knowing you have a product that will last a long time.
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December 11, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9400 Series
We have three office locations and we use Cisco Catalyst 4507 Switches at all three locations. They are extremely reliable, have double supervisors (for failover), a dual power supply, and room for 4-5 switch-blades. We have had them for about four years now and had no issues with them at all. Cisco SMARTnet support is great - fast response and solution. We have multiple VLANs setup. The Cisco Catalyst switches are rock solid.
  • Dual supervisor, dual power for resiliency.
  • Ease of changing out switch blades.
  • Network segregation abilities.
  • High network bandwidth.
  • Software updates and patching.
  • GUI can be improved.
Cisco Catalyst Switches are ideal for organizations of all sizes, who are looking to get a reliable network core switch. They are incredibly robust and well built. They have low maintenance and can easily be administered. They can definitely improve on faster security patching and deployment. I would highly recommend getting SMARTnet Total Care setup.
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December 10, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 3850 Series
Cisco is a leader in the networking industry. We utilize Cisco switches in instances we need guaranteed reliability and dependability. Using Cisco switches I can say with confidence that the product is more than likely to provide a high level of uptime. In addition, Cisco IOS is popular among network engineers and the pool of talent that know Cisco is greater than other organizations.
  • Reliability.
  • Excellent feature set.
  • Cutting edge of networking.
  • Higher pricing.
  • Higher skillset required to effectively manage.
  • No other cons that I can think of and the 2 above aren't necessarily cons.
Cisco switches are well suited for all environments. You may find some smaller businesses with a limited budget more averse to spending for Cisco, however the quality of the switches and the support more than make up for the price. If a business values their uptime, Cisco is a good device to keep on hand.
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December 09, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
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We primarily use Cisco Catalyst Switches for aggregation and demarcation of networks. Due to port density concerns, a cost-effective solution is required to act as an access layer operating on the customers' premises. The Cisco Catalyst Switches provide this with an array of features that can facilitate both basic and more complex deployments.
  • Switching
  • Routing
  • Feature rich
  • Some severe IOS bugs
  • EOL/EOS components
  • TAC support can be spotty at times
Cisco Catalyst Switches work very well in a campus or enterprise environment. All features are present and functional for the most part. We have run into memory leaks a few times but that tends to be with older Catalyst devices. Make sure the firmware is up to date to avoid such situations!
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December 08, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 2960 X/XR Series
We are currently using Cisco Catalyst Switches in a few of our site. These are great for IDF purposes, which is how we are leveraging them in our environment. These help us to ensure network uptime because they are rock solid and stable, from a known leader in networking equipment solutions.
  • Great for IDFs
  • They have amazing reliability and run uninterrupted for years
  • Cisco products are great, but they generally are more expensive than other brands
  • Perhaps reduced noise is something that can be improved upon
As mentioned earlier, these are excellent for use in IDFs. The setup is easy and since they run Cisco IOS, familiarity makes them easy to configure. If you are looking for a solid and reliable switch, look no further than the Catalyst 2960 series.
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December 08, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9200 Series
  • Catalyst 9500 Series
We are using Cisco Catalyst 9500 Switches for our core infrastructure and 9200s for our Edge. We had been running Brocade hardware for quite some time and needed to refresh our network infrastructure to enhance performance, security and to position us for the future.
  • Fairly simple to configure.
  • Works seamlessly as one unit when multiple switches are stacked.
  • Very robust.
  • While being fairly simple to configure, some of the commands can be tricky.
  • Definitely the all of the ports should be labeled.
  • Stacking modules should be in the front of the switch instead of the back of 9200.
  • Console port should be in the front instead of the back of the 9200.
In our case, the Cisco Catalyst Switches are well suited because of the size and number of employees of our company. The port count on the switches allows us to maximize connectivity throughout the building so that that there are no restrictions when there's a need to expand as more employees come on board.
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December 08, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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  • Catalyst 9500 Series
They are forming the core switching for main branch corp office in the US region. They address the problems of converging the network core and linking our main hub sites.
  • Reliability is key for 24/7 core network.
  • Consistency of code structure and command base for configuration.
  • Moving towards cloud based management with out complex software stack.
  • Designated web UI where you can build config scripts with a GUI like on a ASDM.
Great for a core or branch core IDF.
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Cisco Catalyst Switches Scorecard Summary

What is 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 prepares a 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.

Cisco now offers a two-question, two-minute interactive tool to identify the Cisco products and services available to help users solve up to 5 network challenges.

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