Worth Every Penny
May 11, 2018

Worth Every Penny

Michael Timms | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst Switches

I have experience with the Cisco Catalyst 6500 series which is a chassis system that uses a supervisor engine as the "motor" behind the switching power and I can tell you that those things were beasts. They could run forever without a reboot, and usually the worst that would happen with them would be I might have to replace a blade from time to time.

I also have experience working with the 3750 and 3850 switches which are modular. Up to nine of them can be power and data stacked together and be used in the same way as one 6500 was used. The 3850 is the industry standard now in the education system, as one access stack can be placed in each building and it make supporting the infrastructure much easier for the IT department.
  • Cisco Catalyst Switches are excellent for easily configuring VLANs
  • Trunking which handles what ins and outs of the VLANS
  • Redundancy because of the power stacking ability
  • Small datacenter footprint
  • Catalyst switches are smart switches, by that I mean if your master goes down for some reason the next one in line "steps up" and takes over as the master
  • The biggest issue that I have with Catalyst switches is the licensing as it is a royal pain to install all of them
  • Packet loss is an issue from time to time, but that is to be expected
  • Pricing is very high, but I will say that for the price you pay, you get 24/7 support
  • Positive - the 3850 series create a smaller datacenter footprint which in turn produces less heat therefore lowering the temperature in the datacenter and saving money on utilities
  • Positive - With Cisco Catalyst I have piece of mind that if an issue arises with my catalyst switches I have 24/7 support from Cisco
  • Negative - I am old, and as Catalyst technology moves forward I have to re-learn how to configure the new stuff
Between the two that I have listed, D-Link and Netgear, there is really no comparison as Cisco Catalyst switches blow them out of the water. There is an asterisk to that statement though as I have never used an Enterprise class switch from either company and I am not even sure that either company produces Enterprise class products.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer, ORION Enterprise, Lansweeper, Goverlan Reach, DameWare Remote Support, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, Symantec Ghost Solution Suite, Norton Internet Security, Avast Business Antivirus, Avaya
Cisco Catalyst is well suited for most business or enterprise class environments that require multiple VLANs, trunking, QoS, or many of the other features that Catalyst provides. You will pay a very high price, but with that, you get support at any time, day or night and even on holidays. I would say that the only scenario that Cisco Catalyst would not be well suited for would be in the home, but I have an old 3750 in my house that handles all of the switching for my security cameras.