Stable, secure solution for small to midsize networks
December 05, 2020

Stable, secure solution for small to midsize networks

Vin Campbell | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches

We have three Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches in a stack--two mirrored switches (24 ports each) and one 48-port switch that acts as the primary network switch for the entire network. The two mirrored 24-port switches are used as the backend of our virtual server network (NetApp FAS device plus dual Dell ESX VMware host servers. These are fully manageable network switches and have been in service going on eight years now as the backbone of our corporate on-site network.
  • Stability--very, very rarely do they need a reboot or have any issues
  • They provide consistent gigabit speeds with virtually no packet loss
  • Easy CLI management
  • Can also be managed via the GUI--Cisco Network Assistant
  • Integration with newer technologies like Meraki
  • Ports tend to turn off when firmware is updated
  • GUI access should be improved; the network assistant doesn't allow you to do everything
  • Eight years later and these switches are all still humming along
  • Low to no maintenance--I think we've restarted these switches three times in eight years
  • Hardly any need for outside support
  • Reasonably priced ongoing support contracts
We have the two 24-port switches set up as a stack with failover. We were able to deploy both seamlessly with CLI using configuration files. That saved a ton of time. As stated earlier, these switches form the backbone for our virtual server farm (VMware), and as we grew (added servers and network traffic), these devices scaled nicely and handled everything we threw at them. As stable a system as you can get from any vendor and they are still running!
We use VLANs to isolate our virtual network from our production network. These switches allow VLAN programming at the per port level, which enabled us to make sure that the Dell ESX servers could be protected from any direct network hacks (should computers get compromised), and also to control the traffic to eliminate bottlenecks.
We've used Ubiquiti Networks UniFi switches as an alternative to Cisco as well as various types of unmanaged switches to fill certain gaps where the budget didn't allow for the higher expenditure for a Cisco-level switch. In my opinion, the Unifi switches provided a comparable level of networking stability, and the cloud-based portal for programming pushes that solution ahead of the Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches we have in place. Cisco is unmatched in the level of security, though--but having the ability to manage things via the cloud is the ultimate goal for everyone these days.

Do you think Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches's feature set?

Yes

Did Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches again?

Yes

In their heyday, Cisco Catalyst switches were the de facto switch of choice for most midsized businesses that required a stable and secure networking experience. Their price point is relatively low compared to many other solutions. Deployment can be done by non-Cisco personnel--though not recommended. Their overall stability makes them a great choice since there isn't much need for any ongoing maintenance.