Catalyst 9400: a good campus core switch
June 12, 2020

Catalyst 9400: a good campus core switch

Bart Verbaandert | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches

We use the Catalyst 9400 series mainly as core and distribution switches as they offer great value for a large number of 10G ports combined with high throughput. Simultaneously they offer the full suite of enterprise features needed in our environment, and also offer investment protection, as there is support for features we'll be aiming to use soon like DNA center and SDW-WAN.
  • Offer a large concentration of high speed ports, even supporting PoE.
  • Very robust switches that have a large MTBF.
  • Support all of the enterprise software requirements.
  • Can be a bit pricey compared to competition.
  • Software quality could be better (bugs), although it has improved significantly in the last year.
  • Replaced an older Cisco Kit (65xx) with these models and it saved us a lot on space, power and cooling.
  • Investment protection as they will support all new features.
We're actually still evaluating the DNA center and plan to roll it out near the end of the year. So far in the lab, it has been performing well, also in combination with the other cat9x00 switches.
We're probably still managing these switches in the 'old' way using the classic tools (like with the Openview suite), so we might not have profited yet from the new capabilities for management. From a customization point of view, the switches do offer a lot of options with regards to supporting the different types of connectivity and different power options (to support PoE).
These cat 9400 switches are the logical evolution of the cat 6500 series for us. Where we used cat6k (or 4k5 for that matter) before, we're using the cat9400 now in its place. It allows us to migrate seamlessly without much interruption and actually provides us higher speed and port density while maintaining the rich and full feature set needed in an enterprise environment.
Very well suited for campus core switches, lots of options for connectivity. Less suited for the access layer. It can be used in a smaller datacenter as well.