Cisco 6800ia's Best Innovation: Cisco has Killed!
Tim Lillis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated June 29, 2018

Cisco 6800ia's Best Innovation: Cisco has Killed!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst Switches

We currently are using our Cisco Catalyst 6800ia switches in all of our edge closets. They provide power to access points, phones, cameras, and our bell speakers in our schools. They also provide data to our end users in labs, classrooms, and offices. We really like the fact that they are easily managed via their fx uplink to the 6880s in the MDF closets.
  • Centrally managed configuration and IOS via the attached 6880 catalyst pair.
  • POE+ support for newer Access Points and speaker requirements
  • Firmware rollout is very smooth and simple using upgrades to the 6880 "core"
  • There are some known bugs that cause interface errors and are listed as "cosmetic" and they do not plan to address them. This makes troubleshooting very difficult to determine what are real errors and what are cosmetic.
  • We have had a few batches that get stuck in random reboots.
  • Cisco foolishly has discontinued R&D for this line of Catalyst when they were finally showing some innovation that set them apart from other vendors.
  • We have cut down our time considerably with firmware rollouts and central management
  • We have been able to go to one spot to see CDP neighbors and Netflow for the whole environment
  • We will have to buy new very soon which is a negative because Cisco discontinued the 6800 line.
With NetFlow and firmware control centrally located we now can have one pane of glass to go to for data and analytics. When we upgrade the core 6880's all of the edge switches are also automatically upgraded to be at the same code revision creating a stable and consistent environment.
The manageability is the crucial reason these switches are better than others. Instead of touching 50 switches per building we only login to one. When a tech needs to troubleshoot a switch or client at a site, they no longer have to jump from switch to switch searching for the mac address of the client as it all comes back to the central 6880.
Cisco Catalyst switches have been around far longer than any of the competition. We know Cisco Catalyst switches are not going anywhere. Also Cisco has a history of stability and high level of uptime. This brand of switches showed considerable innovation with the hub and spoke management and configuration.
These are excellent in a large environment that does not have a nice central software to roll out firmware automatically. With the 6880 paired with the 6800ia switches, you can configure all the ports centrally from the MDF switch. Not a good place would be an environment that already has a large-scale rollout of 2960x switches with Prime for management.

Cisco Catalyst Addtional Questions

  • Lab connectivity
  • Wireless poe connectivity and power
  • Multicast connectivity

Using Cisco Catalyst Switches

5000 - Our switches provide Ethernet connectivity to conference users, students, teachers and leased companies. They are the backbone to wireless conference rooms, classrooms, classes, offices, and rental office space. Because of the spread out nature of our campuses we heavily rely on the central management capability of the 6880 and 6800ia switches.

We also have a bell system and emergency announcements that require multicast with informacast. Multicast works well on these switches including intra vlan routing.
4 - We have two higher level engineers to program, configure and setup the network routing and switching. We also have two entry level administrators who do the day to day port configuration and physical switch deployment. A basic Cisco networking experience is needed for port configs. Anything else would require CCNA or higher expertise
  • We have been able to upgrade code in the middle of the day for the core 6880s because of the IRRU method
  • Poe to speakers, bells, phones and access points
  • Some might use them for building blocks. This question seems silly as switches are used for switch and routing. And that’s what they do.
  • We use Netflow to track what is on our network.
  • Ise and 802.1x integration in the future
Because they work well at what they do. They are highly innovative with their hub and spoke firmware deployment. Once again Cisco was extremely stupid to stop R and D on them.