Next Gen Catalyst Good choices
November 12, 2018

Next Gen Catalyst Good choices

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Switches

  • Catalyst 3850 Series
  • Catalyst 9300 Series
  • Catalyst 9400 Series
  • Catalyst 9500 Series
We're using Catalyst Switches for both access and a collapsed core solution. I find the 3850 product to be a great option for just about anything access-related. We're currently using both the 9300 and 3850 series switches as classroom access solutions. We're using them mostly for our students to connect back into our private cloud solution. They work great for this.
  • They're dependable, I've been working with a wide variety of Catalyst Switches, specifically 3750 and 3850 series for 8+ years. Only once have I encountered an issue with the hardware.
  • Layer 2 Access control, as well as the ability to handle closet routing, should the need arise. The versatility of this line of Switches is outstanding. From POE to VoIP solutions the 3850 line provides it all.
  • The new generation of 9300 and 9500 Switches promise much much more, we've only been using them for a few months in-house and have yet to implement the SDA architecture. However the North and South bound API'S included with this OS are very robust and pretty awesome.
  • The CLI is a bit of a legacy. Maybe a revamp of this portion.
  • More robust out of the gate routing capabilities. Stop license gating features. For the 3850 series perhaps adding a more robust API as well.
  • They've definitely been a positive for our bottom line. The reliability and great technical support substantially cuts down on the amount of attention these switches require. Often we find our selves forgetting the switches are even there because they "just work". Dependability like that is in my opinion priceless.
  • The flexibility of modules that can be added to both the 9300, 9500 (line cards), and 3850 series Catalyst Switches is awesome. These switches are capable of 10/25/40/100 GB speeds this means that instead of replacing a switch you just upgrade the module. This has saved us tens of thousands over the last few years.
We have not done anything more than testing on the 9300 or 9500 Switches. We have done some API through the IOS itself but have not integrated it with the more powerful solutions (DNA Center, ISE, and Stealthwatch). We do have them in-house and in the near future (January 2019) we will be implementing a full SDA solution. Once this is completed I will be excited to see how far the automation and other features included in this package reveals.
We have not as of now. Currently in a design and change state where we will be implementing some of these more advanced solutions in the coming months.
The 9300, 3850 and 3750 series switches all excel at edge switches. Living in a closet that has minimal air flow or temperature control is where these switches excel hardware wise. The low and relatively quiet operation is excellent, the StackWise capability is also a great option and improves the overall flexibility of these catalyst switches.
Also, the remote management capabilities of both the 9300 and 3850 when coupled with ISE or even the new SDA Architecture further enhances the feature-rich access switch that is the Catalyst series.

Where these switches in my opinion have no place is the data center, their latency tolerances are to low, buffers to small, and layer 3 capabilities to lacking with out substantial licenses. Because of this they also have limited use cases inside of a core solution, the 4500 series and the 9500 series are where i would look for the needs of a core solution.