Dell PowerConnect Switches- good choice but perhaps not the best
February 24, 2022

Dell PowerConnect Switches- good choice but perhaps not the best

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review

Overall Satisfaction with Dell PowerConnect Switches

Dell PowerConnect Switches are used in small and medium-sized data center deployments, primarily for SMB clients. In some cases, PowerConnect is used for ISCSI storage networks that are isolated from other production environments. Dell's competitive advantage is phenomenal ProSupport (technical support) and reliable firmware. My organization also actively deploys Cisco, Meraki, and HPE/Aruba switches.
  • Reliable.
  • Excellent hardware support from Dell including 4 hour parts/replacement.
  • Excellent technical support from Dell on software, troubleshooting, and configuration.
  • More affordable than its main enterprise competitors.
  • Easy to use CLI.
  • More time consuming to support compared to Meraki.
  • Lacks the sophisticated central management of Meraki and Aruba Central.
  • Lacks zero touch or light touch provisioning.
  • Sometimes technical support will push back at deployment-type questions (unless ProDeploy was purchased).
  • Layer 3 standard features.
  • Spanning Tree Protocol (etc).
  • Simple CLI.
  • Dell is more affordable than HPE/Aruba or Cisco/Meraki.
  • Dell offers healthy margin to resellers and MSPs.
  • Dell has more complexity compared to Meraki and therefore takes more time to deploy.
(1) Cisco Small Business switches are a similar price point to PowerConnect, often with fewer features but with easier management. (2) Cisco traditional switches are more expensive than PowerConnect. They are of a similar level of complexity. These compare similarly in deployment and support. Cisco has a larger enterprise market segment and more technicians are cisco certified. (3) Meraki switches are more expensive than PowerConnect. They are much simpler to manage and deploy. They are not able to implement the more advanced switch features available on PowerConnect. Any expert in networking or a larger enterprise environment will prefer Dell or Cisco over Meraki. (4) HPE/Aruba are about the same price point or slightly more expensive than PowerConnect. They are a similar level of complexity, but also offer Aruba Central for a limited (and frustrating management experience). IN SUMMARY: Large enterprise I prefer Cisco. SMB I prefer Meraki. For environments in between, or SMB environments with more VLAN complexity Dell PowerConnect is a great choice. I also often use Dell PowerConnect for ISCSI storage networks used in SAN deployments. Dell does a great job deploying and supporting its solutions.

Do you think Dell PowerConnect Switches delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Dell PowerConnect Switches's feature set?


Did Dell PowerConnect Switches live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Dell PowerConnect Switches go as expected?


Would you buy Dell PowerConnect Switches again?


PowerConnect works very well for: - SMB telco racks, the termination point for fiber between MDF and IDF - ISCSI storage networking - networks with VLAN and voice complexity PowerConnect are less ideal in: - Large enterprise (where Cisco is king) - SMB environments seeking simplicity (where Meraki is a natural choice).

Evaluating Dell PowerConnect Switches and Competitors

Yes - Unifi/Ubiquiti was replaced in some of our customer environments due to Unifi's unreliable firmware and lack of support. Dell switches have better longevity and support.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
PowerConnect switches are affordable, reliable, and have excellent support. The excellent support (deploying and maintaining) is Dell's strongest benefit.
Cisco, Meraki, HPE/Aruba, and Dell are the main contenders we reviewed. Brocade is also a viable option. If I wanted a simple solution, Meraki is the way to go. If I wanted an enterprise solution, Cisco proper is the way to go. If I wanted an education/campus solution, HPE/Aruba is the way to go (with Aruba Central). If I wanted an affordable SMB solution or even larger business, Dell is a fine option.

Dell PowerConnect Switches Support

Dell ProSupport is outstanding. Dell ProDeploy is likewise outstanding. I prefer them even over traditional Cisco support. I've had repeated cases where Dell immediately addressed or fixed an issue with US-based support, including firmware hotfixes. Not even Cisco can boast that.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
I strongly recommend ProSupport if choosing Dell switches. The CLI is just different enough (from Cisco) and there are regular firmware improvements.
I have many stories/examples. One notable one was with US-based technical deployment expert Preston Tash. He invested the time to go above and beyond in the deployment and make sure my client's internal IT was trained in normal function and support of the switches. The project management (with Lynn Chavez) was exceptionally well planned and implemented. The design (with diagrams) and implementation went very smoothly. It was a redundant N+1 design alongside Nutanix.