Cisco Catalyst Switches OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Catalyst Switches is the #1 ranked solution in top LAN Switching tools, top Data Center Networking tools, and top AV Over IP Switching tools. PeerSpot users give Cisco Catalyst Switches an average rating of 8.4 out of 10. Cisco Catalyst Switches is most commonly compared to Arista Networks Platform: Cisco Catalyst Switches vs Arista Networks Platform. Cisco Catalyst Switches is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 61% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 17% of all views.
Cisco Catalyst Switches Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Catalyst Switches Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is Cisco Catalyst Switches?
Web-based CRM that manages events, sales, marketing campaigns & contacts, offers customer history, case management, email integration.

Cisco Catalyst Switches was previously known as Cisco Catalyst, Catalyst.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Customers
Afni, Anilana Hotels and Resorts, Baylor Scott & White Health, Beachbody, Bellevue, Del Papa Distributing, Explorer Pipeline, Mindtree, Omaha World Herald, Radio 538, Sony Corporation, Telecom Italia, Telenor Arena
Cisco Catalyst Switches Video

Cisco Catalyst Switches Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco Catalyst Switches pricing:
  • "This is expensive, even when compared to competitors' products."
  • "The price for Cisco Catalyst Switches is not cheaper than other solutions."
  • "Catalyst Switches are costly. When I started working with them 25 years ago, prices were a problem too."
  • Cisco Catalyst Switches Reviews

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    Ceo & President at TNL
    Real User
    Top 10
    Useful reports, highly reliable, and integrates well
    Pros and Cons
    • "We use the VLANs to separate library, office, and individual apartments. With some of the reporting that receive, we're able to take and track down where people like to put in their own wireless routers. Sometimes they will take a DSL modem from AT&T that they brought from home, hook it in backward, and it will give rogue addresses causing issues."
    • "I use the Cisco Catalyst Switches command-line interface(CLI) a lot out in the field, but there are some web interfaces features that are available that I haven't used very much. I'm more comfortable with the CLI, but the web interfaces are very lacking."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use Cisco Catalyst Switches mostly in apartment complexes. They are apartment buildings, where one apartment has three or four bathroom/bedroom combinations and each resident who lives in those has their own connection to the switch. Additionally, the common areas of the building have a connection to the switch.

    I've used Cisco Catalyst Switches in that environment, providing internet to a complex, both fiber and copper. We have taken and put cable TV, converted the satellite signals off of DIRECT TV satellites, and broadcasted all their channels, including local channels in the complex. There are approximately 250 channels through the same switches by converting the output to a network environment by turning them around and sending it back out on the other end for coaxial cable distribution. I've been working a lot in the MDFs and the IDFs of the individual complexes.

    What is most valuable?

    We use the VLANs to separate library, office, and individual apartments. With some of the reporting that receive, we're able to take and track down where people like to put in their own wireless routers. Sometimes they will take a DSL modem from AT&T that they brought from home, hook it in backward, and it will give rogue addresses causing issues.

    It's been pretty easy for us to track down where those rogue addresses are coming from and shut the port down until we can have a technician go out and fix it properly.

    There are a lot of features that Cisco Catalyst Switches have. However, they're not always needed.

    The security of Cisco Catalyst Switches seems to be sound. It's very good with security. I've had no issues, security-wise. The important this is to know what to do to fix problems if you have a security issue, and it seems to work, whether you're using Cisco Catalyst Switches, Opensense, pfSense firewalls, or any normal firewall issues. Cisco Catalyst Switches are able to communicate to all the other hardware very well.

    What needs improvement?

    I use the Cisco Catalyst Switches command-line interface(CLI) a lot out in the field, but there are some web interfaces features that are available that I haven't used very much. I'm more comfortable with the CLI, but the web interfaces are very lacking. 

    The application controls that you have when you go through the Cisco Catalyst Switches for configuration and to see your whole network could improve. If the interface could display and recognize devices other than the Catalyst that you might have in the network to allow you to build your network. It does not necessarily need to control them, but to see they're there and how they're hooked up would make a big difference when it comes to trying to map and monitor the network activity in the system.

    Those are two areas I find in the Cisco Catalyst Switches that are not as robust as some of the newer solutions, such as Aruba. You could see everything's controlled by the web interfaces, but not as much by the CLI. I don't like that Arubas CLIs, but I do like the web interface where you can see everything and control everything without having to load a special application on a computer and/or use the CLI. You can visually see all the information, and I find that's an easier learning curve for people monitoring. I haven't used it very much with the Cisco Meraki's, but a lot of the places we have worked have been with governments, and they use a lot of the Cisco Catalyst line of solutions.

    If someone was trying to manage their own office, I would rate the usability of Cisco Catalyst Switches a five out of ten. Unless you know the CLI well then you will use the interface that is a little bit tricky to work with.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for approximately 10 years.

    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Catalyst Switches
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Most of the stability issues I have found have been hardware-related and not software. I have found that sometimes a port will go dead, and when a port goes dead on the even side, the odd side equivalent goes dead as well. This is where things get a little hot and it caused the solder joint to go loose or something similar happened. That's what my guess would be on the issue, a lot of times they only mark the port as dead and shut it off. When they have many ports that are dead that they don't have any spares they typically switch out the switch altogether.

    People do not want to pay for you to resolder a circuit board and check for cold solder joints, I try and speed things up. If I have not had to use many spares on the ports for repair, to keep the repair at a quick pace. I can change a power supply or I can change a board in them quickly. I haven't actually bothered to go through and see if it's a cold solder joint or if it's actually a dead port. I'm having to use my experience with other equipment and knowing that it more times than not, kills both ports on the same connector, it's probably a cold solder joint or something to do with where it's connecting to the motherboard. This would be the first place I would look.

    I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches stability a nine out of ten.

    They are highly stable, they have never given me a problem.

    How are customer service and support?

    I've never had to talk with the Cisco technical support. Usually, if there is a problem I know how the switches are built, I can take them apart and put them together to fix them. For example, in the last Cisco solution I did fix, the power supply was overheating, and it would eventually shut the unit down or it would freeze. I let it cool off and came back when it was cool and took a power supply from one that the mainboard that was frozen, and put it in. It came right back up and it was working at the right temperature.

    When it comes to technical support, I've never had to use them. What typically happens is the client calls technical support, technical support turns around dispatches a company that dispatches me and I go out there, fix the issue. I notify that company of their technical support, which may be Cisco's, or not, and inform them of the problem. The technical support double-checks the program and makes sure everything's up and operating.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have used other networking solutions previously, such as Aruba.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have found that the problems with Cisco Catalyst Switches are caused by the end-user putting equipment on it backward and various other similar user errors.  Cisco Catalyst Switches does not have all the features in the web interface. I didn't see the web interface able to be controlled the solution well. You can bring up some information controls, you click a link, and everything's in it is confusing to me, they could improve it. The web application gives you the ability to change some settings, but not necessarily critical ones. There're some things that you have to do at the CLI that their application does not give you the ability to do.

    I have VLANs that are set up in my office under a pfSense firewall. The VLANs are set up in the firewall, and it acts as a switch as well. The actual switches turn around and act as a router and then the Cisco Catalyst Switches recognize the VLANs, and process everything accordingly as if it was a Cisco solution. They integrate well will all other hardware.

    I rate Cisco Catalyst Switches an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    MinaMagdy - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Infrastructure Solutions Specialist at Fiber Misr
    Real User
    Top 5
    Recommended for its abilities, durability, and the support
    Pros and Cons
    • "Cisco comes with built-in software access for network devices."
    • "Cisco is dedicated to providing their customers with the latest technology, but it comes with a price. It's expensive when compared to competitors' products."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case is providing Catalyst switches for the edge and campus networking. You may have lots of IoT switches, like surveillance access points and you need to implement IPE switches that deliver the power and networking through the endpoint sensors. Most of these are considered access switches. We then implement the distribution layer that links all of the access switches and network traffic, then move to the course switches that handle all the packets and connect all the buildings to each other. After, the core is connected to the firewall, from Cisco as well, to get out of building to the internet. So the core portfolio comes from access to the core. I end with the firewall and the routers to the internet.

    Cisco's support is called SMARTnet, but we provide support to customers in case of any troubleshooting or if it's on-premises. We act as a mid-layer between the customer and Cisco. Most customers deploy it on-premises, but some prefer to build their own private cloud. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that Cisco comes with built-in software access for network devices. You may use SDN for SD-Access, so you don't need to configure each switch with its own configuration, but can deploy the configuration from a single point of management. You can also monitor the traffic and access for the users. Especially if they are using their own laptops, you can make a VLAN for each switch. Cisco is a very stable portfolio format considering the network features and the heavy duties of traffic.

    What needs improvement?

    The prices could be improved. Cisco is dedicated to providing their customers with the latest technology, but it comes with a price. It's very expensive and when compared to competitors' products, like HP or Aruba, this is the most expensive one. 

    I can't think of any additional features I would like to see in the next version. The features included are sufficient. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with Cisco Catalyst for more than ten years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Cisco is famous for its stability and operating system. It's a very stable platform for heavy-duty network traffic. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Catalyst is easy to scale, especially because of stacking. The stack member can reach out to each member per the tech stack group as well as for Catalyst. As long as you have a sufficient number of ports in the core and distribution, you can scale and connect as much as you need in the access layers. If you exceed the number of ports existing in the distribution, you can add another distribution layer and connect them together to extend the number of endpoints. 

    How are customer service and support?

    I have been satisfied with technical support. Especially when it comes to hardware attachments, their response is very fast, and almost by the next business day, we're able to go and replace it on-premises for a customer. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The process was simple and straightforward. Most of us started our first year by taking Cisco courses, so we are talented at implementing and configuring Cisco switches. It depends on the project, but if you are looking at full premises with maybe 20 switches, the setup should take around three or four days. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented through an in-house team. We are partnered with Cisco and have our own professional service team certification in data center, networking, security, and collaboration systems. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    This is expensive, even when compared to competitors' products. 

    The Catalyst doesn't come with licensing, but it comes with models. It comes with nine key series, each with its own purpose: some are for access, some for distribution, and some for the core, so it's not a matter of licensing. The only licensing that you are using with Catalyst is either the Essential or Advantage licensing, which represents Layer 2 or Layer 3 switches. If you are going to use Layer 3 for routing, use the Advantage license. Otherwise, use the Essential license, which is meant for the access switches. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Dell EMC has a magnificent working portfolio, but customers still may not trust its durability and reliability. Most customers will choose Cisco rather than Dell EMC, even though Dell EMC has a reliable reputation and is very cost-effective. Yet, from my side as a partner and someone who works a lot with technology, I would recommend Dell EMC for customers with a smaller budget that needs a flexible and a cost-effective solution, rather than picking a small solution from Cisco. I would commit to buying a large solution from Dell EMC, then going with a reliable solution provider. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend Cisco Catalyst for its abilities, durability, and the support. Cisco is very familiar—all engineers know Cisco very well—and we can handle the troubleshooting and configuration. 

    The Advantage license is suitable for large companies. All of the oil and gas sectors use the Advantage license for their switches. Even they are not going to use all the layers or access switches, but they invest a lot and have a huge budget for networking. For a small or medium company, you could use and split the Essential license and the Advantage one based on building needs in order to optimize the cost and make sure your solution is cost-effective.

    I would rate Cisco a nine out of ten. Not a ten because of the high price. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Catalyst Switches
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Network Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Extremely stable and very high quality with pretty good technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "The quality of a Cisco switch is very high. They are extremely stable."
    • "Cisco should work to lower its costs. It's quite expensive right now."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution for the switching capabilities.

    What is most valuable?

    The initial setup of the product is pretty simple and straightforward.

    The solution is adding more automation capabilities.

    The quality of a Cisco switch is very high. They are extremely stable.

    What needs improvement?

    Cisco should work to lower its costs. It's quite expensive right now. They force the customer to buy the DNA license and that shouldn't be the case.

    Instead of making automation cheaper, they are making it more expensive and clients don't like it.

    They really need to simplify their licensing and simplify moving to a controller base. 

    The scalability is limited.

    Cisco also owns Meraki, however, they keep these switches as separate products, and customers are confused by that. Meraki has a lot of features and a customer questions why those features are there and not here. Meraki also allows for more integrations with solutions such as HP, and it's harder to integrate Cisco. 

    The same is true of Nexus switches, which basically do the same thing and yet everything is siloed. It's confusing for the clients. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for about 20 years. It's been two decades. I've had a lot of time to get to know the product.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Cisco switches are of very high quality, which makes them very stable. It's a very strong selling point for the product. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's very reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is limited. There are other solutions that can do it better. Cisco is not number one in this respect - especially as more companies head toward the cloud. Luxul, for example, offers better scalability - if that is what a company is looking for.

    We tend to use the solution quite extensively.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've used Cisco for 20 years or so and therefore have had encounters with technical support. I would note that the first 15 or so years had been very great and I would describe them as very helpful and responsive. However, as of the last five years, I find they are going south. They aren't as good as they used to be. It's still okay. It's just not as good as it was.

    Whereas in the past I've given them five out of five stars, now I would rate them at a four.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We didn't previously use a different solution. We're mostly a Cisco shop.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not overly complex. To set up a switch is not a big issue. I see Cisco is trying to go into the DNA to do some automation.  

    Every site is different in terms of deployment and the number of switches/users. On every site, we have two engineers and we're also doing web support. The setup is a one-time thing and the switches are pretty stable, and therefore it doesn't take us much time to do an implementation so long as there are no hardware failures.

    What about the implementation team?

    I handled the implementation myself. I did not need the assistance of a consultant or implementor. I have enough experience to handle it at this point.

    What was our ROI?

    I've used a few different switches and I wouldn't say that you necessarily get a better ROI just because you use Cisco.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The cost of the solution is quite high. There are other cheaper options. On Cisco, you're paying probably double or triple times the cost. 

    Many people don't like the complexity. It should be simpler and offer a low cost. The reason people are looking for automation is that they are looking to lower costs, however, if you go to Cisco solutions, the automation solution is very expensive. This is the opposite of the customer expectations.

    I do not do the purchasing directly and therefore I can't estimate an exact cost for the product.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I've used Juniper and HPE switches, and, if you were to compare them, I'd say there isn't too much of a difference. The functionality is pretty much the same.

    You can also compare the solution to Luxul, which has better scalability.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are a customer.

    Cisco tries to move clients over to their own ecosystem so that they are only using Cisco from end-to-end.

    The solution is very good for enterprises, however, it might be a bit much for a small company that may only need one switch.

    If the costs are not a concern for an organization, I would recommend the product.

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We've been very happy with the stability on offer, however, the pricing isn't the greatest and the licensing is confusing. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior System Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Versatile, reliable, has many features, and the support is fast and knowledgeable
    Pros and Cons
    • "I like the management of streaming both audio and video."
    • "I think that the price should be cheaper and they should include at least one year of basic service for technical support for each product, and not just the 90 days from the time of purchase."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have not deployed on the cloud because the company's core business is on yachts. Yachts are not familiar with the cloud and online solutions.

    We have been integrating Cisco Catalyst Switches in yachts that are 100 feet in length to 100 meters in length. With simple infrastructure such as two or three switches connected with copper, and with large infrastructures we use a three-layer level with the backbone of a multimode fiber.

    What is most valuable?

    The switches are related to simple switching infrastructures, without the implementation of routing protocols. The routing protocols are referring to routers and layer three switches. They are not required with this kind of infrastructure.

    I like the management of streaming both audio and video. On a yacht, the network infrastructure is not related to data usage, it is mainly for audio, video management, and distribution. 

    When compared with other brands, they are not as reliable as Cisco Catalyst Switches.

    What needs improvement?

    There is always something better. The price could be better.

    The service contract for technical support should be included for at least the first year of purchasing the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with Cisco Catalyst Switches for more than ten years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Cisco Catalyst Switches are reliable. It is very stable and performant. There have only been a few failures. In general, there is a very low level of failure.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    If we refer to shipyards, then we have six or seven shipyards in Italy and outside of Italy. When referring to Yachts, I have installed these switches on more than 100 to 200 Yachts.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is very fast and highly skilled.

    The only issue with the support is that without an active service contract, they will not address any of your concerns. Even if you are a Cisco partner, they will not address your concerns without an active technical contract.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    For networking and switching, we have used most Cisco solutions.

    For Unified Communications, we have used BE6000 and 4000. 

    Switching solutions we the new brand 9000. 

    We started with the low level 9200 to 9500. We use the Cisco Firewall ASA 2100 and we have Wi-Fi solutions such as the Wireless LAN controllers 2500,3500, and 9800.

    At one time, we also integrated Nexus switches.

    In the past, my company used to propose low-level Cisco products such as Linksys. They were not reliable and the return on investment was not as high as Catalyst. This strategy was a failure.

    How was the initial setup?

    The physical installation is not difficult. There are four factors for all devices that are almost the same. The main factor is the configuration.

    If you speak with someone who has five to six years of experience in Cisco products, it is really fast. If you have someone with little experience then it takes longer. Cisco Catalyst Switches can be configured using the command-line interface and not the web interface. The web interface would be fine for people who do not have a lot of experience with the product.

    Using the command-line interface is a faster way to configure for skilled people who have experience, and not for technicians who are not as experienced.

    It requires a complete team from the beginning. This includes the system engineer, the installer technician, the standard technician, and two or three IT engineers to configure and maintain these switches. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price for Cisco Catalyst Switches is not cheaper than other solutions.

    Licensing fees are something that you pay at the time of purchase. During the year, I have not had any customers request to renew the license. I have only had customer requests to activate our systems contract when there has been an issue with the device. Cisco products have been shown to be very reliable and stable. It's something that rarely has to be activated.

    I think that the price should be cheaper and they should include at least one year of basic service for technical support for each product, and not just the 90 days from the time of purchase.

    Oftentimes, when my company purchases the Cisco products, they are not installed until three or four months after the date of purchase. The installation is done at least one year after the building and delivery of the Yacht which makes the warranty is not useful.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend these switches to others. Over the years, I have been working with Cisco, and Aruba HP Enterprise devices. I can say that if you use Cisco, you will have good results and reliability. With comparisons, I would suggest not to use Linksys products if you don't have a stable environment, and you have an environment that is moving all over the world such as a Yacht.

    I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
    PeerSpot user
    Aws Al-Dabbagh - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Manager at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Reliable and scalable with lots of great features
    Pros and Cons
    • "Technical support is very responsive and helpful."
    • "Pricing mainly is the only issue."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using it as basic switches - mainly VLANs and SPB, The main focus is actually for just VLANs and VLAN switching, and that's it.

    What is most valuable?

    There are a lot of features on the device. We're not using all the features that we can use, however.

    It's all fine. It works quite well. What we have now is good. We don't have many requirements for these switches except just forwarding traffic.

    The solution has been very stable.

    We find the product to be scalable.

    Technical support is very responsive and helpful.

    The solution is very reliable.

    What needs improvement?

    Pricing mainly is the only issue. For our company, IT is not a major investment, so it would be harder to convince management to invest in Cisco switches. For quality, they are the best, however, in terms of pricing, especially due to the COVID crisis and everything, investment into a network is now a lower priority. Before, when the money flow was better, it was easier to sell. However, now, for this current situation, a major point of pain in the company is price. 

    Even though my priority is reliability, in order to avoid downtime, management is harder to convince and they just see the price tag. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using the solution since about 2018. It's been around four years or so now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is very stable. Since 2018, since we started with them, we haven't faced any issues with these switches, except for one instance where we switched to a new switch and needed to restart to enable the functionality.

    Other than that, the switches are working great. There were only two times we restarted them due to an incident with the power equipment. The switches restarted because of a power issue, and not due to the switch itself having a problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is scalable. We're actually using it using iStack. It is stackable and very scalable to add more switches. It's quite easy to expand everything.

    We're using these for our core network. It's across all our core network that is going through our IT department. For that reason, many people are on them. It's likely about 50 people 50, plus the user traffic. We're an ISP. We have some servers and portals that use these servers, switches to reach the network. Therefore, many, many users use that. We have a lot of user traffic going through the switches.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is fine. We've had, several moments in these last four years where we've requested Cisco technical support and they were very quick to respond and provide assistance. It's taken, at a maximum, two days to go from request to support. they are very responsive. We are very satisfied with their level of service.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    As I understand, Cisco's prices are very high and other vendors might have a lower price. Therefore, we're considering Aruba or Huawei or maybe other vendors as well for both access switches and managed wireless solutions (as in lightweight access points with controllers and these kinds of networks). 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Due to the wireless network upgrade, I'm considering other measures as well as Cisco. We're considering Aruba and we're considering Huawei. I'm considering switching to other vendors mainly because of the price.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are a customer and an end-user.

    We deal with a lot of Cisco products. We use maybe 20 or so Cisco switches.

    We have an old 2960-X and a 2960 Plus. We also have three 9300 switches, which are the newer model.

    I would advise other users to plan for a larger network than you currently need. For example, if you need 20 ports on a switch and you're ordering this equipment. order a 48 port one, as you'll find that you quickly consume the 20 ports and you need upgrades of two, three, four, five, six. You'll need upgrades quickly and you'll find yourself ordering another switch to replace this one. The most sensible recommendation is to order one bigger switch, which is better than replacing the switch you have within one year. 

    I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. The switches are excellent.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    User at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Reliable and scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "Catalyst Switches perform very well, and the network is stable."
    • "If we have a major problem, fixing it takes two or three days and six to eight engineers from Cisco. When they escalate a ticket, it goes through too many levels. Every time the issue is passed along to a new person at Cisco support, they ask the same questions repeatedly."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use Catalyst Switches in the lines of our local networks. We also use ASR routers from Cisco in one. We have other branches and about 20 or 30 buildings. It's a very large network.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features of Cisco Catalyst are the DHCP features that I use in our routers and the PfR connections. Someone said a long time ago that he who buys Cisco is never fired. They have good solutions. 

    What needs improvement?

    At present, we are adopting many cloud solutions. We are connected to several cloud platforms and do a lot of business in the cloud. So I think that in general, we don't need many features at the moment unless we want to create some applications on the cloud. But that's not the case right now. We are thinking of moving all the people from these 20 buildings to one building. So with all of them in the same building, we'll need to design a new architecture. We have the ACI in our data centers, so we must see how all of this works. We don't know if we'll go to SD-LAN too. So I don't know if we'll use Catalyst or another solution—a solution with ACI, SD-WAN, or SD-LAN. At this moment, I can't say because we are starting to think about this new design.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Catalyst Switches for about 25 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Catalyst Switches perform very well, and the network is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Catalyst Switches are scalable.

    How are customer service and support?

    If we have a major problem, fixing it takes two or three days and six to eight engineers from Cisco. When they escalate a ticket, it goes through too many levels. Every time the issue is passed along to a new person at Cisco support, they ask the same questions repeatedly. However, if we have a problem that requires a quick fix, Cisco support can handle it in one or two hours. But if we need two or three guys from them, it gets complicated. I don't know if the problem is, but it seems like they spend too much time analyzing the problem and passing it along to other people. Other vendors like Palo Alto and Aruba resolve problems more quickly.

    How was the initial setup?

    Having worked with Cisco for at least 25 years, I think it's easy, but I don't know if someone with less experience would say the same. It's easy because it's very fast. We have some labs where we implement things, and then it's mostly copy-paste — copy the configuration and paste into a new suite. So it's not difficult. Catalyst Switches don't require much maintenance. Sometimes we have problems in our network, but mostly they're not actually problems with the network itself. The business thinks that the problems are in the network, so we must call Cisco to help us prove that we don't have a problem. We can prove that, but if the data service is from Cisco, it's better. All of them. We have about seven or eight people in my company working directly with the Catalyst Switches.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Catalyst Switches are costly. When I started working with them 25 years ago, prices were a problem too. In my opinion, they are good, of course, and they are the answer to all of our questions. I can say that.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Catalyst Switches nine out of 10. I would recommend them to others. I don't know when they will design a new edition of the bigger switches. Because if you have a branch, for instance, you a small Catalyst. You don't need a large Catalyst. But whether it's a small or big installation, I recommend Catalyst.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Junior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Good scalability with very nice stability and good flexibility
    Pros and Cons
    • "The scalability is excellent."
    • "The configuration process is hard."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have clients that have application servers and we offer our services to them. The switches are provided alongside Cisco Firewall and they also integrate into Cisco storage.

    What is most valuable?

    The product is easy to use. It's very user friendly and simple to navigate.

    The solution offers very good stability.

    We've found the product to be quite flexible.

    It integrates well with other solutions, including other Cisco solutions especially.

    We've found the technical support to be quite helpful.

    The scalability is excellent.

    What needs improvement?

    The implementation of the solution is a little bit difficult. It would be nicer if the process was a bit easier.

    The configuration process is hard.

    The pricing of the solution is quite high.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I started working with the solution a few months ago. It hasn't been too long just yet. I'm still relatively new to the product. I'd say that it has been almost six months or so.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product offers very good stability. It's reliable. We haven't had issues with bugs. It's not glitchy. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's been very good overall.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is quite scalable. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so. It's not a problem at all.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is excellent. It's much better than other solutions. They're very helpful and responsive. They're very good at helping if we run into issues with implementations. We've more than satisfied with the level of support we receive from them.

    That said, I have had a bad experience once or twice where we had an issue with an appliance and some licensing. It took Cisco a month to get the license figured out successfully. The issue was that there wasn't enough knowledge about the product and it affected the support.

    However, one of the last issues we had, we were assigned a senior level person and she was very good. She sorted everything out and got it deployed in one or two hours.

    Therefore, as long as you get a knowledgeable person, you're going to have a very good experience.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    While I am aware of our company using different switches in the past, I was not a part of the project. I'm not sure what product they were using.

    How was the initial setup?

    The Cisco implementation is tough. It's not straightforward per se. However, it's very important for the network level solutions. It's more difficult than Fortinet or other vendors. At the same time, their support for their solution is very effective and in that sense, they are actually much better than other vendors. That's why everyone prefers Cisco. They offer good help if you run into trouble.

    In terms of deployment, the product takes about two or three weeks to deploy. If you are adding Fortinet or other solutions, you're looking at a month and a half for a full deployment.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing for Cisco is expensive. However, they offer very good support services. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm not sure of the switch model. I work remotely. It would be hard for me to check.

    We're a vendor company. We're Cisco partners. We have almost 10 engineers and about two or three people are dedicated to Cisco.

    I'd recommend this solution to other users. I would warn companies, however, that the implementation process is tough. It's good to have some sort of support in order to deploy the solution effectively and correctly. Without help, if you don't know what you are doing, you may run into issues.

    In general, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Lead Presales at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Stable with good pricing and a straightforward setup
    Pros and Cons
    • "Technical support is very helpful, even during implementation."
    • "The licensing process could be a bit less complex."

    What is most valuable?

    The solution has been issue-free.

    The solution is scalable.

    The stability of the product is good. We've had no problems whatsoever.

    Overall, the pricing has been good.

    Technical support is very helpful, even during implementation.

    The initial setup is simple.

    What needs improvement?

    There are some models that can occasionally cause problems. If a particular switch is made for some specific use case or a particular environment, if you put that in other types of infrastructure or use cases, then you may face problems.

    The licensing process could be a bit less complex.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have dealt with the solution for about three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability has been good overall. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. The performance has been reliable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability has been good. If a company needs to expand it, it can. However, you do need to have the right model, otherwise, you run into issues with scaling. 

    We have 15 to 20 clients that use this product.

    How are customer service and support?

    We have good technical people and an experienced technical team who can install those switches, and do a level of troubleshooting and escalations.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    For five years, we've used Huawei. Three years ago we started with Cisco. This was mostly due to networking, as we don't have a team five years back. After that, we got the team specifically for networking and we started that with Huawei, and we got a very good response in the market. Unfortunately, due to the Chinese market, and all that stuff, that didn't last. That said, the customers who are using the technology, are still happy with the support as well as with the product.

    We also occasionally use Aruba.

    We didn't work with Juniper as an installation system integrator, however, we have with Cisco (including Nexus and Meraki) and Huawei, and we have had a very good experience. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is good. It is easy. If you know the commands, even basic commands, you can do the normal installation. If you want to go for V-LAN and other things, routing, et cetera, level three switches kind of installations, then you may need some time and knowledge. 

    For deployment and maintenance, you need a minimum of two people. Three or four is also good if it is enterprise. There are some customers where we have to do installations at three or four sites simultaneously and we have to complete that within one or two days or within a specific downtime. If the network is down, everything is down. That is when you require multiple team members. Otherwise, if that is one site and one installation with one day's worth of downtime, with two people, you can do it easily.

    What about the implementation team?

    Support is helpful in regard to the implementation process. My team didn't find any issues with installation.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The solution's pricing is pretty good. As far as whatever else is available in the market, for example, if you compared it to Aruba, Juniper, or other enterprise solutions, the pricing is reasonable.  

    You do require licenses. There are some licenses that you need to procure separately. By default, the licensing process is good.

    Everyone has their own licensing structure. With Cisco, once you do a setup two or three times, the process gets easier and the licensing gets clearer. Until then, licensing is a little bit tricky.

    What other advice do I have?

    We do not use the solution in our office, however, as Test System Integrators, we have provided the solution.

    I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. It's been quite good overall.

    I would recommend the solution to other users and companies. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco Catalyst Switches Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: November 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco Catalyst Switches Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.