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 18% of all views.
Cisco Catalyst Switches Buyer's Guide

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

Archived Cisco Catalyst Switches Reviews (more than two years old)

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Manager Customer Engineering South (Presales) at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Robust hardware with good documentation and good support
Pros and Cons
  • "Cisco provides very good support services."
  • "The pricing could be better. Cisco is quite expensive."

What is our primary use case?

LAN access, distribution and core. 

How has it helped my organization?

We are Cisco partner and sell Cisco solutions, we have sold this platform for last 20 years. Its quite robust and work in worst environmental conditions.

What is most valuable?

In terms of the switches, the uptime and the robustness of the hardware are the most valuable aspects. 

Cisco devices are quite good. They do not fail specially the Catalyst Switches. 

The solution offers quite a robust infrastructure, hardware-wise. 

Cisco provides very good support services.

Cisco is improving and investing in R&D right now. They are investing a lot in research, and keep improving their products.

For example, they have recently launched the SDA, SDWAN, ACI etc. Software Defined-Solutions, in which you can automate your operations and enhance your operations, and avoid manual stuff.

What needs improvement?

With their constant innovation and investment in R&D, there isn't really very much the solution isn't lacking or building upon in terms of features.

The pricing could be better.

Buyer's Guide
Cisco Catalyst Switches
December 2022
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2022.
656,474 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Catalyst for long time. It's a very old Cisco brand, I have been deploying catalyst switches for last 20 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the solution quite well. It's good in that regard.

How are customer service and support?

We're quite happy with their support services. They also offer very good documentation.

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

Since we are reseller / partner we sell different vendors solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy.

On top of that, they have complete documentation available on their website. Whatever scenario you are deploying, you can search for an example of it on their website. That can help guild you during the process.

What was our ROI?

We are reseller / partner.

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

licensing model is changing from perpetual licenses to subscription based licensing. Subscription based licensing model is cheaper but reoccur every year or 3, 5 or 7 years.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not relevant. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
IT & Software Manager at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
A stable part of our network infrastructure, with many resources available

What is our primary use case?

I use Cisco Catalyst switches as part of the network infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

In the future, I would like to see better security for this product.

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

These switches are stable. I use both the switches and the access points.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with the Cisco support. There are a lot of resources out there.

How was the initial setup?

This product is complex to install and it takes time to configure it.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that I can recommend to others.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Catalyst Switches
December 2022
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2022.
656,474 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user773409 - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager, Information Technology at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Strong features, easy to manage, and excellent support
Pros and Cons
  • "All features are very strong. It is very easy to manage. It is also certified and popular. Cisco has come up with a new management console to manage the switches. I still haven't tried it, but in my opinion, this is the best way forward. You can use software to manage the switches instead of the common line configuration. You can manage it through software, which is very easy."
  • "It can have more security features to secure the access layer."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to connect our end users. It is used for DMZ connections behind the firewalls and campus network.

What is most valuable?

All features are very strong. It is very easy to manage. It is also certified and popular.

Cisco has come up with a new management console to manage the switches. I still haven't tried it, but in my opinion, this is the best way forward. You can use software to manage the switches instead of the common line configuration. You can manage it through software, which is very easy.

What needs improvement?

It can have more security features to secure the access layer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Catalyst 9300 Series for the last two years. It is a new model. I have been using previous models, such as Catalyst 3750, 3560, and 2960, for maybe more than 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. You just install it and forget about it for years. I had a switch that was running for more than 11 years without a singular restart. That switch had a running time of more than 11 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have 400 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great. I was talking to one of my colleagues just two hours back about Cisco technical support. They are brilliant and excellent. If we have any hardware failure, we get it fixed the second day. We get multiple engineers working on the case if it is a critical issue. They are really supportive.

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

I have been using only Cisco solutions from the beginning. It has been more than 20 years now.

We plan to keep using this solution. We are going to refresh it with the latest model. We are in the process of acquiring the new model and replacing all obsolete switches with the new Catalyst 9K series. The order will be placed maybe next week.

How was the initial setup?

Its setup was easy. It took an hour to configure each switch.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself. We have three network engineers to manage the entire network. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this product to other users. I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a ten out of ten.

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
CISO at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
It is pretty much stable, and there is a lot of improvement in the network segment
Pros and Cons
  • "There is a lot of improvement in the network segment after replacing the older switches. I have not seen any kind of issue with these switches since deployment. They are pretty much stable."
  • "Cisco can definitely improve the training part. They can provide more training related to configuration."

What is our primary use case?

I use it for connectivity for my enterprise users. My entire platform is on Cisco, and we have different plans.

What is most valuable?

There is a lot of improvement in the network segment after replacing the older switches.
I have not seen any kind of issue with these switches since deployment. They are pretty much stable. 

What needs improvement?

Cisco can definitely improve the training part. They can provide more training related to configuration.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have recently done an upgrade. We installed these switches around one year ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a pretty much stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have 1,500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is managed by the vendor so far. The vendor is taking care of any issues.

What about the implementation team?

The entire implementation was done by the vendor, but we are managing it in-house. We have a Cisco-certified vendor to do all kinds of implementation and train our people. The overall project was for six months, but because of Covid, it got delayed. We have finished it may be a month back. We have four different locations. The vendor deployed technical manpower of six to eight members for each location. 

We had just one issue with a switch, and the replacement was done within a week. The connectivity was not going through, and it was giving packet drops. The issue was identified, but because of Covid, there was a delay from Cisco. Our vendor was able to ensure that there was no installation delay. Because we had 3% to 4% stock over and above the inventory for installation, they used the switch from that particular inventory, and later on, they provided the switch within a week.

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

I don't see any price issue with Cisco. Whenever you buy a quality product, you always have a mindset of paying the premium amount.  For any good product, you pay a premium amount, but that also means you are going to recover that premium over a period of time in terms of performance.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It is a pretty good product. We don't see any issue with Cisco Catalyst Switches. We have a license of five years as per our current agreement with Cisco. We plan to keep using these.

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

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
Information Technology & Audio Visual Engineer at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Great PoE capability, good scalability, and useful analytics
Pros and Cons
  • "The PoE capability of Catalyst Switches is great for using WAPs and other PoE equipment, such as security cameras."
  • "I would like to see better efficiency. They are powering all the PoE ports 100% of the time instead of powering only when there is a draw on them. It has too many options. Therefore, there is a reasonably high barrier to entry in terms of learning about this stuff. A lot of times, you need to be a CCNA, which is like your ticket into the industry, but it is not the easiest thing to get."

What is our primary use case?

We deploy various Cisco solutions, such as Catalyst 3850 to 4500, 9000 Series, and Nexus lineup for data centers.

We've got various clients, ranging from financial services to hotels and higher education facilities. There are many use cases, such as data centers, disaster recovery.

How has it helped my organization?

Our clients are able to get analytics on how often people are in rooms or using a certain area of a building. By doing this, in the future, they can often opt for a slightly smaller space and use multi-purpose rooms instead. They have higher efficiency and lower overhead for rent and other things.

What is most valuable?

The PoE capability of Catalyst Switches is great for using WAPs and other PoE equipment, such as security cameras.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better efficiency. They are powering all the PoE ports 100% of the time instead of powering only when there is a draw on them.

It has too many options. Therefore, there is a reasonably high barrier to entry in terms of learning about this stuff. A lot of times, you need to be a CCNA, which is like your ticket into the industry, but it is not the easiest thing to get.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

You expect reliability and security when you're using Cisco. If you're getting a switch from some manufacturer on the other side of the world, it may fail after 10,000 hours.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty good. Our clients are more on the large side. 

With 4500 Series, you can add extra blades pretty easily, which makes things easier. You can also just stack them on top of 3850s or something else, add ports, and connect with fiber or ethernet. You're good to go. It is pretty easy.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used them.

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

I have always used Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on the use case, it can be pretty complex, but it is all done by people who are trained on it. The fact that you need somebody trained to do it means that it is pretty complex.

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

Cisco switches are expensive. Their price range is based not only on what the product does but also the name in the industry. 

They are good at what they do. If you need a better product, there are other lineups available.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you buy the right product and it does what you want. Don't get something that won't be what you think it will do.

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

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
JohnVan Dijk - PeerSpot reviewer
Vice President, Technology, Research & Development at Thales
Real User
Top 10
A pretty good scalable and stable product
Pros and Cons
  • "It is a pretty good product. I don't see a problem with this product. Cisco Catalyst Switches fit the best for the type of systems that we deploy. Our customers usually are happy with Cisco equipment. Many partners and third parties have ordered this solution."
  • "Its initial setup can be simpler, and it would be great if we can work with a reference architecture. Cisco has the capability to provide a very integrated solution. They have DNA Center, Cisco ISE, Cisco Prime, FMC, and AMP. We are looking at all the products, but it is rather complex to pick out the right licenses that you need. The license structure is a bit complex. Sometimes, there is an overlap in products, which does not really make sense. For example, you have DNA Center and Cisco Prime, and it is not really clear what you would use for what exactly. There is a lot of information on the Cisco website, but it takes a while to go through all this and look at the presentations that are available from Cisco Live. These presentations are appreciated, but sometimes, they are a bit too much like bullet points. You don't exactly know what's behind it, so you have to do a second guess. Overall, there is a lot of information but not always to the point."

What is our primary use case?

I am a solution architect and design authority. I define what we need and in which direction we are going to look. We then do some detailed investigation, get reports back, and make a decision. We are working on air traffic control systems. We use this solution for data centers and remote clients.

What is most valuable?

It is a pretty good product. I don't see a problem with this product. Cisco Catalyst Switches fit the best for the type of systems that we deploy. Our customers usually are happy with Cisco equipment. Many partners and third parties have ordered this solution.

What needs improvement?

Its initial setup can be simpler, and it would be great if we can work with a reference architecture.

Cisco has the capability to provide a very integrated solution. They have DNA Center, Cisco ISE, Cisco Prime, FMC, and AMP. We are looking at all the products, but it is rather complex to pick out the right licenses that you need. The license structure is a bit complex. Sometimes, there is an overlap in products, which does not really make sense. For example, you have DNA Center and Cisco Prime, and it is not really clear what you would use for what exactly.

There is a lot of information on the Cisco website, but it takes a while to go through all this and look at the presentations that are available from Cisco Live. These presentations are appreciated, but sometimes, they are a bit too much like bullet points. You don't exactly know what's behind it, so you have to do a second guess. Overall, there is a lot of information but not always to the point.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Cisco switches for 30 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has pretty good stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have experience with professional services. If we do a design, usually we can get some support. After we deploy a new network, we can get professional services from Cisco to help us. I think that is fine. I had an experience with Cisco last week, where they wanted to sell professional services to help us in the early design phase, where things are more conceptual. They shouldn't do that. 

Cisco should help based on the reference architecture. They should help the potential customer to get started without asking for money. I think Cisco equipment is expensive enough for that. I have no problem paying for professional services after we deploy it or when we do a detailed design. When it is early in a project's phase, we should get help from them to go in the right direction. It should be part of the normal business to work with an initial customer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup works well if you can build on earlier projects, but if you really have to make a completely new design, you will struggle a bit. We are working on a project now, and we have our experienced network engineers on this project, and they are struggling. The initial setup could be simpler.

It would be great if we can work with reference architectures. I have also seen something like this with other suppliers, and I really liked it. I have seen some of the ideas in the Cisco Live presentations, but I'm not sure if it is really complete and clear enough. It should be worked out a bit further so that we can work with reference architectures, and then let's say base it on multiple products that you would apply in the reference architecture. 

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

Cisco products are not that cheap.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution. I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches an eight 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: Reseller
PeerSpot user
Founder at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Simple to use with good functionality and a straightforward installation
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is already at the cutting edge in terms of innovation."
  • "Any improvements that they make should be in the wireless area of the product."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as access switches they get connected to the end-users and access points and IB fronts. 

What is most valuable?

The solution is fairly simple to use.

We're able to use L2 switches with this product. We are using normal VLANS plus spanning trees.

The installation is very straightforward.

The overall functionality is very good.

The solution is already at the cutting edge in terms of innovation.

What needs improvement?

There aren't any features that are missing. It's quite a good solution.

There are two different families, the older family is not programmable. The newer family is programmable and everything is there, so for now, most of the improvement is in the capacity and the speed and other items.

They could use more layer trees or VXLAN. Any modern setup which uses the SD axis and other features would benefit from this. It would definitely be more stable as we could remove all spanning trees. It's already technically there in Catalyst 9K.

Any improvements that they make should be in the wireless area of the product.

We could see more 100 GB interfaces and higher speeds in the future.

The access levels could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six or seven years now. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is good in terms of stability. Everything you need is right there. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. If a company needs to expand the product, they will be able to do so.

Our whole organization is currently using the solution. If I calculated all employees, it would be over 70,000 users. All of them definitely go through access switches, unless they are on remote access, in which case they don't access the switch.

We do plan to continue to use the solution going forward.

How are customer service and technical support?

As a Cisco vendor and a company that deploys the solution to our customers, we tend to handle the technical support ourselves. We assist our clients if anything happens with the solution.

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

I cannot recall using any other switches. We've always used Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is not complex in terms of setup. It's rather simple and pretty straightforward.

I cannot recall how long the deployment took. It actually doesn't take that much time. It takes a couple of days for the setup and to connect everything.

The number of people you need for deployment depends on the size. For simple use cases, if you just want to plug in a new switch, you do not need many people. However, in our case, we had a campus and that takes a bit more staff.  

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure of the exact version of the solution we are using. It might be version 15.

I'm technically a Cisco vendor.

I would recommend this solution to others.

On a scale from one to ten, I'd rate this solution at a nine.

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: implementer
PeerSpot user
Lange Wu - PeerSpot reviewer
Deputy Chief Engineer at SYSCOM COMPUTER ENGINEERING CO.
Real User
Easy to set up and use, stable, and the support is good

What is our primary use case?

The switches are for network infrastructure in an enterprise.

What is most valuable?

Catalyst switches are easy to use and simple to work with.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see support for one-touch provisioning.


By use zero touch provision , We do need a lot of config for system boot and other, That should be improved.


https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/...

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for about 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The Catalyst Switches are stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable product. We have about 1,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is amazing, although they could be a little faster.

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

I have not used other similar products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. The installation takes about 30 minutes per device.

What about the implementation team?

I install this product on my own. We have about 10 IT staff who can work with these switches.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good product and I recommend it.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

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
System Administrator at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
This gives us control of our throughput traffic but it comes with mandatory options that increase cost
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability to configure throughput is very flexible and improved the performance of our systems."
  • "The availability of resources for learning about the product and doing evaluation of any issues is excellent."
  • "Cisco forces end-users to accept billing for some capabilities or services that they may not want."

What is our primary use case?

Our installation is totally on-premises. It is a backend solution supporting the entire campus. This is used as a three-tier network for our overall networking. We use it as a call switch at the backend, it is also used in the distribution, and it is used on the server farm switches. We use them for these three different kinds of purposes in the data center at the same time. All these servers can function on the network through these switches.  

How has it helped my organization?

The improvement the product provides to our organization is the backend throughput over all the sites. It can give us about 1.4 TB backend throughput overall. We have variable multi-gate support through the ports. So we can connect on the same switch with the 1G, 10G, 25G, 40G, and 100G. In that way, we get multi-port throughput on the same switch. Because of this capability, scalability is not a bottleneck for us now.  

We have used Cisco Catalyst Switches to achieve our goals with stability and blanket level of performance. The documentation and help capabilities provided for users are transparent and widely available. You can find and read about solutions to fix your own issues. Virtually anything you want to study about the product or if you want to verify something, information about it is available and doesn't require calls to support and potential wait times.  

What is most valuable?

The volume possible with the throughput is the feature that is most valuable to us. It helps to get things done. For example, we can program the logic and can get more details through the SDM (Service Desk Management) to deliver a better level of support to users.  

The solution is good but the support from Cisco makes it that much better. Even the task of logging into the system is really good. All those things together boost the end user's confidence in the product and performance.  

What needs improvement?

One thing I think should be improved is that billing should be customizable for end-user. If the customer wants a particular feature or upgrade or does not want the feature or upgrade, it should be their choice. If the user rejects the additional services those should be cut off from the pricing and not forced on the billing. Instead, they just include these things and the end-user has no choice. That is a concern for end-users who are trying to be cost-conscious and know what they need — and what they do not need — in their environment.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the Cisco series since incorporating an older series about six to seven years ago. Right now, we are revamping our architecture with the new series that has the Cisco DNA (Digital Network Architecture). It is the latest solution in the Cisco Catalyst Series. We can use multi-gate ports and 100 GM port gate uplinks with the latest high-availability features along with DNA and deploy the latest technologies.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is quite good. Cisco is a brand that developed a reputation by taking care of the reliability to perform at least as well as any product on the market. The support level also contributes to that stability. Because they give me all the details, all the documentation, all the product details, and they supply that in a good manner, we can get the things that we need to resolve any issues as soon as possible. They are well aware of the product they deliver and we easily benefit from their knowledge and willingness to help keep our systems running.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My impression of the scalability is that it is there if you need or want it. But some scalability is also built-in. We are getting the multi-gate switches, and the multi-gate can be scaled. If you have a 10G right now, you can change to 25G later, then 40G even after that. You have opportunities to scale out in different always. In our case, we already knew what we planned to do so we had already thought that through. 

As far as handling a volume of users, all the traffic of our whole organization is going to be passing through these switches. These switches are deployed on the call side, the distribution, and the server farm. Because of the setup, the whole of my data center and any user accessing the system is passing through it. We are a large educational organization and we have between 30,000 to 40,000 users total. On a daily basis, there will be 20,000 users on the system.  

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from the support team is good. Overall with the availability of documentation and resources, it is great. For me, on a scale of one to ten, it would be between seven to eight.  

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

We did not really use a different system. We were using a Cisco solution already and just upgraded to the newest version of the product so we could have its advantages.  

How was the initial setup?

The setup is not very complex. You will spend more time planning the concept than in installation. We need to migrate the things and the migration is not a complex one. We had some new features to incorporate but this was not hard.  
 
If you include all the testing and the proof of concept, the deployment took around about a month. We just needed to get the things for new features tested and working. We did need some support from the OEM team, but it was not on site.  

For maintenance and management, we did not need anything additional as that was already done by our team. We have about two or three people only. One who sometimes shares some responsibilities, so it is two, only, full-time.  

What about the implementation team?

Because we have a good team in the organization already who were already familiar with the previous equipment and we have good access to support materials use an integrator, we did not need a reseller or a consultant to help with the deployment.  

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

I am not exactly sure of the final cost of the upgrade as we are still just finalizing in terms. The teams have to finalize the pricing and their exact needs. They have not placed the entire order yet. We should have the whole thing completed in one or two months.  

One thing I am sure of is that the pricing is a little higher for the new product on average. 
It is also a little bit higher than its competition. That includes any competition with Cisco in this category of solutions, like Juniper, Dell, or anyone else. But the thing is if the customer wants the kind of reliability, support, and transparency that a solution provides, then they need to pay a premium for it.  

What other advice do I have?

Advice that I would give others who are not using this Cisco solution is that maintenance is not a big deal for Cisco products. They deliver on customer support if it is even necessary at all. The Cisco team is always available to provide you the facts about the root cause of any problem or to answer any question. Because they have an excellent knowledge base, you can even research things and find solutions on your own.  

Whether you need this kind of dependability will have to do with your use case. If you are working on some kind of critical industry or environment, you can trust Cisco to be a reliable solution. But if you do not have very critical operations, you want to review other options. Cisco might be a solution you would pay more for and you do not really need it. If you do not need it, then you can go with another product like Juniper or Dell — or any vendor or solution that can supply the services and capabilities that you actually need. But knowing that depends on evaluating your situation and the reality of what you need to do.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is worst and ten is the best, I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches in terms of technology and all the capabilities as a whole as a seven right now. It is a seven to me just because there are problems that I see. The consideration of the rating is just not about the technical capabilities and documentation which are excellent. The problem is that they charge you for what they have supplied that you wanted as well as what they make it mandatory to buy. In the licensing, they include licensing for architecture, for new parts, for the software design, and for the future scheduled upgrades they have over the term of the contract. All these additional things are bundled in the licensing costs. The end-user can not exclude things from the license when you license the new switch. So even if there are items that you feel are not required for you as an end customer, they go on the billing.  

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
Science Technician at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Is easy to configure and resolves our internal problems
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the interface, it's easy to configure. The command line uses a switch that gives us security."
  • "They should also have a graphic interface for the switches too without the command line."

What is our primary use case?

We have an Academy, we know how to manage it. We have the knowledge to manage it and it gives us security. We can configure the switch to resolve our internal problems. We can use one switch for five to six years.

It's used for our processor, a small data center, and we have our network with at least 500 users.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the interface, it's easy to configure. The command line uses a switch that gives us security.

What needs improvement?

In the next release, they should lower the price. It's too expensive. 

They should also have a graphic interface for the switches too without the command line. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 500 users. 

It requires us to have at least 10 technicians. Five technicians and other administrative staff.

In the future, we need to do disaster recovery in the cloud. We are working on-premise and our future is to use it on the cloud for our disaster recovery.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a contract with a company that gives us support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not very complex. 

What about the implementation team?

We used a consultant for the implementation. 

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

Licensing is on a yearly basis. We usually spend up to $20,000.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it because it's a good solution that gives you security and is easy to use.

I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches an eight out of ten. They respond to all of our needs. 

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
System Administrator at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Helps us connect drivers and desktops, the expandability provides flexibility
Pros and Cons
  • "A very expandable solution."
  • "The switches could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case of this solution is for connecting up drivers and desktops. I'm a system administrator and we're a customer of Cisco. 

What is most valuable?

I like the expandability of the solution. I have a pair of 6509 catalyst switches and they use the add on boards. I also like the dual power supplies. 

What needs improvement?

We are not working off the latest version so the switches on the product are very old and that could be improved. The one gig boards are strictly one gig and not backward compatible. This switch also does not have power over ethernet, so that's old.  

I'd like to see a better web interface. I can't tell you what the existing generations have so I'm sure there have been improvements. These are so old and I'm sure modern switches now have much better tools to interface with them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for over 10 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's clearly very stable, otherwise we wouldn't be using it anymore. The fact that we still use it shows how stable it is. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

That switch was very scalable because itwas one of the ones that had nine slots in it. So it could have additional boards within.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward but we're not doing anything fancy with it.

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

We're not paying maintenance - these switches were end of life years ago. Maintenance is separate from licensing. Now there is no additional monthly recurring cost on the Cisco switches that we are running.

What other advice do I have?

This solution has been good to us, it's very solid.

I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior Network Engineer at High Frequency Trading
Real User
Easy to use, provides good network visibility, and supports multicast routing
Pros and Cons
  • "They have a robust monitoring system."
  • "The biggest issue we are having is with bugs and memory loss, which occurs when developing the IOS."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for LAN connectivity. We also use it for routing capabilities. It can become an L3 switch.

What is most valuable?

Cisco has a well-maintained library of maps and features that we use to monitor. 

One of the most valuable features is the IP SLA feature that allows you to connect the routes or to switch the routes when there is static. Also, the flow exporter tells you which host is using a lot of traffic or where they all are transferring data.

It gives you transparency into your network.

It supports multicast routing. We use Ganglia to monitor the Condor Grid. Ganglia transmits statistics that are multicast. Because it has multicast forwarding routing capabilities, it is also usable.

IP SLA or NetFlow are things that are presented in Catalyst and are extremely easy to use.

It also supports QoS. Basically, it can configure layer 2 or layer 3 QoS to prioritize the traffic that we want.

They have a robust monitoring system.

What needs improvement?

Most of the time, I struggle with the bugs. I don't find it very challenging to configure these because I have been using them for the last eight years, so I am pretty comfortable with the CLI. With these bugs, I don't know the configuration for a one time task, you configure it, you deploy it, and you forget about it.

The biggest issue we are having is with bugs and memory loss, which occurs when developing the IOS.

We also had an issue with Nexus 3548. The CPU started stalling and the switch became unresponsive. We had to call support and have someone remove that cable immediately, as we are not able to travel due to the COVID situation. Once the cable was removed, the switch came back to life.

I searched through the log and learned what happened. The CPU was stalled for 11 seconds. I searched Google and on the Cisco bug tracker, and I found that it was a bug. There is no workaround for that. It was a huge loss for us and we lost money as a result.

There was nothing that I could have done to prevent this from happening. This is a management interface that is supposed to be used to manage the device. I connected the cable not knowing that the bug existed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Cisco Catalyst Switches for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are going to be upgrading to the latest version because there are a few bugs in the release that we are currently using. We are facing issues with it causing the memory to be depleted. The bug is in the operating system itself.

Despite the bug issues we are facing, it is a stable solution. It is partly our fault as we have not upgraded to the newer version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. I don't think that it is stackable, but with a recent Catalyst that we have purchased, it provided four 10G uplinks.

Catalyst is installed in a central location. Everyone who connects to the company network goes through a Catalyst switch, one way or another. The switch is placed strategically so that we have the data of every incoming and outgoing connection. There can be 100 to 200 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We raised a case with the memory leak issue that we were facing and they said that we will need to update our device. In general, they are very good at what they do.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was extremely simple. We are engineers and know the plan beforehand how it will be used, how many ports will be used, what kind of configuration it will have, where the ports will be connected, and where the device will be mounted.

It's easy for us to configure and deploy. It takes two to three hours.

The device goes into the co-location center, where our cabinets are. The switch is mounted and we configure a management IP on that interface. 

What about the implementation team?

The deployment doesn't always involve us, as we are not always able to travel to the locations. Instead, we ask them to contact the vendor to install and connect the device.

The implementation is done through a vendor and our team.

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

They install licenses for 24 ports and then an additional 24 ports. The client is able to use the 48 ports or just 24 port if they want.

The cost of a license before COVID and before the lockdown was approximately three lakh 70,000 in Indian Rupees. After this COVID situation, the cost has gone down to two lakh 46,000 rupees.

The additional cost depends on where the device is being installed. If it's shared then we have to pay the rent for that cabinet where the device is being installed.

The device has only the chassis cost and the licensing cost.

In two or three years, we renew the support contract and that is an additional charge.

What other advice do I have?

Our environment includes a heterogeneous network. It's not all in the same place geographically, where some of the servers are in India, some are in Delhi, some are in Mumbai, London, Chicago, and Brazil.

The monitoring of the device is in the day-to-day operations.

We don't have a lot of traffic, we run simulations. We need high-capacity servers. In terms of network devices, we don't need much. When we need better switches or better devices, we have Nexus. They are used so that there is the lowest latency possible and maximum throughput.

We have point-to-point lead lines to connect to those sites, as well as architect tunnels.

Overall, it's a very robust switch and it's very nice.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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
OSSENI Adé Adam - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Network Engineer & Technical Instructor at Improtech
Real User
Excellent for covering business needs, relatively easy to deploy, and offers good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "We have dealt with Cisco's technical support in the past. They were especially helpful and very polite. They are always there if we need them and their insights are always excellent. I would say that we have been satisfied with the level of support we've gotten so far."
  • "The user interface needs improvement. Meraki has a much nicer UI. Cisco could learn a lot by looking at them. It might make them a bit more user friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We don't personally use the switches; we provide services to our clients, including implementing the switches for them.

How has it helped my organization?

Catalyst switches solutions are great. For various customers we have deployed for, business operations run smoothly and without any complain. Troubleshooting and insights are clearer. 

Our customers love working with us. 

What is most valuable?

Catalyst switches support a variety of features from both layer 2 and layer 3. The fetaures supported depend on the model your dealing with. Though there are various common features such VLAN, MLAG, SDM, STP, Resiliency, PoE, Wireless settings, etc....which Stacking feature happens to be the most common deployment. 

Recently I laid hands on Meraki Switches and what I can say to love is its seamless network services to build high-performance networks. 

What needs improvement?

The user interface needs improvement. It might make them a bit more user friendly.

The one thing that I came across with the Catalyst 2950-X switch was that I wanted to alter the dashboard, so I connected it to the management interface. I gave it an IP address and I used the browser. However, as soon as I accessed it, I realized that the system of the computer from which I was accessing it didn't support that version. I was using Linux and the OS didn't support the switch. I had to get a Windows computer to access the switch. The dashboard was difficult to manage. It would have been nice if they made it obvious that it didn't work on Linux.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for more than two years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I wouldn't say that the switches are stable. It depends on the situation more than any fault in the technology, however.

If a customer approaches my company, we provide the best option for the client. Sometimes that's Catalyst. We do work to evaluate the client and their needs quite extensively before making recommendations. Most of the time, clients look only at the cost and not at the bigger picture. Many don't want to spend too much money. Sometimes, however, a better solution may cost more.

While a well-implemented product is typically stable, if a client says that they don't want to spend anything higher than X, you have to work within those parameters and explain what X will get them, which may ultimately be instability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have dealt with Cisco's technical support in the past. They were especially helpful and very polite. They are always there if we need them and their insights are always excellent. I would say that we have been satisfied with the level of support we've gotten so far.

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

Of course, we use and still use Meraki solutions. We didn't switch. Like I said, it is based on what customers need. 

How was the initial setup?

The Catalyst switches take more time to implement than Meraki. How long it takes varies for each organization. It depends on the size and requirements. We have spent up to a few weeks on previous contracts setting up switches for companies.

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

Catalyst licensing varies from a thousand of dollars to 20+ thousands dollars , however, that might depend on the model or version you choose. There are some switches where the licenses are features-based and you need to get a specific license for specific items if you want to use them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked at Meraki, among other solutions.

While we have used Meraki, it's hard to compare them to Catalyst switches. Meraki is quite good and agile. They've simplified a lot of their processes and have some features that make actions easy to do on Meraki. However, Catalyst offers much of the same features, and are possibly more feature-rich.

Meraki is very much more focused on business needs. While it may be good for their own business model, it doesn't encapsulate everything. Catalyst does a better job in that regard. It has many more features on offer. You aren't limited, although you will want to focus on a particular kind of feature list for your deployment or your integration into your environment.

Cisco happened to own Meraki solutions now. 

What other advice do I have?

Last year, we were Cisco partners, but something happened and Cisco made some changes to its partnership requirements. Right now, we are working on re-establishing the partnership with Cisco. We'd like to be partners again.

We are planning to be a distributor. For the moment, however, now that we are waiting on the partnership, we're more of an integrator. 

We have deployed on-premises mostly and also a hybrid version sometimes. It depends on what the customer wants and what fits best for their needs. It also depends on the model that you are talking about. On the Catalyst switches, as far as I know, the models vary from types of deployments and features. Some features are only available on applicable switches.

In terms of advice I would give to other companies, I'd say that I like both Meraki and Cisco. I don't really prefer one over the other. It depends on the situation which one makes the most sense. Both are very large solutions but I could recommend either.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. I really do love Catalyst switches. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
PeerSpot user
Tomislav Stanojevic - PeerSpot reviewer
Network & Security Specialist at Fonicom
Real User
Extremely reliable and high quality technology with easy maintenance
Pros and Cons
  • "In terms of technology, Cisco is the leader in everything. I'd rather buy a second-hand Cisco switch than a brand new switch from a competitor. They're that reliable and resilient."
  • "Out of the competition, Cisco switches are easily the most expensive."

What is most valuable?

The switches are the easiest to deploy and maintain out of other competitors.

In terms of technology, Cisco is the leader in everything. I'd rather buy a second-hand Cisco switch than a brand new switch from a competitor. They're that reliable and resilient.

Cisco offers many ranges of switches and you'd know exactly if you were buying an access switch or a core switch distribution. They are definitely among the top companies. They just know how to predict things and what will evolve in the following years.

What needs improvement?

Out of the competition, Cisco switches are easily the most expensive.

There's something at Cisco called a console that is used for basic configuration and everything and I think that they excluded a normal USB. Instead of that micro USB they should put in the normal one. It would make things a bit easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've had experience dealing with the solution since 2010. It's been about ten years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of Cisco is unmatched. We don't experience bugs or glitches or have any issues. There's been no worry of crashing. The technology is impeccable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is quite good. We've never had any issues with scaling if necessary.

How are customer service and technical support?

If the company pays for a given device's Smart Net - that's Cisco's official name for support -  then the support provided is huge. It could be challenging for people that want to fix an old switch or a router but do not have paid support anymore. That's not the case for us. I do think Cisco could be a bit better at assisting in those instances instead of just putting customers in a position where they have to buy a new device where an old one just needs a repair. Beyond that, we have no complaints and have been satisfied with the level of service they provide.

How was the initial setup?

For me personally, the initial setup was very straightforward. I have experience with the product so it helps. if you are a user who has the experience, it shouldn't be too difficult to implement. Otherwise, you will have to spend some time learning about it and how it works.

What about the implementation team?

Everything depends on the size of the network that you want to design and implement. Of course, you need a consultant if you need something with 200 users or so. Or if you don't have any expertise in IT. The question is, is Cisco switch easier or harder to configure than some other brand or our vendor? And the answer is that, in my opinion, Cisco switches are not among the easiest ones to deploy, however, they are definitely the most reliable switches. 

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

Cisco is easily one of the most expensive on the market, but users are buying quality and reliability.

What other advice do I have?

The company I work with is a Premium Cisco partner. I've even based my career around Cisco vendors.

The solution is on a Private Cloud that we are renting (including equipment and the data center space and the LANs). We have obtained everything from Alban India, and our customers are mostly on our product site with the cloud. The customers include various financial companies, payment providers, etc. We're a systems integrator.

I would easily rate the solution ten out of ten. It's really great.

In terms of advice for other companies, I'd say that whether Cisco would work for them or not depends on the size of the network they want to cover. The small and midsize network users just really don't need to spend that amount of money on Cisco equipment, but the larger organizations and mission-critical environments definitely require Cisco.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
PeerSpot user
Network and Infrastructure Engineer at a tech vendor with 1-10 employees
Real User
Easy to configure, good documentation, and the community support is helpful

What is our primary use case?

I am a network engineer and work primarily on Cisco products, including the Catalyst Switches.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ease of configuring a switch. It gives you a lot of control.

The community support is good.

I am satisfied with the documentation that is provided by Cisco.

What needs improvement?

Reducing the price would be an improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst switches for the past year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is definitely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say that this product is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never used the Cisco technical support. The community support is pretty good and there are a lot of resources available online.

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

I have not used networking products by another vendor.

How was the initial setup?

Catalyst switches are pretty easy to install. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes per switch.

What about the implementation team?

I am the only person who is maintaining the switches.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that works find and I definitely recommend it. Interface-wise, it is pretty straightforward and I haven't had any issues with it.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
PeerSpot user
IT Manager at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Scalable, reliable, and it is easy to find trained engineers
Pros and Cons
  • "The biggest advantage of having this solution is that it is easy to find engineers, and they are cheaper than hiring HP engineers."
  • "I would like to see better compatibility between Cisco and other vendors."

What is our primary use case?

I design, implement, and troubleshoot networks that use Cisco switches. I am involved in every part of the design, including wireless.

What is most valuable?

The biggest advantage of having this solution is that it is easy to find engineers, and they are cheaper than hiring HP engineers. HP engineers are difficult to find and you have to train them, which brings up the price of an HP solution.

What needs improvement?

Cisco switches are really expensive compared to other solutions, which is something that should be improved. They are almost double in price.

As of late, Cisco has been moving from one technology to the next and they don't support each other. If you want new features then you have to buy a new product and forget about the old one. This is from a licensing perspective. For example, the Cisco DNA license versus then Cisco One license are things that I don't know about.

I would like to see better compatibility between Cisco and other vendors. There are a lot of features that are for Cisco devices only, and when you bring in a second or third vendor there are a lot of problems. Fixing this incompatibility would be an improvement. I have not tried a lot of other brands, but I have connected both Huawei and Aruba Wireless with Cisco. Connecting Huawei with Aruba Wireless works well with no hangs. However, connecting Cisco and Huawei is terrible. Sometimes you have to restart one, whereas other times you have to restart the other. I do not recommend mixing equipment between these two companies.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Cisco Catalyst switches for close to 11 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If the switch is set up properly in the first place then you don't need to come back to do anything with it. This is especially true with the Catalyst 3750. It is the most stable thing in the world. I have found that some of the newer switches will hang or lose their configuration, but this never happened with the 3750.

For example, I have faced a lot of problems with the 3850, especially if there are Aruba access points. Sometimes, it will just reject the access point, although when I bring a new one, it will allow it. Sometimes the VLAN, itself, hangs. Then you can put in another VLAN and it will work. There are a lot of mysterious things that I could not find an explanation for.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not faced any problem with scalability.

In my opinion, the Catalyst switches are for enterprise-level organizations with 5,000 or more employees. If there are 1,000 or fewer employees then any switch will manage.

Some of the places I have worked in had networks with 20,000 to 70,000 users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted technical support from Cisco. I have friends and colleagues who have received support but I just keep reading, then trial and error until I get it. I wouldn't want to pay for support if I don't use it. The only time I would require support is a hardware failure.

I have worked on two projects in the past where support licenses were purchased for a year. What I found was that I could purchase four additional switches and in total, they would cost less than the support. Those switches then go into storage and if one of the others fails then a replacement is available. Ultimately, it is much, much cheaper.

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

I have always used Cisco networking solutions, although we are opening a new branch and I think that this time, we will use HP. They do not want to pay one to two million dollars for IT infrastructure. With HP, if they have to pay half a million then they will approve it.

I have experience with a hybrid environment where it was a Cisco LAN and an HP Aruba wireless LAN, and I didn't like it. I was losing some great options. Based on that experience, I think that all of the hardware should be from a single vendor. Either Cisco all the way, or HP Aruba all the way.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy and very straightforward to set up and deploy. It takes maybe 15 to 30 minutes to get it working.

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

The price of Cisco equipment is very expensive and you have to pay extra for support.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to design the system well before deploying it. You have to consider all of the aspects and all of the options. Always beware. If there is a 1% chance of failure then consider it to be a 90% failure rate because when it fails, you will have options. Always have a plan A, B, C, and D. In my experience, sometimes all of the plans will fail, and sometimes the first one succeeds.

I can't give them a perfect market but they undeniably are of good quality.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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
User at Thomson DeRienzo Engineering
User
Stable and have a long service life, but they are expensive and should be more cost-effective

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for networks linking SMB Offices and remote access VPN.

What is most valuable?

They don't ever fail and they have a long service life.

What needs improvement?

The price is high and it should be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for twenty-five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

The service is good.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I'm satisfied with this solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Certified partner agreements
PeerSpot user
Nelson Gonzalez - PeerSpot reviewer
Assistant Information Technology Director at City of Coral Gables
Real User
Managed switching, dynamic routing, and network segmentation are helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is managed switching."
  • "Cisco should provide customers with a more advantageous licensing model included with the purchase of the equipment."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is capable of high-quality L2 & L3 switching at several different layers of our enterprise with a high rate of availability and reliability.

It has excellent dynamic routing capabilities. We manage a large WAN environment that requires the use of OSPF.

Cisco Catalyst Switches perform these two functions very well.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is managed switching.

We rely on heavy segmentation to secure and isolate several business units.

The dynamic routing capabilities are excellent.

What needs improvement?

Licensing is somewhat expensive and should be improved. Cisco should provide customers with a more advantageous licensing model included with the purchase of the equipment.

They have done some good by providing low-cost multiyear DNA center licenses with the purchases and have increased the number of benefits provided with the HW warranty, but must still work on lowering smart-net cost.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for fifteen years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is extremely stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is excellent. They are very knowledgeable, courteous, and adamant to meet their SLA.

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

I have used non-Cisco equipment, especially in the IoT environment of this municipality. In my experience, the competition falls short when it comes to features and reliability.

In the enterprise environment, there are several others that compare to Cisco and it is up to you to pick the right solution for your environment. For me, it is all related to budgeting, previous environment, expertise, and training needs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution was simple. I included professional services and cross-training for my team.

What about the implementation team?

We have experience in both cases.

 More complex and mission-critical deployments are handled by consultants. Less complicated deployments are handled by our staff.

What was our ROI?

ROI for this solution is excellent.

My HW lifecycle schedule is seven years. Some of these switches stay in production and performing ultimately for ten years.

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

Try to buy everything you need in bulk purchases and ask Cisco for volume discounts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Prior to choosing this solution, I evaluated the IoT environment Antaira, Cradlepoint, and Sierra Wireless. Cisco's solution was superior.

In an enterprise environment, I have evaluated Juniper, Extreme, and HP. Cisco's solution fit my operational, budgeting, and logistic needs better.

What other advice do I have?

This is a solid solution.

When choosing them vs others, it all depends on your budgeting, previous environment, expertise, and training needs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The system runs very well, we haven't experienced any downtime
Pros and Cons
  • "The new series has lots of great features, it's really lovely. From a management perspective, or a policy creation perspective, which we are seeing in the Catalyst 9000 series it is great."
  • "The current catalyst is probably outdated so we will most likely move to the newer version of the solution soon."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is system integration on the client end. We propose this solution to our customers based on their individual capacities and requirements. We have also been using the basic functionalities of the tool internally, very basic not to any high-end degree. 

How has it helped my organization?

I personally have never faced any kind of issues. The system is running very well and does what I need it to do. If there are any failures or problems we can resolve them quickly. We are able to get things up and running again and accomplish tasks after a failure within a few hour's time. We are very happy with what we are getting from our Cisco Catalyst Switches solution.

What is most valuable?

The new series has lots of great features; it's really lovely. From a management perspective, a policy creation perspective, and a utility perspective; the functionality we are seeing in the Catalyst 9000 series is great.

What needs improvement?

The current catalyst is probably outdated so we will most likely move to the newer version of the solution soon. 

Some additional features that should be included in the next release could include the ability to create real integration, standard policy pushing, and optimizations.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable in all environments. We haven't experienced any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. I have to say that the Cisco Catalyst solution provides the scalability directly in line with our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our technical support experience has been very good. We have mainly relied on our internal team for technical support and maintenance.

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

In the past, we used a different solution but it was a long time ago and I really can't remember what it was.

How was the initial setup?

Since we are all certified engineers we found the initial setup to be straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was done in-house.

What was our ROI?

I believe that our return on investment is excellent mainly due to the fact that we haven't experienced any downtime, no issues at all. This is one of the reasons I believe the production is a good solution; it's a sound investment. We are not losing any time.

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

The pricing and licensing are fine. To be honest we have found that this tool is able to meet all of our expectations at this time. This solution is agile and meets our expectations.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I can say that the Cisco Catalyst Solution is a very stable product. Technical support is good from our experience. Everybody seems to know and work well with the tool, including management cross-functionally it's a tool that we enjoy using.

I would rate it an eight out of ten. The only reason I'm not giving this solution a slightly high rating is due to the fact that we are seeing improvements in the new series of this solution. What we are seeing and what we are expecting are great improvements; the management team likes the new type of architecture we are seeing in the new series of the tool. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Information Security Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The SmartPort feature has been valuable and helped my organization
Pros and Cons
  • "We heavily use the SmartPort features. It has really helped us. The U.S. policies are handled by the auto SmartPort feature"
  • "They should make so that they let users know five to ten minutes before productivity is restored in the case of power loss."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for provisioning.

How has it helped my organization?

We heavily use the SmartPort features. It has really helped us. The U.S. policies are handled by the auto SmartPort feature.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to use and easy to configure. It's easy to provision and plan ahead. 

What needs improvement?

They should make so that they let users know five to ten minutes before productivity is restored in the case of power loss. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. We have 120 users. It has high capabilities. We only require six or seven people for the maintenance. Cisco has guidelines for the maintenance that are straightforward. 

How are customer service and technical support?

If I ask for any support, they're responsive. Their support is very good. We haven't had any problems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy, not complex at all. 

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

It's very pricey. Compared to competitors, it's a lot more expensive. They should consider lowering the price for smaller organizations so that it's easier for them to afford. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight and a half out of ten. 

They should develop more customization features. It would make things easier for the engineers. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Network Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Has become easier for us to troubleshoot but the newer models aren't so stable
Pros and Cons
  • "It has become easier for us to troubleshoot and find issues faster in the management software for the switches. It saves us troubleshooting time because if the network is down it has a big impact on production."
  • "The newer models are not so stable. Other products like 6800, 3750, were stable but starting from 3850 it got worse. We have a lot of issues and a lot of bugs. It's a new product so it's understandable but it should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for routing, switching, and for interconnecting sites.

How has it helped my organization?

It has become easier for us to troubleshoot and find issues faster in the management software for the switches. It saves us troubleshooting time because if the network is down it has a big impact on production.

What is most valuable?

The stability is the most valuable feature. We have some outages but it's 95% stable. 

What needs improvement?

The newer models are not so stable. Other products like 6800, 3750, were stable but starting from 3850 it got worse. We have a lot of issues and a lot of bugs. It's a new product so it's understandable but it should be improved. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is easy. It's easy to increase the size of our network, we use templates. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't had to use their technical support. 

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

We wanted a reliable solution so we chose Cisco. We began working with them ten years ago. We have everything on Cisco and it's not worth it to switch everything to another brand. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a bit complex but we have templates so we just have to deploy our template configuration. The VLAN configuration was complex. We have STP and different protocols which are not on the V-port so we had to enable it.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Ten years ago we used Avaya and HPE. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a seven out of ten. Not a ten because we are highly satisfied with all of their products but with the newer products, some parts have problems that take a while to fix.

I would say to go for Cisco. It is a stable and quality solution. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Network Engeneer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Performs really well and has great support, we use it everywhere in our company
Pros and Cons
  • "Their technical support is very good. They know what to do and if they don't know what to do, they give me the person who does know."
  • "It should have better security and the prices can always be lower. The cheaper the price, the better but if the quality is good, it's worth it. They also have to improve the firewalling."

What is our primary use case?

We use it everywhere in our company. The switches are in our data center and our stores. It performs really well, it's stable. There are some software issues but it's generally good. 

What is most valuable?

Cisco support is one of the most valuable features. If you have any problem you can find a lot of information online. If it's a really bad situation, you can have a technician help you. 

What needs improvement?

It should have better security and the prices can always be lower. The cheaper the price, the better but if the quality is good, it's worth it. They also have to improve the firewalling. 

SP access should be included in the next release. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is perfect. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability will depend on the specific product. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. They know what to do and if they don't know what to do, they give me the person who does know. 

How was the initial setup?

Sometimes we have complex setups and sometimes they're simple. 

What about the implementation team?

We implemented with MTS Austria. They were really great. They know what to do. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at HPE and Juniper. 

What other advice do I have?

Look at the pricing. If you can afford it, buy it. 

I would rate it a nine out of ten. I like it, it works. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Chief Deputy Quality Audit
Real User
We use it for networking, it's very stable and has good scalability
Pros and Cons
  • "The stability and Cisco's support are the most valuable features."
  • "The prices are high. It's more expensive than other similar options."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for networking, both for the local network and our internet network.

What is most valuable?

The stability and Cisco's support are the most valuable features. 

What needs improvement?

The prices are high. It's more expensive than other similar options. 

I would like for them to include more cloud options in the next release and a smaller router.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable product. It has become increasingly more stable since we started working with them in 1988. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. 

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

We knew we needed to switch solutions because we have a client who told us what they need for their future projects. We strategized and went with this solution. We try to find them the best product. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

We used a Cisco representative for the initial deployment. We didn't have any problems with them, it was a good experience.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Huawei but we went with Cisco because we're more comfortable with them even though their prices are a little higher. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. Not a ten because of the prices. 

I would advise someone considering this solution to check out all of your options and go back to Cisco. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Akshay Balaganur - PeerSpot reviewer
Founder and Lead Network Consultant at Airowire Networks
Consultant
Supports our entire line infrastructure and is easy to use
Pros and Cons
  • "Their technical support is good, one of the best in the industry."
  • "To make it a ten they should simplify the licensing, add the cloud-managed feature, and it should be more cost-effective."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for the campus network.

How has it helped my organization?

It supports our entire line infrastructure. It runs from the line under the entire campus and is the backbone of the network. The entire business runs from this product.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use is the most valuable feature. 

What needs improvement?

They should make it more affordable, improve the cost, manageability, and central management. 

I would like to see a cloud-managed feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The catalyst switches are stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They are scalable. We have are around 2,000 users. We use it quite extensively and we require at least two to three people for maintenance.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good, one of the best in the industry.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. The deployment depends on the scale of the network, because all of these devices, they don't work in silo, they work in tandem with each other. So it depends on the scale and size of the network.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator for the deployment. We had a good experience with them.

What was our ROI?

We have absolutely seen ROI. You will see ROI if you use this solution for a longer duration. 

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

The price is on the higher side. Licensing is also complicated. Simply, there are multiple licenses required.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten. To make it a ten they should simplify the licensing, add the cloud-managed feature, and it should be more cost-effective.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
PeerSpot user
Alberto E. Luna Rodriguez - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Security Coordinator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The 802.1X port security works well and helps keep the network secure
Pros and Cons
  • "The 802.1X port security and other security features work well and help keep the network secure."
  • "The CLI is pretty much the same across all switching and routing platforms from Cisco, making deployment of new switches, replacement of damaged equipment, or upgrades to newer platforms very easy."

    What is our primary use case?

    Access layer Switches. VLAN Segmentation, Inter-VLAN and LAN Routing. 802.1X network access device.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This platform has enabled reliable connectivity across the entire campus network. Great performance and stability ensure that the network is available where you need it. The 802.1X port security and other security features work well and help keep the network secure. PoE helped us deploy WLAN APs, security cameras, and IP phones with minimal cabling.

    What is most valuable?

    • Very stable and dependable switches.
    • The wide range of features will be enough for almost any LAN environment.
    • The CLI is pretty much the same across all switching and routing platforms from Cisco, making deployment of new switches, replacement of damaged equipment, or upgrades to newer platforms very easy.

    What needs improvement?

    I have found no major drawbacks in the Catalyst platforms. The price is high, but for seemingly the best LAN switching platform available, coupled with Cisco's excellent support, the price doesn't seem to be too much.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues with scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is the best I have worked with.

    How was the initial setup?

    Basic switching functionality works out-of-the-box, as with any other switch. Complexity will depend on the task at hand, but if you're familiar with the Cisco CLI you should have no problem finding your way.

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

    Pricing of Cisco equipment is high, but I think these switches are worth the price.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have been working with Catalyst switches for 10 years. Cisco support is among the best there is. Use it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user408189 - PeerSpot reviewer
    User at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Vendor
    VLAN provides us with segregation, but I would like to see ongoing software improvement
    Pros and Cons
    • "VLAN gives us segregation."
    • "Cisco should focus more on this type of product instead of on data center switches. They stopped improving the software of these switches and they are focusing on the data center. They should focus on this type of product, more than any other thing."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Catalyst for campus switches.

    How has it helped my organization?

    As an access switch, it really hasn't made an improvement in our organization. Access switches are similar, in most cases. It's just and end-user switch, so it doesn't really differ if it's Cisco or any other device.

    Perhaps the reliability is an improvement.

    What is most valuable?

    VLAN gives us segregation.

    What needs improvement?

    Cisco should focus more on this type of product instead of on data center switches. They stopped improving the software of these switches and they are focusing on the data center. They should focus on this type of product, more than any other thing.

    It might also help if they integrated their security products with the switches.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I had some hardware failure, a defect, on arrival.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are no issues with scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I would evaluate the tech support as "fair". They have multi-tiered support and especially the level-one and two don't know what they are doing. They collect a lot of information, wasting your time, and then they keep moving the tickets from level one to level two and level three, and when the issue is solved, usually level-three are the ones who solve it. They're not good at the lower levels of support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI for this product is three to five years.

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

    I would rate the features-to-pricing ratio at six out of 10.

    My advice about licensing is that you should have a perpetual license, not one that is subscription-based.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I use a lot of switches on the campus: Juniper, Extreme, etc. I use multiple vendors. However, Cisco and Juniper are my preferred vendors.

    What other advice do I have?

    The most important thing I can say is that Cisco is using a proprietary protocol, so you should design your network accordingly so that you don't get vendor lock.

    I would rate Cisco Catalyst a seven out of 10 because of the pros and the cons I have noted.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Muklit Chopra - PeerSpot reviewer
    Technical Specialist at Wipro Technologies
    Consultant
    A robust solution and it enables us to bring the network up in a very short time
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most important features are that Cisco is one of the most robust switches, it is easy to configure, and the documentation is pretty good."
    • "One feature that I would like to add is for the following: At times, when I add an access-list for a hostname, it doesn't actually add the hostname, it adds the IP address. So in the back-end, if my server changes the IP address I have to go in manually and change the IP address. If the capability was there in Cisco to add a hostname instead of the IP address that would be really good."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for connecting the users on the network. The performance has been good.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I've used other switches as well but, when configuring Catalyst, we are able to bring the network up in a very short time. If the company wants to extend the network or wants to get some new users on board, the usage is pretty fast and, in no time, it gets moving. For other switches, it might take some time for us to do research and get the system online. So it provides business benefits. The users don't have to wait to get on the network.

    What is most valuable?

    Cisco is one of the most robust switches, it is easy to configure, and the documentation is pretty good. Once you install it, you never face an issue with that switch.

    What needs improvement?

    One feature that I would like to add is for the following: At times, when I add an access list for a hostname, it doesn't actually add the hostname, it adds the IP address. So in the back-end, if my server changes the IP address, I have to go in manually and change the IP address. If the capability was there in Cisco to add a hostname instead of the IP address that would be really good.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's a pretty stable product. Once you install it in the network, it keeps running without any issues. You just install it and forget it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scalable. If you want to install more switches it's pretty easy to pull up a wire, configure the new switch, and connect it to the network. It starts and you won't have to worry if the other switches will be compatible with it or not. In a multi-vendor environment as well, if you want to more switches, it works pretty well.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Tech support is good. The response has been good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty straightforward. There is a guide, as well as support, on the internet. We just follow it. A person who is doing it for the first time can just follow it and get it installed.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely have colleagues go for Cisco Catalyst. It's a pretty good product, stable, and reliable.

    Most important when selecting a vendor are that the connection should be stable, it should have good support, and it should not be really complex to configure.

    I would rate Cisco Catalyst at nine out of 10. The one point I'm leaving is for the improvement I spoke about. There is always room for improvement. Cisco Catalyst is pretty good. I have never faced any issues or challenges with it.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Service integrator.
    PeerSpot user
    IT Consultant at L&M Alpha Solutions
    Real User
    Ease of configuration, the CLI, and the GUI are the key features for us
    Pros and Cons
    • "The main valuable features for me are the ease of configuration, the CLI, and the GUI."

      What is our primary use case?

      The use case is for user access. It's good, it's performing very well.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Catalyst functions as a core and the main benefit for us is the performance, having multiple users.

      What is most valuable?

      The main valuable features for me are

      • the ease of configuration
      • CLI
      • GUI.

      What needs improvement?

      My dream is to have the netflow in the port, for the administration and the utilization of user traffic, similar to the Meraki.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's very scalable. It's very easy to cover all the services.

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

      We chose Catalyst because we are looking to the future.

      When selecting a vendor, the most important criteria for me are the post-sale support as well as the price.

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

      Catalyst is very expensive.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      For our company, Cisco's competition was Aruba.

      What other advice do I have?

      The configuration is simple and the support is good. The equipment for networking is the best for an organization. It's working very well.

      I rate Catalyst at 10 out of 10 because of the performance and support.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      PeerSpot user
      PeerSpot user
      IT Admin at UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization
      Real User
      Streamlines operations and maintenance and reduces end-user downtime
      Pros and Cons
        • "It would be helpful to have the ability to load new IOS software without performing a reboot or to be able to perform the reboot without disrupting end-users."

        What is our primary use case?

        LAN switch for both core and access layers. It has performed very well in this area.

        How has it helped my organization?

        The ease of deployment and the support are associated with a reduction in end-user downtime as well as in the operations and maintenance efforts required.

        What is most valuable?

        Among the most valuable features are the support and the ecosystem. There is a lot of documentation and information, and many support resources are available.

        What needs improvement?

        It would be helpful to have the ability to load new IOS software without performing a reboot, or to be able to perform the reboot without disrupting end-users.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        This is a very stable and mature platform with a proven record of reliability.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Catalyst is very a very scalable solution thanks to its Stack mechanism, as well as the modular functionalities of some models.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Cisco TAC support is very reliable and responsive. It has always been considered an industry benchmark among all IT support organizations.

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

        Business requirements were the driver for our switch to Catalyst. We needed an increase in port density and an increase in port speed, among other things.

        The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is the quality of the support team for technical issues.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup of Catalyst, in general, is straightforward and easily done by following the documentation.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks, Dell.

        What other advice do I have?

        Consider your business requirements and only select the needed functions/features, to avoid over-complex solutions.

        I rate Catalyst a nine out of 10 because the product is extremely mature and reliable.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        PeerSpot user
        it_user617499 - PeerSpot reviewer
        Senior Presales Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Consultant
        Provides our customers with feature-rich switching, including Layer 2 and Layer 3
        Pros and Cons
        • "The most valuable features are the Stacking and the capacity of the switches because they have more throughput. Layer 2 is also part of its rich feature set."

          What is our primary use case?

          We usually use it for connecting campus switches and to provide access switching to the customer, through which they connect their end-user or end devices like WiFi, CCTV, or IP phone.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The features I mentioned definitely enhance the customer experience.

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable features are the Stacking and the capacity of the switches because they have more throughput. Layer 2 is also part of its rich feature set.

          What needs improvement?

          For the access switch for distribution, I would like to see them support 100GB, 40GB.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It is very, very stable. We have not faced any problems with our clients. There have been no complaints. These switches run for many years. They have not complained about the stability of the network because of the failure of a switch. It works fine.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          As I mentioned, one of the great features is Stacking. One of our customers bought two switches. After about three to four months they bought another one. They only stack the switches. They do not need to add more switches at the core or distribution, connected at the base. They can stack up to eight switches, and they will work fine with no issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Honestly, we have not really faced any problems with the Catalyst switches because the configuration is intuitive. Also, our engineers are expert in this area. Very rarely they may have to open a case with Cisco TAC.

          For me, in presales, I can reach the system engineers easily. They support me a lot. Also the documentation is important. There are a lot of forums, discussions. If you have any problem they guide you and they solve the problem easily.

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

          If you compare Cisco with another vendor, they are far and away better, in terms of performance and the rich features.

          For me, in presales, the most important criteria when selecting a vendor are that I'm able to easily access the Cisco website and, if I need any kind of support, I immediately get it from the Cisco team, whether virtually or physically, here in Saudi Arabia. 

          How was the initial setup?

          I'm not directly involved in the setup but from what I understand it is straightforward.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          HPE comes into the picture because they have a wireless product. It's a good product. We definitely propose their switches.

          What other advice do I have?

          If you need any support you can find it easily on their website, including documentation. You can reach out to Cisco's virtual team. Cisco gives any type of support needed to their partners.

          I give Cisco Catalyst a 10 out of 10. It's scalable, resilient, and has rich features in terms of Layer 2, Layer 3, QoS. They have real vision.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
          PeerSpot user
          Senior Manager at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
          MSP
          Catalysts are very good in the LAN infrastructure, especially for a campus network

          What is our primary use case?

          Generally, we are using Cisco Catalyst switches for the campus network. We are currently using the Cisco Catalyst 3800 Series switches with IOS XE, and we also recently onboarded the Catalyst 9300 Series and 9400 Series, mostly for the campus network. We also use the 3800 Series switch for wireless connectivity, which provides UPOE, supporting up to 60 watts for the PoE devices.

          Performance-wise, Catalysts are so good in the LAN infrastructure, especially for a campus network. But for a data center environment, we mostly prefer the Cisco Nexus series.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Cisco Catalyst is one of the most famous and popular devices for campus networks, widely used in most of the country. They are the preferred networking switches with many features that help eliminate the need for a more complex OSPF. They are also easy to configure and manage. With the vulnerability assessment report, we can see there are more improvements coming from Cisco for campus area network switches.

          What is most valuable?

          HSRP (Hot Standby Router Protocol) is one valuable feature. In the 3800 Series, we have the Stacking feature which enables combining switches to get more bandwidth and produce high-availability. The Stacking feature can also actually eliminate the need for HSRP.

          What needs improvement?

          I would like to see hosting multiple applications on the existing IOS.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Stability-wise it is good. We have had multiple Catalyst switches running for quite a long period of time without even a single reboot. Performance-wise that is quite okay.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The way it is being deployed it is expandable. We can add additional devices, so it is good.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I have used support for Catalyst and it was good.

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

          In most places, we were already using it, and we are continuing to use it. We could see the stability was better and it's quite easy to manage. We are also used to it. In addition, we're able to get technical support as well as vendor support.

          How was the initial setup?

          Setup is quite straightforward. You need to understand some of the basic components, how to set up the basic requirements. Apart from that, it is quite easy. You won't struggle much if you have a basic understanding of it.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Another candidate would be Juniper switches.

          What other advice do I have?

          The main thing is that Catalyst has been around for quite a long period. Cisco is one of the leaders in campus area networks, so investing in Catalysts, given that they are reliable, is safe.

          My most important criteria when selecting a vendor are the

          • product knowledge
          • support from the vendor and the availability of the technical staff to support it.

          I would give a Cisco Catalyst a nine out of 10 because most campus networks use Cisco and it is one of the best campus network switches. Its performance is quite good, it’s seamless, and stability-wise it is good.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          PeerSpot user
          it_user683622 - PeerSpot reviewer
          Presales Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
          Real User
          DNA and SDN enable us to provide a full solution to our customers
          Pros and Cons
          • "If we are providing a switching solution, it's not just switching, it's a whole solution with DNA. That is where the whole concept of Network Management and Network Assurance comes in. So Catalyst plays a big role in putting everything together and providing a whole solution to the customer."
          • "One good feature is UPOE. Another is having a built-in controller, the customer doesn't have to ask for another controller. For example, you get a built-in controller with the C650. And two-port is one of the premium factors from Cisco."
          • "Dell switching is coming up with a solution where you can put your own OS inside their switching infra. That is where they are talking about open networking. We can show that our Cisco is also an open-source. We are open to different switching operating systems if the customer is willing to put it in. We can support multiple operating systems inside the switching infrastructure. It removes the hardware and software dependency on each other. That is where I think there can be room for improvement. Then we can talk about open networking and that is where Cisco can also come up with open networking access."

          What is our primary use case?

          The use case will depend on the customer's requirements. Generally, if they want the access layer, the 2960 works pretty well. If they are in the SMB market, we go with the SZ series which is okay. If the primary use case is more on the PoE side, Catalyst switches give the most. And with respect to two-port, the 2960 is better.

          How has it helped my organization?

          With respect to the technology, when we talk about DNA and SDN as a whole concept, that is where, as a partner, our pitching point is, where we can show our edge to the customer. For example, if we are providing a switching solution, it's not just switching, it's a whole solution with DNA. That is where the whole concept of Network Management and Network Assurance comes in. So Catalyst plays a big role in putting everything together and providing a whole solution to the customer. 

          Regarding security, with Stealthwatch, Catalyst switches play an important role as well.

          When we talk to the customer, giving a full solution is important. From the switching to the network DNA to the security, I can deliver the whole thing with Cisco. That is how I position things when I go to the customer. We don't just go and talk about switches. We talk about the total solution that Cisco can give.

          What is most valuable?

          One good feature is UPOE. Another is having a built-in controller, the customer doesn't have to ask for another controller. For example, you get a built-in controller with the C650. And two-port is one of the premium factors from Cisco.

          Something I like about the 2960-XR is that you get a lot of Layer 3 features.

          What needs improvement?

          One issue is that the competition is giving a lifetime warranty, whereas Cisco has a limited warranty on most of it.

          Also, Dell switching is coming up with a solution where you can put your own OS inside their switching infra. That is where they are talking about open networking. We can show that our Cisco is also an open-source. We are open to different switching operating systems if the customer is willing to put it in. We can support multiple operating systems inside the switching infrastructure. It removes the hardware and software dependency on each other. That is where I think there is room for improvement so we can talk about open networking. Cisco should also come up with open networking access.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          In terms of stability, Cisco is the premium solution in the market. It has a cost, but it gives you that stability. That is one thing Cisco has always delivered. That is without doubt, from my perspective and also from a customer perspective. They know that reliability and stability are prime features of Cisco.

          How was the initial setup?

          I really haven't found any issues with respect to delivering the solution. If you talk about security I would give you a different picture. But with respect to just Catalyst, there are no issues. It is totally straightforward.

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

          Pricing is an issue I have been facing, in comparison with HPE or Juniper. The Nexus series is out of the question right now. Scalability is more an issue on the pricing side and less on the technology side.

          What other advice do I have?

          I will always tell you to go with Cisco Catalyst 9000 Series. That is the one to go with because you never know - any day, Cisco could make certain devices or certain components of a switch end-of-life. That is always a concern for our customers: "Are you giving me a product that is not end-of-life?. Will it not go end-of-life in the coming years? I need that assurance." I always tell customers to take a device that is very new so at least it's unlikely to go end-of-life in the near future.

          So Catalyst 9000 is the one we are positioning because it has a lot of new features, plus it is new in the market. If a customer asks, "Should I go with 3850 or the 9000 Series, I will say that they should go with 9000 Series because the 3850 is an older version and costs almost the same. The 3850 has been on the market for a longer time. You never know when it will go end-of-life in the coming five years or seven years.

          I would rate Catalyst at eight out of 10, from my experience. I have mentioned, above, a couple of things that Cisco can come up with, technically as well as commercially. All these aspects lead me to rate it an eight. Those technical and commercial differences mean we have to work hard.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          PeerSpot user
          Project Manager at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Real User
          Provides us with a robust and scalable access switch solution
          Pros and Cons
            • "In terms of additional features or improvements, I would like to see more fiber ports, more security features, and perhaps the integration of wireless features into the switch."

            What is our primary use case?

            We use it mainly for access, as an access switch to other PCs.

            How has it helped my organization?

            The greatest benefit for our organization is that our Cisco Catalysts are quite reliable. We can depend on them.

            What is most valuable?

            The most valuable features of this solution are that they are quite robust, they hardly ever fail.

            What needs improvement?

            In terms of additional features or improvements, I would like to see more fiber ports, more security features, and perhaps the integration of wireless features into the switch.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It is very scalable, because of the stacking features.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Cisco supports this solution quite well. I like the support from Cisco.

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

            I have always used Cisco. I think it is the most reliable solution on the market.

            When selecting a vendor, for me the most important criteria are 

            • the competency of their engineering staff
            • their product knowledge.

            How was the initial setup?

            As I said, I mostly deployed it as an access switch, and at that level, it is not complex. If you are talking about using it as a core switch, that would be much more complex. But we are only using it as an access switch.

            What other advice do I have?

            Do a comparison with other brands and look at their features. The main Cisco Catalyst features are that it is scalable and reliable. These are two things you should look into when doing your comparison.

            I would rate Cisco Catalyst at eight out of 10. It's reliable, the features are quite full-fledged, and it's scalable.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: System Integrator.
            PeerSpot user
            Akshay Balaganur - PeerSpot reviewer
            Founder and Lead Network Consultant at Airowire Networks
            Consultant
            Supports external flash disks for storing images and file systems
            Pros and Cons
            • "A good feature of Cisco Catalyst is that it records crash log files which can be used to literally identify the cause of a crash because there is a lot of information. And Cisco Catalyst supports the use of external flash disks for storing of images and file systems."
            • "Currently, Catalyst is completely proprietary with Cisco. They should have programmability options, through open-source controllers."

            What is our primary use case?

            I was a Support Engineer with Cisco, I used to support customers who were using Cisco Catalyst features.

            What is most valuable?

            A good feature of Cisco Catalyst is that it records crash log files which can be used to literally identify the cause of a crash because they have a lot of information. And Cisco Catalyst supports the use of external flash disks for storing of images and file systems.

            What needs improvement?

            Currently, Catalyst is completely proprietary with Cisco. They should have programmability options, through open-source controllers.

            Also, some features, are very complex to configure.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            More than five years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            Catalyst is known for its stability, so there are not many challenges there. Of course, they do have a platform that comes with its own set of bugs, and then the bugs get fixed and then there is a new set of bugs. But it's okay. Compared to other products it is very stable.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            Catalyst is a highly scalable product.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            Tech support was good in the past but now it is becoming diluted. Cisco used to have a lot of experienced folks, but now their whole process of hiring and training is diluted, so we don't see as much expertise with the TAC engineers as we once did.

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

            Generally, Cisco Catalyst would be relatively expensive compared to the competition, it would be on the expensive side. But I am not involved in the commercial part.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            There are a lot of options when it comes to switching products. Brocade offers good switches, HPE offers a very affordable set of switches. But the purchase decision depends on a lot of factors. Primarily, Cisco provides an end-to-end solution, all aspects of networking, from UIP to security to wireless to servers. That factor plays into it.

            What other advice do I have?

            I would give this solution an eight out of 10. To get to a 10, it should become more open-source friendly, more customizable, easy to configure, and less complex in terms of the licensing.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            PeerSpot user
            Al Faruq Ibna Nazim - PeerSpot reviewer
            Head of Technology at Computer Services Ltd.
            MSP
            Provides cost-effective posture assessment, captive portal, and a policy-driven network
            Pros and Cons
              • "I have had a little hiccup working with Catalyst switches. They used a few power integration features but I'm not sure they really resulted in much power saving. But, it caused cross-vendor equipment trouble."

              What is our primary use case?

              The last Catalyst I used was for a core solution in an airport. That was a 3850. The previous use case was as the backbone of an ISP. We used different models of Cisco Catalyst including 3560s and 3700s.

              How has it helped my organization?

              When we started working with a regular Catalyst, the 2060, we mostly had a VLAN-based network. But in 2015, I worked with a well-known NGO, World Vision, in Bangladesh. They have around 84 locations all over the country, and they expected that their entire network would be authenticated through 802.1X. They expected that their network would be centrally policy-driven and allocated, that they would have posture assessment, and captive portal. Other than using a Catalyst, we couldn't have afforded to have these features.

              What is most valuable?

              In my country, Catalysts are used mostly for simple distribution, not more than that.

              There were some other areas we've worked on the last two years. Most of the organizations who were going for Catalyst switches with Layer 2 options expected Identity Services integration. They were concentrating on having 802.1X authentication policy-making.

              What needs improvement?

              Recently I have had a little hiccup working with Catalyst switches. They used a few power integration features but I'm not sure they really resulted in much power saving. But, it caused cross-vendor equipment trouble.

              For example, if I put some sort of equipment other than Cisco in a Cisco network, where the energy is marked as an option for Catalyst, sometimes I end up with a link breakage situation. This is because Cisco can understand its own structural power dependency and optimization, but it cannot understand the power optimization for other vendors' equipment. I had a really tough time managing the networks.

              Also, Cisco has been introducing some software options in Layer 3 switches. I don't find that to be important so far, when there are have SDN options all over the world now. Certain switches are even leaving that out of the licensing option, and they are providing you embedded options so that you can actually use open-source SDNs. I don't believe that this is a good option, that Cisco is actually keeping so many licensing options for Catalyst. That is my opinion on the Catalyst 9000 series.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              So far, I haven't really found any lack of stability. The switches are really good. The Catalyst 2960 switches had some issues earlier, power issues as I mentioned. It had more port failure and port damage issue than previous versions. But after we found the 2960-XR and others, they really improved.

              I have been happy with Catalyst performance. It's doing better.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              In terms of scalability, it's really working fine.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Cisco tech support is really slow. In the time it takes them to actually understand a scenario, we have mostly found our way out on our own.

              In 2015, when I had a major deployment, I had an issue resulting from a captive portal for a 2960-Plus switch with IC. I opened a ticket. The call created questions and seven days went by. So I had to intervene in the entire operation, and found that it had a workaround, and I instructed my engineers to do that. Eventually, the problem was solved, but I really wanted to see whether Cisco could solve the problem. So I kept the ticket going and asked them what they were doing, what results they were providing, because there are certain areas they are expert and, ultimately, they can actually tell me what is the better way to do that. But after 21 days, I found that they were not getting anywhere, whereas in 10 days, we had already solved the problem. Then I asked my people to close the ticket because there was no use keeping it open. It was better that we resolved it ourselves.

              So I don't appreciate Cisco tech support.

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

              I have been using different switches side-by-side.

              There have been certain issues. There was one implementation where Cisco was awarded up to the firewall and Dell was awarded from the server farm to all the servers in storage: the server from the switch, then the Dell MXL blade switches. That was the time got to compare the Dell performance with the Cisco Nexus 5 series performance. We found that Dell's performance was much more flexible than Cisco Nexus.

              There was another case where I was using PowerConnect with the Dell EqualLogic. When we purchased a Dell EqualLogic, we had to buy a good throughput Cisco switch. When we compared the Cisco switch price with the Dell PowerConnect, we found that Dell PowerConnect was much cheaper. We had certain Cisco switches already. When we compared these switches side-by-side, we found that the PowerConnect was performing much better with the iSCSI.

              I'm not saying that I shifted from another vendor, but I actually use these things side-by-side, considering several situations.

              How was the initial setup?

              I wouldn't say the setups are really that complex because most of the setups we have done in Bangladesh were basically structured data center diagrams, which we have found from Cisco or any other network architecture. Those were pretty simple architectures.

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

              If you consider Cisco's price with the Dell, you will definitely lose with Cisco. But Cisco has a major area of equipment in general. Cisco has routers, firewalls, NAC, certain video conferencing, Apple phones, and different security solutions. But Dell doesn't have such areas, Dell only has switching architecture.

              On that basis, Cisco is still better, because whenever someone is actually moving towards Cisco products, they have to consider that they have certain other areas that they can invest in with Cisco. But if you consider the pricing of a Cisco switch against a Dell, Dell is definitely the winner.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              I have used Cisco side-by-side with Dell and Maipu, and I found that Cisco is good. But if you compare Cisco's performance with these two, you will find that Dell and Maipu are not that bad. I wouldn't say that Maipu is that much of a product, but Dell is really performing well in comparison to Cisco.

              Considering the performance, I really chose Dell. But when I have to consider that I'll have to move forward on the next project with certain security integrations, I have to consider Cisco. That is mostly the reason I considered Cisco. Otherwise, Dell would definitely have been the winner.

              What other advice do I have?

              If you are considering going for a Dell or Cisco or Huawei, even certain other products out there, Dell has really good performance, and Huawei is also doing really well. ZTE is there, certain other organizations are there. But I always pitch good solutions for Cisco. I do that because Cisco has a variety of products, and Cisco has an enterprise-class solution. 

              Whenever we are providing solutions to our customers, we have to consider security. On that basis, Cisco has a variety of security products. They have IAC, they have good sandboxing with Threat Grid. They have a benchmarking monitoring system. Then they have ESA and WSA. They have FirePOWER. They have a major cloud system security for Talos. Whenever you find Cisco is not actually putting the emphasis on perimeter fire-walling, they are saying "Save your endpoints. Secure your network. Monitor your network." Do surveillance.

              On that basis I find, even if you go through the incident case analysis globally, you'll find that most of the incidents in the last eight or 10 years are happening inside a network. We need to focus on the internal user network. Cisco has a really good option, a one-dashboard option for maintaining and surveilling your entire network. So I give my customers a Cisco pitch, for that reason.

              Overall, I am really happy with the 2960G switches, 2960-XR switches, but not that fond of 3560 switches and 3650 switches. And I am really a fan of 3850 switch, considering its performance.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
              PeerSpot user
              Shun Hiyama - PeerSpot reviewer
              Network Engineer at NHN Techorus Corp
              Real User
              Makes QoS CBWFQ easy to use

              What is our primary use case?

              AWS Direct Connect.

              What is most valuable?

              • BGP
              • Familiar CLI

              We have used BGP over IPSec to AWS but there were problems with bandwidth. I migrated to the Catalyst C3850 because AWS Direct Connect doesn't need IPSec. We have to use the QoS (CBWFQ) function. I understand the function of QoS and it is easy to use.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's a stable product.

              How is customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is average.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was easy.

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

              The pricing could be better.

              What other advice do I have?

              I would suggest looking into the Cisco Nexus 92160YC-X. It has a lower price than the C3850 and high performance, but the CLI is different.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              Mikhail Kozlov - PeerSpot reviewer
              Lead Software QA / DevOps Engineer at a comms service provider
              Real User
              Configuration is straightforward and all our switches are working without any downtime
              Pros and Cons
              • "Stability. We have many Catalyst switches now, and they work without any downtime."
              • "It would be good if they added some machine learning which would allow us to abandon the rigid rules for processing traffic priorities and, at the same time, save money, because equipment with similar logic (like DPI) is much more expensive."
              • "Soon, we plan to migrate to the cloud infrastructure. It would be good if the Cisco switches worked quickly in the cloud, like their hardware devices. Ideally, they would be like OVS-DPDK, but they would work out-of-the-box."

              What is our primary use case?

              LAN and WAN links in our offices and data centers.

              How has it helped my organization?

              When we started deploying Cisco switches in our new office, we were able to deploy them very quickly. There were no problems at the configuration stage and this allowed us to start work as quickly as possible.

              What is most valuable?

              Stability. We have many Catalyst switches now, and they work without any downtime. We work with government companies and we can't allow the business to stand idle.

              What needs improvement?

              It would be good if they added some machine learning which would allow us to abandon the rigid rules for processing traffic priorities and, at the same time, save money, because equipment with similar logic (like DPI) is much more expensive.

              Soon, we plan to migrate to the cloud infrastructure. It would be good if the Cisco switches worked quickly in the cloud, like their hardware devices. Ideally, they would be like OVS-DPDK, but they would work out-of-the-box.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Three to five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              No issues with stability.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              No issues with scalability.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We don't use Cisco support. In our company, we have our own support team with various CCNA and CCNP engineers.

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

              Previously, we tried many different solutions but we had some trouble with stability and scalability.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was pretty easy. The first setup was not that big and it was deployed in one day with only two engineers, one CCNA and one CCNP.

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

              Cisco's prices are not cheap, but the stability is worth it.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We tried many vendors including D-Link, HPE, and some cheaper vendors.

              What other advice do I have?

              It's a very good product but the price is high, so I would rate it at eight out of 10. Overall, it's worth it. Cisco switches have rich functionality.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              IT Infrastructure Administrator at Concepcion Business Services Inc
              User
              Keeps our network connections in a healthy state

              What is our primary use case?

              Our primary use is LAN and WAN links for our enterprise network. 

              Cisco Catalyst is used to connect all our WAN links to a central data center. 

              How has it helped my organization?

              • Low maintenance and very stable; not much of a problem. 
              • It helps keep our network connections in a healthy state. 

              What is most valuable?

              • VLAN
              • Routing capabilities and security features 
              • It can easily be enabled and used as need dictates. 

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

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

              It has a very high cost, but understandably, due to its very good quality. This is the reason why some customers opt to buy cheaper brands with same/similar features.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              it_user845862 - PeerSpot reviewer
              Senior Technical Sales Engineer at Ingram Micro Inc.
              Real User
              It uses many protocols to ease operations, such as CDP and the interoperability of other Cisco products

              What is our primary use case?

              Switching environments, as part of a LAN management solution, where the customer needs to build, operate, and maintain Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks for internal use.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It uses many protocols to ease operations, such as CDP and the interoperability of other Cisco products.

              What is most valuable?

              Perpetual POE is a valuable feature, because when the switch reboots, access points do not. This helps minimize infrastructure downtime and impacts internals.

              What needs improvement?

              • Services should be improved.
              • The delivery of the product lead time should be improved as well.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

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

              The price should go down instead of up. 

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              PeerSpot user
              Head of Development at a tech vendor
              Real User
              Network has increased stability, security, and usability
              Pros and Cons
              • "If we lose some network connections, the system automatically creates new connections between equipment."
              • "It has the ability to create new services for users, such as IP phones and video conference."
              • "We decreased budgets on the support corporate network and increased user satisfaction."
              • "Needs to improve cloud services and mobile software."

              What is our primary use case?

              • Corporate network
              • IP phones
              • Video conference
              • Security
              • Connecting branches with corporate network

              How has it helped my organization?

              Network has increased stability, security, and usability. Cisco Catalyst has the ability to create new services for users, such as IP phones and video conference. We decreased budgets on the support corporate network and increased user satisfaction.

              What is most valuable?

              • Flexible deployment: We can add new network segments without hard work.
              • Stability: If we lose some network connections, the system automatically creates new connections between equipment. 

              What needs improvement?

              • Cloud services
              • Machine learning futures
              • Virtual reality futures
              • More IoT equipment
              • Mobile software

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Three to five years.
              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              it_user683439 - PeerSpot reviewer
              Network Administrator at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Vendor
              I can dissect my network based on the users within a particular location.

              What is most valuable?

              The most valuable features, to me, are CDP, VTP, ACLs, and routing.

              How has it helped my organization?

              These products help me dissect my network based on the users within a particular location. They've also provided me the capability to separate network traffic as necessary.

              What needs improvement?

              As a user, I would like to see the Layer 2 Switches to have NBAR capabilities as well. It would be nice if the new ISRs have firewall capabilities as well.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              I've been using these products since 2008. I have a Cisco ISR 2821 and 2911, Cisco Catalyst 4500, 2960 and 3750 Series Switches.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              No stability issues were experienced.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It would be nice to see these products have built-in wireless access points like MikroTik.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              I am sorry, but I always go to the forums and not to technical support. I like understanding the system myself. That way it is easier for me to fix issues in the future.

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

              I previously used D-Link Switches (which was a pain) due to the budget constraints. I switched because Cisco was the best option at the time compared to D-Link.

              How was the initial setup?

              The setup was not complex. I already knew what I wanted and what I needed to do.

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

              Get the best that your money can buy.

              Don't ever sacrifice performance, it will stab you in the back if you do.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              Cisco was the best and only option that I considered.

              What other advice do I have?

              Real-world scenarios will always surprise you.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              PeerSpot user
              Infrastructure Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              Technically it supports most deployment scenarios.

              Valuable Features:

              This is the Enterprise Class Switch platform. Technically it supports most deployment scenarios and things that you never know that it supports. 

              The hardware is the most reliable, I saw some Catalyst in hot and dusty racks, working hard and with no issues from a lot of years. 

              Great switching solution from Cisco!

              Improvements to My Organization:

              It's resolved most of our customer communication needs.

              Room for Improvement:

              It can be a little more cheaper.

              Deployment Issues:

              We've had no issues with deployment.

              Stability Issues:

              We've had no issues with stability.

              Scalability Issues:

              We've had no issues with scalability.

              Cost and Licensing Advice:

              It's quite pricey.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              PeerSpot user
              Director of Technical Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
              Consultant
              ​This switch and its functionality allowed me to deploy a secure network connection in three months.​

              What is most valuable?

              • Security
              • Configuration

              What needs improvement?

              At first glance this switch looks exactly like the an Ethernet switch, I would recommend that there be verbage in the documentation on exactly what gbit connectors are required.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              We've been using it for eight years.

              What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

              There have been no issues with the deployment.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The stability has never been an issue.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We've had no issues scaling it for our needs.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Customer Service:

              It's great.

              Technical Support:

              It's great.

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

              We didn't have anything in place and needed a fiber solution.

              How was the initial setup?

              It was very straightforward.

              What about the implementation team?

              We did it in-house with help from the vendor.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              There were no other options looked at.

              What other advice do I have?

              Make sure you get the right connectors.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              PeerSpot user
              Customer Experience Manager at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
              Vendor
              We now have the ability migrate to multiple sites, but the TAC speed needs improvement.

              What is most valuable?

              • Stackable module
              • Hot-swappable inventory

              How has it helped my organization?

              • Easier to design and manage a network by enabling reuse
              • Ability migrate to multiple sites

              What needs improvement?

              Deliverability speed of the Terminal Access Controller.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              I've used it for over four years.

              What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

              No issues encountered.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              No issues encountered.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              There were issues with the maximum stackable switches per site & monitoring setup.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Customer Service:

              7/10.

              Technical Support:

              7/10.

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

              We switched because we had weak tech support, especially for the PoE product.

              How was the initial setup?

              It was a medium difficulty setup.

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

              Licensing is one of the major areas of confusion for a person with a technical if they gain the verification from Cisco website.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We also looked at Dell options.

              What other advice do I have?

              Ensure you select the right license, power supply and other components to install the switch into the rack.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              it_user5274 - PeerSpot reviewer
              Network Manager at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Vendor
              Small switch with a lot of features - good for enterprises and small businesses

              Valuable Features:

              1. Cisco 2960 catalysts switch has lots of security features (Port Security, block DHCP snooping, VLAN).
              2. I can create a stack with multiple Cisco 2960 switch which improve availability
              3. I can create a port channel by merging multiple port of multiple switches which help me transfer large amounts of data traffic between serveres and it also increases reliability if one switch port becomes damaged.
              4. It provides PoE (Power over Ethernet) which helps me easily setup Cisco wireless AP and IP phones at any office location.
              5. RSPAN (Remote Switch Port Analyzer) enables me to monitor network traffic flow with of NMS software.
              6. VTP (VLAN Trunking Protocol) helps me to transfer VLAN configuration from one switch to multiple switches.

              Room for Improvement:

              1. It does not provide any expansion slots so I cannot increase the number of ports.
              2. If most of the switch ports get damaged than you have to replace the whole switch.

              Other Advice:

              It is a nice product for enterprises and small businesses. It is a small switch with a lot of features.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              PeerSpot user
              it_user1068 - PeerSpot reviewer
              it_user1068Tech Support Staff at a tech company with 51-200 employees
              Vendor

              We make use of Brocade's BigIron and IBM's Rackswitch in our data center. I would say they are the best; maybe because they are the ones I have experience using. How would you rate Catalyst in comparison two these two products: Rackswitch and BigIron?

              Buyer's Guide
              Download our free Cisco Catalyst Switches Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
              Updated: December 2022
              Buyer's Guide
              Download our free Cisco Catalyst Switches Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.