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Cisco Ethernet Switches Room for Improvement

Network Delivery Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

We are less in the Cloud because the Cloud technologies didn't work so well. That happened in all of the companies where I've been engaged.

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Manager Infrastructure & Projects at Kinetic Pride

The pricing can be improved to make them more suitable for SMBs.

In terms of features, they tick all the boxes as of now. That could be because we tailor the solution around the product. I have not seen anything that pulls me back or is not working well for me. However, there could be better integration with the network monitoring systems. It doesn't mean it is currently not there, but there could be better discoverability with some of the network monitoring systems to be able to have more visibility. When you're setting up a control room, you can have more visibility into what is going on in the network. It has been doing that, but it can do that more.

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MB
ICT Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees

The cost is very prohibitive both for us as well as other organizations. It's very expensive to buy Cisco switches. Among our colleagues, we find that we're not alone in thinking it's too high. Everyone's complaining about this. 

We have many switches that we've used sine 2006 and that are on the old OS, but we don't want to switch them out because the cost to do so would be quite high.

The graphical user interface could be a bit better. When we have new employees, we want them to onboard quickly and to be able to understand the switches. Having a better graphical interface would help us do that and help them understand the switches faster. While I prefer command line, many are not good with it or do not prefer that method.

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Learn what your peers think about Cisco Ethernet Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Manager - Network Operating Center at BCN

Cisco switches are good as they are, but it would be a major feature if they have built-in routers. Some of the Microchip switches have routers built in the same device. They have a router switch. For some of the sites, we deploy such switches because the client does not want a separate router and a separate switch. So, we go for a router switch with maybe 24 ports. Some of them are fiber, and some of them are ethernet. It would be a major improvement to what Cisco is already doing.

Behind the scenes, a lot of scripting and stuff like this is happening. A lot of workload can be lifted if Cisco had a good GUI. If you look at Microchip switches, they have a good GUI in addition to the CLI.

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RK
Account Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

The thing that people usually complain about is that they're a little bit more expensive than other options. That said, you get what you pay for and it's such a good solution.

You do have to buy into the Cisco architecture to be able to use them.

You have to make sure you size appropriately at the outset. They're for the smaller markets usually, and you just want to make sure you don't purchase something under what you might grow to. Users should try to think a little bit bigger than what they want just so that they can have extra ports if they need them, instead of having to buy another one quicker than expected.

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PP
Supervisor of IT Infrastructure & Cybersecurity at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees

The typical areas of concern for Cisco Ethernet Switches are not technical but cost including support costs. I’ve never liked the fact that end users cannot download security patches without a support contract. I’ve had trouble getting approval to renew Cisco support contracts due to the cost.

The additional charges for the DNA capabilities of the switches further prices the switches are out of contention for a lot of IT shops. I understand the development of this technology is expensive but costs are sometimes borderline ridiculous.

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Solution Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

The solution could always benefit from some more security features. For example, they need something which is mainly used for enterprise networks that allow for identity-based security or authentication. 

The pricing of the switches could be lowered. Right now, they are quite expensive.

The enterprise-level switches should have a simpler deployment. They should make it possible for lower-skilled workers to be able to deploy the product. It should be just as easy as turning them on, powering them up, and connecting the PCs, which would be the same as or similar to a generic simple switch. Many users can't use Cisco's advanced features and won't be able to deploy Cisco's advanced CLI or other management tools otherwise.

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CGO at TMS Consulting Inc

The biggest pain point we had was getting the switches delivered. However, that likely was due to COVID and everything else. I don't think it's a Cisco issue. It's just a supplier issue, as they seem to have a hard time getting deliveries in order.

One thing we did have to work around is, on the broadcast side, we're reliant on the PTP protocol, precision time protocol, and the Cisco switches in general, don't support that. Some do, however, the majority of ones we're using did not. We worked around it, however, that would be one area for us that would have been simply solved with more capabilities for PTP on Cisco's end.

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DB
Pre Sales Engineer at a construction company with 501-1,000 employees

Feature-wise, almost all the features are there, but an improvement would be to change their market intention. Almost all the Cisco switches are now coming with a license called DNA. D for Delta, N for number and A for apple. That feature is required, he must purchase it and it is a mandatory thing that has been introduced. This is not matching with the Asian market, because let's say you are purchasing a vehicle and you don't want to have a reverse camera, right? But if the manufacturer is forced, fully telling you that you definitely should buy it, this is not fair in that way. DNA licenses, in most cases, are not required, but it should be told to the customers and added to the quotation, because we cannot remove it. This is not matching or suitable for the Asian market. It is not a requirement of the customer and it is forcefully added by the vendor. It's just a license, which you have to purchase for one year or three years, and it will never be used in some cases. In some cases, some specific customers may require that there should be the option to add it. But if it is not required by the customer, it should be optional.

In terms of what I would like to see in the next release, it would be good if they could introduce a switch which can work on cloud and on a local deployment. Maybe the same switch will work. Because some switches are only working alone with local deployments, and some switches are working with cloud based environments. So if the same switch could work on both cloud and from its node, that will be great.

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DS
Senior Project Manager / Systems Engineer at a consultancy with 11-50 employees

Network setup and Multicast are critical components for us and when you're also programming for video streams it can become quite complicated. It's more of an issue when you're dealing with public institutions and there might be a lack of tech-savvy people. When it comes to the video streams, if you're sending real-time video in a security system, and you drop packets, the information is lost and you can't get it back. That's a critical aspect for us. One of the issues we have is that the guy doing the video system knows how that works, and the network people know how the network works, but they don't know how to communicate with each other. The industry is trying to adapt to sort out that problem.  

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Senior Information Technology Manager at FAP Marine Terminals Ltd

The GUI is not that easy. They need to work on the CLI, and to do that you have to have technical resources in-house if you want to do it yourself.

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Network & System Security Consultant at Zakat House

We are only using Cisco for switches and for the IP telephony call center. 

It needs to be manageable, easy, and fast with Windows and other GUIs. They must improve their interface and stability.

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IT Manager at a construction company with 10,001+ employees

Ease of configuration for none cisco experts would be an improvement.

Pricing can also do with some improvement to make it more competitive with competitor products with similar functionality.

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SC
Head Of Information & Communication Technology at a transportation company with 51-200 employees

There is a focus on improving the UI for managing the higher-end switches and routers, but not the traditional ones. Putting in a more complete management infrastructure would help when it comes to handling lower-end switches.

These switches are pretty expensive to put into place, so if they could bring the price point down then it would be really good.

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AB
Security Administrator at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I would like for the solution to have more security features and be more user-friendly. It should have a GUI graphical user interface which would allow the person to interact with it. The look and feel should be addressed. As people are in the process of moving away from CLI, it should be something that anybody can manage.

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Senior Presale Manager at a tech services company with self employed

In terms of what could be improved, there is the bulk issue that is sometimes experienced with the Cisco products we've used. I don't know how it could be possible to be done, but it would be very good if there was an automated patching system. It would be a very big and difficult one, because some of these routers or switches or products are not even within an internet environment. This is especially limited with the switches. Routers can be connected to the internet and switches might not even have internet access and might just be for the local area network. If it has an internet connection, that would be great and if it has an automated parking code inside of the POE this would help them to patch without the user's input.

In the next release, I would like to see bulk fixing. That is basically what I do now. If we could have an automated patch for Cisco to just be standard for patching switches or routers or firewalls by default without the input of anyone adjusting, that would be great.

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Director at Blue Neuron Limited

You have to be Cisco-certified to work on Cisco products, so we can't get into Cisco to do even basic configurations. I may be speaking from ignorance, but in my experience, Cisco products lack a GUI. You can barely get around the basic system, so the interface is something I would improve. The overview and configuration are good for security purposes, but it's bad if you want your products to be the product of choice of the average user. Cisco should do work on making its switches less cryptic.

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Enterprise and Security Manager at University of Fort Hare

For people who are new, the interface can be confusing. For me, however, I don't think that there's anything that can be simplified because I'm used to the command line and the old way of working with Cisco switches. I find them simple.

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Pre-sales Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor with 51-200 employees

Typically, mid-range customers don't have a need for all of the features embedded in Cisco's software.

The solution is a bit difficult.

I don't like the new way the licensing is set up. I don't like that you have to have a license of 10 years to use the switch. I don't understand that policy. It's not useful for the customer.

There are some features in previous versions or previous models that were automatically included in the software. However, now, in the new switches, they don't have it included. You have to go to an advanced version.

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RS
Network Engineer at a educational organization with 1,001-5,000 employees

They can make the licensing model a little easier. I know they've made some recent changes, it's a little confusing. It's more complicated than it once was.

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IT Support Executive at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees

I don't really have a complaint about the features that the solution has.

It can be a bit expensive, however, it's not as expensive as Meraki switches.

The user interface, the UI, could be better.

Going command mode to make hardcore changes to the config. It's not so futuristic environment for configuration purposes.

While you can scale the solution, it can get expensive.

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Network Team Lead at ElSewedy Education

You can only configure both switches and routers via the command-line. They should work to take on the newer HP and Aruba approach where you can configure from a URL or command line.

It could be useful if they developed the GUI interface to enable us to configure all features such as VLANs, port assignment, routing, DSP, through the GUI. That would make it easier for beginners. 

Cisco products are expensive compared to any other solution. Now, there are many competitors that give the same level of services - such as Juniper or Aruba.

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DB
Pre Sales Engineer at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees

I don't have any issues on the technical aspects, but on the business side of things, I see that almost all the Catalyst and high-grade switches are now required to have a VMA license. Sometimes businesses may not require those licenses because they are just using them as the third street. 

It's a business challenge which we're facing in the Asian countries. Customers don't require a VMA environment at the moment, but it's essential to purchase a VMA license for some of the switches. It's a challenge that we're facing during sales or presales because when it comes to the competition like Cisco SSL and the others, they don't have that kind of a restriction.

If I would like to purchase a new switch, it can be a higher-end switch like a Chassis switch or a basic L2 or L3 switch—any switch where we can purchase a support bundle and install and use it. But with the VMA  license, we need to activate the license, or the Ethernet switch will not perform. It won't work.

If Cisco Ethernet Switches can work both on-prem and in the cloud, it would be an advantage. Other vendors are already offering this option. It would be a great added advantage to use the same switch in standalone mode, as a local MM or VMA, and for cloud control.

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DC
ICT Manager/Systems Administrator at a university with 201-500 employees

Pricing is always an issue when you compare Cisco to other vendors. Cisco could definitely work on delivering improved pricing to its customers.

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YF
sTAM at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

Cisco doesn't do everything 100% perfect. There are competitors that have developed simpler and cheaper options, for example. The solution really should offer better pricing. It would help them stay competitive.

The product is a bit difficult to manage as there's a different management system now.

The network management system could be improved. 

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SG
First Assistant Vice President at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

For each of the features that I want to use on a Cisco device, we have to purchase a license. For example, if we want the security features then we have to purchase that in another bundle. The price becomes more expensive than products from Juniper.

The local support resources for Cisco in Bangledesh are very poor and should be increased.

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MH
Network Admin at a transportation company with 201-500 employees

I don't know if there were optional models, but the models that we bought don't have a redundant power supply. It would be nice if they had higher wattage for PoE+.

It would also be nice if they didn't have plastic faceplates that break easily.

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Co-Founder, Architect at Espina IT

The price could be improved by being reduced.

The new software has been released in Cisco Switches, which is meeting with the market's demands. Earlier they used to have many different models.

This solution is still lacking in some areas.

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CR
IT Manager at a renewables & environment company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Cisco needs to include new features to attract new customers.

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Technical Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

It needs to be more secure. They have to find a more secure way of action.

They should have ways to stop the attacks.

Because of the cyber attacks, they should focus more on VoIP.

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Sr. Security Network Engineer at Children's Cancer Hospital - Egypt 57357

I'd really like to see more programmability for the switches. We need more Python scripts because what we currently have doesn't cover all the configurations in the switch configuration. It would be helpful to have ASIC fast switching. I'd like higher speed and we're always looking for additional bandwidth.

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NW
Head of Technical at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Cisco has a lot of propriety protocols compared to other products, such as Arista Networks.

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IS
Technical Manager at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees

Integration with third-party products could be improved.

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SD
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

The pricing should be reduced so that they are more competitive.

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TM
Telecommunication Team Leader at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees

Cisco can improve its stability for the BGP protocol. It is not stable while recalculating the BGP table.

Its price should also be improved. It is very expensive.

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Information Technology Security Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

The number of bugs that come up on Cisco Ethernet Switches can be reduced, and the stability can be improved, in particular with the recent iOS.

The scalability can be improved as well. Up to a certain network size, it is easy to scale, but after that, it becomes difficult.

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MN
Owner at it logic

Technical support in India needs to be improved.

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SK
IT Manager at a educational organization with 51-200 employees

The price could be better. It should be affordable for any organization.

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Chairman Infrastructure & Application Development Services at atnis

Cisco is now competing with companies that are putting out cheaper switches so the price could be something that could be improved upon. However, if you want the best in the industry then you need to pay for it. Cisco could also open the API up to work closely with other systems.

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Cyber Security Consultant at Ukroboronprom

It would be good for Cisco to provide certification to our engineers for our IT infrastructure. Basically to train and certify our engineers.

In the next release I would like to see more training and documentations for our engineers.

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AR
VP of IT at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

There are some GUI configuration improvements that they can implement in the future for the product models.

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MD
Network Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees

If we can have fewer bugs on our switches, that would be great. We had bugs that caused the switch to reboot. There is probably a problem with the software. 

Their technical support can be improved in terms of response time and overall efficiency.

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PB
Data Center Admin at Sysnet Global Technologies

The initial setup can be simplified.

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LW
Senior Director of IT and Data Analytics at a performing arts with 201-500 employees

The interface and dashboard could look better.

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IT Technical Support Manager at kiriazi

Technical support could be better. Firmware upgrades should be better. We have an issue with upgrading the firmware. It's not upgradable. I think it should be easy to improve and upgrade the firmware.

Some of the powerboards could be better. I have about six models or six spots with Model 3550, and all of them have a defect in the powerboards.

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RF Planning Manager at Sabafon

In the future, some of the features could be updated to support the latest functions.

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IJ
Information Technology Executive at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees

The management of the solution could improve.

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LD
IT support network at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees

Its management should be improved. 

It is not easy to scale.

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Junior Network Engineer at Easy Systems

The price could be improved. Cisco Ethernet Switches is a very expensive solution.

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MR
Deputy Head of ICT at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

I think the price should be cheaper to be able to afford more.

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Founder/Managing Director at Microtel Netlinks Pvt. Ltd.

In terms of features, all features are there. I can't find anything new that needs to be added. Its price, however, is a bit higher than other brands and can be improved.

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MS
Project Manager at a real estate/law firm with 10,001+ employees

It could be cheaper. It'll also help if it can support more network utilization.

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TW
Member of Technical Staff at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

REST API should be first priority than traditional CLI.

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System Engineer at compulink Systems

Cisco is not user-friendly. It would be best if you had a technical expert. The graphical user interface is more like a command line, and most functionalities are on the command line.

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Learn what your peers think about Cisco Ethernet Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.