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Dell PowerConnect Switches OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell PowerConnect Switches is #4 ranked solution in top Data Center Networking tools and #5 ranked solution in top LAN Switching tools. PeerSpot users give Dell PowerConnect Switches an average rating of 8 out of 10. Dell PowerConnect Switches is most commonly compared to Cisco Catalyst Switches: Dell PowerConnect Switches vs Cisco Catalyst Switches. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 28% of all views.
What is Dell PowerConnect Switches?
PowerConnect Switches family offers a set of flexible, manageable and comprehensive switch solutions supporting up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and optimized Internet iSCSI (iSCSI) performance with Dell Storage solutions, ideal for enterprise and campus LAN environments alike.

Dell PowerConnect Switches was previously known as PowerConnect Switches.

Buyer's Guide

Download the LAN Switching Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

Dell PowerConnect Switches Customers
Amerijet Holdings Inc., CGD Securities, MavenWire, Tulane University
Dell PowerConnect Switches Video

Archived Dell PowerConnect Switches Reviews (more than two years old)

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AhmedElghawabi
Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Easy to configure and integrates well with Cisco hardware, but incompatible with SDN
Pros and Cons
  • "Dell PowerConnect Switches are easy to configure."
  • "It would be great to have modules that integrate with SDN solutions such as Cisco ACI, Arista SDN, Huawei Agile, and IBM."

What is our primary use case?

Dell PowerConnect Switches make up part of our network and they are connected to our Dell servers.

What is most valuable?

Dell PowerConnect Switches are easy to configure.

These switches fully integrate into our Cisco switches without any problem.

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if there were an option to use the device as either a switch or a pass-through for the traffic from inside to outside. This would mean that we would not have to replace hardware in some cases. I think that the IBM switches have this feature.

It would be great to have modules that integrate with SDN solutions such as Cisco ACI, Arista SDN, Huawei Agile, and IBM.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell PowerConnect Switches since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never had a problem with any of our Dell switches. I would say that these switches are stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Two modules can be stacked on a single chassis. We have approximately 60 chassis with two modules each, so 120 Dell PowerConnect switches. These are connected to Cisco switches at one end of the network.

How are customer service and technical support?

My team has not had much contact with Dell technical support because the Dell switches belong to another team. We are only responsible for installing and configuring them.

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

We also have Cisco switches in our environment. It is probably 80% Cisco and 20% Dell.

I also have experience with Huawei, HP, and Juniper switches. Huawei switches used to use a similar set of commands, but they are different now. HP uses almost the same command set. Juniper switches are more difficult to work with.

In our data center, we have also used Arista switches.

How was the initial setup?

I have not found any problems with the installation or configuration of Dell switches. I used a basic configuration so it is simple. It takes perhaps half an hour to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We have a team but I deployed this solution myself. There is a guide available to assist with the installation and configuration. The commands are similar to Cisco, which makes it easy to use.

What other advice do I have?

We have decreased our use of Dell PowerConnect Switches in the past year because we are moving to virtualization and using SDN switches. The problem comes about because it is difficult to see the server end-point directly on the SDN. For our Dell servers, we are replacing the switches with pass-through modules because the spanning tree loops are the same. 

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution is to consider issues that might occur when using devices from multiple vendors. We found this difficult because of the integration. We like Dell because it is easy to use and it integrates well with Cisco. However, we are now having a problem where it does not integrate well with SDN. If the environment requires connectivity to SDN then these switches may not be suitable.

Rating this solution as a switch, I would say that it is eight and a half out of ten. However, with respect to integration with new technologies, it is not mature enough and I would rate it a five out of ten.

Overall, I would rate this solution a seven 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: Partner
System Administrator at a media company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Flexible, efficient technology for streaming and has a simple interface
Pros and Cons
  • "The technology is good and the interface is simple. We haven't had any bugs, disconnections or delays."
  • "Because of the stackings you lose some boards and switches."

What is our primary use case?

We are customers of Dell and I'm a systems administrator. Our primary use case for the product is connecting the main core, the data center, with core switches. We have six floors in the building and on each floor we have two switches we connected using stack technology with a fiber network in between.

What is most valuable?

There are many valuable features - the cost was the best we found with comparable products. The technology is good and the interface is simple. We haven't had any bugs, disconnections or delays. It's good because we use it for streaming videos and things like that. There were no issues during implementation and we haven't had any issues in the time we've been using the product. 

What needs improvement?

A possible way the product could be improved would be to allow integration between other brands like HP or Cisco. It would be great if you could use the interface with more than one brand. Compatibility would be a good feature but it's unlikely to happen. 

Stacking and fiber cords would be good additional features in the next release. Because of the stackings, you lose some boards and the two switches. If they made a core cable that would be better. 

For how long have I used the solution?

This is a new product for us and we've been using it for the last four, five months only. We're using the latest version. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't needed to contact technical support. 

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

In the previous project I used Sophos but it's for a different purpose with junior board switches. Now we're dealing with a security project so it's a different kind of project with different requirements. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward and easy. It's a good feature in Dell switches.

Deployment throughout the building, including core switches, data switches, connecting the wires and fiber cable took about 10 days. We had two people assisting us from the vendor company and three people from our company. Initial deployment is the responsibility of the vendor. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated numerous options before choosing Dell including Fortinet, HP and Cisco. But really it was this solution that worked given our budget and for installation, it was a good solution in terms of technical support, scalability, availability and a lot of things. It satisfied our requirements.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

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.
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and others in LAN Switching. Updated: January 2022.
566,121 professionals have used our research since 2012.
IT Engineer at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Has a lifetime warranty but stability is an issue and technical support needs improvement
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution comes with a lifetime warranty."
  • "More stable firmware releases would be an improvement because we have had them randomly power on and off."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for our local infrastructure and environment.

What is most valuable?

This solution comes with a lifetime warranty.

What needs improvement?

We have had some problems with the firmware. More stable firmware releases would be an improvement because we have had them randomly power on and off. These switches should be better tested before a firmware update is released.

Technical support for this solution should be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for between three and four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have encountered two or three bugs that affected the stability of this solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

These switches are scalable but I do not know to what extent.

We have eighty users who are mostly developers and our business centers.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is ok, but I have seen better. They are not the best.

At times they have responded quickly, but not always.

What other advice do I have?

I do not like this solution. It runs ok but we have had problems.

This is a solution that I would recommend only for those without complex setup or networking.

I would rate this solution a five 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.
it_user1011525
Network Administrator at a engineering company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Good support, stable to the point where incidents have zero impact on the organization
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the jumbo frames and the stacking."
  • "Scalability, especially with the power connect series is something that you have to take into account before starting the project because any changes to an ongoing project can be difficult."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for storage and connectivity.

How has it helped my organization?

The support is just so good that there is no reason to re-evaluate because of the impact on the trust structure of operations. 

There has never been a recorded event, even though we have had maybe, sixty, sixty-five, or even seventy incidents on the Proactive Care interventions data that have taken place.

I can recall at least three in the last five years, with physical outages, that were recovered without any impact on the operations. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the jumbo frames and the stacking.

Proactive care is the highest level of support contract that you can have.

Everything from A to Z is better managed with Dell Support.

What needs improvement?

Scalability, especially with the power connect series is something that you have to take into account before starting the project because any changes to an ongoing project can be difficult.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for eleven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is 100% stable. There are no issues. There are failures, but the failures are backed up. Most of our failures have been studied by Dell Proactive Care before they even occur.

If there is an issue, like a hardware failure, then the configuration is set up in a way that there is a redundancy. The redundancy is confirmed, it's then checked and double-checked.

The impact on the operation is zero.

Usually, we don't even update them. We only apply patches to the storage switches, when they go, or when they are phased out.

That's usually the only time we do any maintenance on them, because it's such a critical factor, if the storage goes down, that has a massive impact on the environment.

Generally, there is no maintenance unless it is proactive maintenance or if there is a major fault.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability, especially with the power connect series is something that you have to take into account before starting the project because any changes to an ongoing project can be difficult.

The hardware has already been purchased, and the contract has already been disclosed.

Scalability is dependant on your perspective. You can add another power connector that is the same with the same details, but scalability when it comes to sizing and increasing the capacity is more difficult and more complex.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is better than Cisco's. It's awesome and better than the others.

For the knowledge-based articles, the support web page is better designed. It is more categorized and structured.

Everything from A to Z is better managed with Dell Support.

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

For LAN switching it's always been Cisco.

For LAN switches it's always been Cisco and for Storage Networks it's always been with Dell.

I have never mixed them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward with complex settings. It's not as simple as taking it out of the box and assign an IP. Some parameters need to be checked.

Dell is very good at documenting, they provide best practices, and they check to see if you have applied those setting before activating the Proactive Care support contract.

Depending on the size, the deployment takes one or two days. If you have some experience it's easy and flexible.

What about the implementation team?

I would say that a client without experience could perform the setup because the command line interface is very similar to Cisco. The entry-level two thousand series are pretty straightforward. The eight thousand and higher series would require some assistance from Dell to get the latest firmware, the proper configuration, and the proper support contract.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to go with Proactive Care.

Proactive care is the highest level of support contract that is available or provided by Dell.

I would say it's recommended, especially for the power connector for a higher level and various switches like the eight thousand series and higher. 

My advice would be to always call for Proactive Care support contracts because they will make sure you get the best service that is available.

There is no need for improvement because they are proactively maintained by Dell themselves.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Technician with 201-500 employees
Real User
Includes easy commands to turn everything off, but some firmware have a hard Telnet/SSH/web timeout that is really short

What is our primary use case?

I've always used them as iSCSI only switches; they don't run anything else other than pure iSCSI traffic.

How has it helped my organization?

Once up and running they have always been rock solid, but I only use them as pure, clean iSCSI switches. I've mainly been using 1GbE, but lately, also 10GbE.

What is most valuable?

An easy command to turn everything off: clean, only setting jumbo frame. When we ran EqualLogic SANs, the old PowerConnect was self-configuring the ports that were connected to the EQ box.

What needs improvement?

I have no idea, as they have always worked rock solid for me. Some firmware have a hard Telnet/SSH/web timeout that is really short. That's sometimes annoying.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For me, excellent, never had any issue.

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

Brocade Fibre Channel.

How was the initial setup?

Easy, turn everything off, configure the jumbo frame, configure the OOB interface and you are done.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not really, as we moved from Fibre Channel to iSCSI with an EqualLogic PS4100, and we got the switches, servers and SAN box in one package.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Powerconnect switch provides good performance and is comparatively cheaper.
Pros:- 1) Dell produces very cost effective products as compared to other well-known switch manufacturers e.g.Cisco, HP etc. 2) Dell switches are competitively priced and are generally lower. As far as quality is concerned Dell is very reputed company & does not give you a chance to complain. 3) Dell also attracts their customer with lifetime warranty and typical single-day replacement, where manufacturer such as HP does not gives lifetime warranty on Firmware Maintenance Updates & Cisco have limited period warranty. 4) The graphical interface is fairly easy to use and is very similar to that of Cisco IOS & can be easily configured. 5)Dell switches are mainly made in China, Malaysia & Taiwan in collaboration with their local company, so the spares of Dell switches…

Pros:-

1) Dell produces very cost effective products as compared to other well-known switch manufacturers e.g.Cisco, HP etc.

2) Dell switches are competitively priced and are generally lower. As far as quality is concerned Dell is very reputed company &
does not give you a chance to complain.

3) Dell also attracts their customer with lifetime warranty and typical single-day replacement, where manufacturer such as HP
does not gives lifetime warranty on Firmware Maintenance Updates & Cisco have limited period warranty.

4) The graphical interface is fairly easy to use and is very similar to that of Cisco IOS & can be easily configured.

5)Dell switches are mainly made in China, Malaysia & Taiwan in collaboration with their local company, so the spares of Dell
switches are easy to get & comparatively cheaper as well.

Cons:-

1)Network switch such as Cisco 1810 is quiet in operation as compared to Powerconnect 2824 which is a bit noisier because of its
fan and other parts which create noise.

2)Since Cisco is well known manufacturer, so it’s easier to find a Cisco certified consultant as compared to that of other having
experience with Dell or Juniper.

3)Build quality & design of Cisco switches are better as compared to that of Dell.

4)Also the technical support of Dell is very poor and needs improvement.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1266
Network Manager at a local government with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Great switches at an affordable price. I've never had any problems.

Valuable Features:

Very good value. This switch has a fairly easy to use web interface. It has nice features such as VLAN, config management, and other advanced networking features. I use a 6248 as my main switch. It handles all the traffic flawlessly and has never needed to be reset in the 4 years it has been on. My whole network consists of PowerConnect switches. They do everything I need them to.

Room for Improvement:

I really haven't had any problems with these. I haven't used some of the more advanced features. For my small 100 node network, these switches have all the features I need.

Other Advice:

If you need some advanced features and reliable core networking components at an affordable price, these switches are for you. I have used them for years now and never had any problems. Sometimes I wonder how Cisco isn't losing money to companies like Dell.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.