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Senior Project Manager / Systems Engineer at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
Multicast is a great feature, critical for access to video systems
Pros and Cons
  • "Multicast is a great feature of this product."
  • "Network setup is quite complicated, particularly if you're implementing in a non-technical environment."

What is our primary use case?

Our main use case of ethernet switches is for security networks for digital video, digital access control, and digital inter-communications. Most of our work is for public institutions, including hospitals and universities when they need upgrades to POE switches. We're consultants in the security industry and I'm the senior project manager/systems engineer.

What is most valuable?

One of the prime features of this product is Multicast which is critical for video systems, ensuring you don't take down the network during an event where everybody needs video access. It generally requires layer 3 switches so that we cut up VLANs and separate different aspects of the systems. 

What needs improvement?

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.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for over 30 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution covers it all. I've done everything from simple 12-port switches for a small facility to a wide area network with core switches and multiple redundant communication lines and there haven't been any scalability issues. There's no one-size-fits-all in terms of maintenance required, it depends on the size of the organization. 

How are customer service and support?

On one of our recent large projects where we used core switches, I worked in-depth with technical support to help determine how to configure the switches, which hardware was required, and how to get the redundant communication paths. We don't use support much but when we do they're very helpful. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. We've found that a lot of people don't know how to configure Multicast properly on a network, particularly in government agencies. It's one of the key components, especially when you're in the security industry, and it's a big issue for us. There's a steep learning curve in terms of properly setting up the network to manage the Multicast traffic, and then programming, especially on the IP video systems. Because they're managing video streams both systems have to be set up properly, and there seems to be a lack of knowledge around that. 

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

Our clients purchase the license so we're not involved in that aspect. Cisco doesn't like to give out information unless you're a dealer. For smaller projects, the cost is an issue and organizations will often look for less expensive options. Cisco is the major player in the network environment, but there are numerous alternative products that may be less feature-rich but fit the bill from a cost perspective. In addition to licensing, there is likely to be an annual fee to enable access to support. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We previously looked at Extreme Networks, Fortinet, Aruba and NETGEAR. When we're dealing with harsh environments, we tend to look at companies like ComNet, EtherWAN, GarrettCom, who make hardened switches for harsh or difficult environments. A lot of the main players only make switches that go in data centers and IDF rooms.

What other advice do I have?

When configured properly, the solution works. I rate this solution nine 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.
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Deputy IT Manager at ICAPP (Americana Group)
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable, easy to set up, and cost-effective
Pros and Cons
  • "It's a reliable product that you can depend on."
  • "We don't have visibility in Aruba Switches and we are thinking of switching to Fortiswitch because it has visibility."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is as the edge and the core switches for our company network.

We are working on an ERP system, domain controller, warehouse management, Salesforce automation, and many other applications.

What is most valuable?

It's a reliable product that you can depend on. 

You can use it for a long time without any issues.

What needs improvement?

Visibility needs improvement. We don't have visibility in Aruba Switches and we are thinking of switching to FortiSwitch because it has visibility. 

Currently, we have visibility and compatibility with the firewall. Through the firewall, we can see the entire network.

They are not very active with this solution. There is no followup with the vendors and resellers, they do not contact us to inform us of new technologies as they do with Cisco and Fortinet. Other vendors are more active in the community.

In the next release, I would like to see visibility included, as well as better integration with other platforms. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working wit Aruba Switches for approximately 11 years.

We are working with the 251 and 190 series.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Aruba switches are stable, but we have a few that are hanging.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Aruba Switches are scalable.

We have more than 1,000 users in our company. We have 15 administrators and four people to maintain the network. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is moderate, not excellent. We have been waiting for more than two months for our switches that are hanging to be replaced.

Maintenance and after-sales service are not good.

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

We started with Aruba a long time ago when they were originally 3Com Switches.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, not complex.

Cisco is more complex than Aruba is.

What about the implementation team?

We have many resellers and system integrators in our country, including Cisco and Fortinet.

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

There are no licenses, you just purchase the switch. 

Comparing with Cisco, and some other solutions, it's a cheap product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are considering migrating from Aruba to possibly Cisco, or to Fortinet FortiSwitch.

We are comparing and conducting studies in order to move forward.

What other advice do I have?

We have experience working in networking products, high-security products like firewalls, switches, and all data center products.

We would happy to use Aruba Switches in the future if there are new technologies that meet our requirements, and our needs regarding visibility. Having visibility in the entire network and to see all of the parts of the network is something that is important to us.

In general, I recommend Aruba Switches.

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.
Mahmood Shah
Solutions architect at NetSys
Real User
Top 10
Good load balancing and multi-routing with a good user interface
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution offers very good multi-routing."
  • "The solution needs to improve its security firewalls and mirror that of, for example, Sophos, or FortiGate."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution as a firewall, and for routing purposes, and for multi-band load balancing. 

What is most valuable?

The load balancing is very good.

The solution offers very good multi-routing.

The firewall is very good.

For the interface, I always use Winbox.

What needs improvement?

The MikroTik weblog, web user log, was supposed to be remotely accessible. However, it was not as good as I had wanted it to be. I found its functionality disappointing. There's no proper interface. They show only IPs but not the DNS address or complete address. It only shows the IP addresses. Also, they only show real-time data and not the history of the user's log address. We would like to see a history on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

The solution needs to improve its security firewalls and mirror that of, for example, Sophos, or FortiGate.

The solution needs to focus on UTM in its devices.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have about five years of experience working with this solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found the stability of the solution to be good enough.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite easy to scale. We haven't had any problems expanding the solution when we need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never contacted technical support. If I have issues with the solution, I try to handle it myself. So far, I've never needed anyone else's assistance.

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

I've previously used FortiGate and Fortinet devices. They have very good security and firewalls.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a little bit complex for beginners. It's difficult to install the router and for initializing from the beginning all of the configurations we need, like setting up the initial firewall rules, for example.

If a user knows all the basic steps, the deployment only takes about ten to 15 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself. I didn't need the assistance of an integrator or reseller.

What other advice do I have?

I'd warn others that a tutorial or a bit of learning is required before beginning. It helps if a user has a bit of understanding about the solution. There's some complexity in the terminologies and surrounding the initial implementation process.

Overall, it's a good product, but it requires a bit of improvement, especially in relation to UTM and security.

I'd rate it 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.
Network Operations Specialists at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
A flexible and cost-effecting product with powerful scripting capability
Pros and Cons
  • "The wiki page that describes the scripting and other features is very good."
  • "Improvements are needed with respect to some of the security, especially for VPN links between vendors other than Cisco."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product as part of our network solution, but we also have customers in Cameroon that we have implemented it for. We design their systems at a low cost, implement them, and then provide training.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the flexibility within the advanced configuration.

IDS and IPS are very good.

The wiki page that describes the scripting and other features is very good. It is quite impressive for new users who want to learn about MikroTik.

What needs improvement?

Improvements are needed with respect to some of the security, especially for VPN links between vendors other than Cisco. For example, what works between MikroTik and Cisco does not work as well between MikroTik and Fortinet. I have seen some bugs.

The certification process should be improved.

Have localized or regional pricing would be an improvement.

I would like to see GPS tools embedded into the devices.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this product for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not generally contact technical support. I have had to do some reading on issues that I was having, and I have always been able to find a solution. I have never had the kind of problem that necessitated calling support.

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

I have worked with solutions from Cisco, Juniper, and Fortinet. The type of project dictates which product works best in the environment.

How was the initial setup?

I find the initial setup to be easy. It may be more complex for people just getting started within MikroTik, although it should be straightforward even for junior engineers.

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

MikroTik is really cheap compared to the competitors. They are the cheapest ones in Cameroon except for Ubiquiti at the router level.

What other advice do I have?

This solution has improved a great deal over time and in many domains. They have hired experts from around the world, from vendors such as Cisco, to help improve the product. Some examples are scripting has improved, along with advanced routing techniques, and wireless device support. However, the biggest improvements are in cloud routers.

Normally, every two months at the maximum, new updates and firmware is released for the devices. It is really amazing. It is like the developers do not sleep at all. I am consistently impressed with how their technology is advancing.

Overall, this is a product that works well.

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.
IT Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reasonably priced, stable, and easy to set up
Pros and Cons
  • "The Huawei switches are stable, easy to set up, and cheap."
  • "The graphical user interface could be much better."

What is our primary use case?

This product is used in our network infrastructure for normal office use.

What is most valuable?

The Huawei switches are stable, easy to set up, and cheap.

What needs improvement?

The graphical user interface could be much better.

The vendor needs to make a better marketing effort to promote this product because you don't find a lot of good articles promoting it. Other brands are more aggressive in marketing.

In the future, I would like to see a feature that includes a dynamic picture of all of the ports, and what is connected to them. The functionality may be there, but I haven't seen it yet. Being able to see what is going through the ports would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Huawei Ethernet Switches for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any issues with glitches or bugs, so it has been stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any limitations in terms of scalability. We have fewer than 100 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had an issue that necessitated contacting technical support.

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

We have Cisco products in addition to Huawei.

What about the implementation team?

We have an in-house team for deployment and maintenance.

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

Compared to other brands, I think that the price is quite fair. I don't require them to be much cheaper, as it's already fair.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering this product is not to be afraid of it, just because Huawei is not a true American brand. It is an international brand. When you use it, you have the feeling that it can do even more than some Cisco or Fortinet products. The technology and brand name are good, so my advice is to trust it.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Get our free report covering Cisco, Aruba Networks, Mellanox Technologies, and other competitors of Fortinet FortiSwitch - Data Center. Updated: January 2022.
563,780 professionals have used our research since 2012.