Extremely stable and very high quality with pretty good technical support
Pros and Cons
"The quality of a Cisco switch is very high. They are extremely stable."
"Cisco should work to lower its costs. It's quite expensive right now."
What is our primary use case?
We primarily use the solution for the switching capabilities.
What is most valuable?
The initial setup of the product is pretty simple and straightforward.
The solution is adding more automation capabilities.
The quality of a Cisco switch is very high. They are extremely stable.
What needs improvement?
Cisco should work to lower its costs. It's quite expensive right now. They force the customer to buy the DNA license and that shouldn't be the case.
Instead of making automation cheaper, they are making it more expensive and clients don't like it.
They really need to simplify their licensing and simplify moving to a controller base.
The scalability is limited.
Cisco also owns Meraki, however, they keep these switches as separate products, and customers are confused by that. Meraki has a lot of features and a customer questions why those features are there and not here. Meraki also allows for more integrations with solutions such as HP, and it's harder to integrate Cisco.
The same is true of Nexus switches, which basically do the same thing and yet everything is siloed. It's confusing for the clients.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using the solution for about 20 years. It's been two decades. I've had a lot of time to get to know the product.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Cisco switches are of very high quality, which makes them very stable. It's a very strong selling point for the product. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's very reliable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is limited. There are other solutions that can do it better. Cisco is not number one in this respect - especially as more companies head toward the cloud. Luxul, for example, offers better scalability - if that is what a company is looking for.
We tend to use the solution quite extensively.
How are customer service and technical support?
I've used Cisco for 20 years or so and therefore have had encounters with technical support. I would note that the first 15 or so years had been very great and I would describe them as very helpful and responsive. However, as of the last five years, I find they are going south. They aren't as good as they used to be. It's still okay. It's just not as good as it was.
Whereas in the past I've given them five out of five stars, now I would rate them at a four.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We didn't previously use a different solution. We're mostly a Cisco shop.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is not overly complex. To set up a switch is not a big issue. I see Cisco is trying to go into the DNA to do some automation.
Every site is different in terms of deployment and the number of switches/users. On every site, we have two engineers and we're also doing web support. The setup is a one-time thing and the switches are pretty stable, and therefore it doesn't take us much time to do an implementation so long as there are no hardware failures.
What about the implementation team?
I handled the implementation myself. I did not need the assistance of a consultant or implementor. I have enough experience to handle it at this point.
What was our ROI?
I've used a few different switches and I wouldn't say that you necessarily get a better ROI just because you use Cisco.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The cost of the solution is quite high. There are other cheaper options. On Cisco, you're paying probably double or triple times the cost.
Many people don't like the complexity. It should be simpler and offer a low cost. The reason people are looking for automation is that they are looking to lower costs, however, if you go to Cisco solutions, the automation solution is very expensive. This is the opposite of the customer expectations.
I do not do the purchasing directly and therefore I can't estimate an exact cost for the product.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I've used Juniper and HPE switches, and, if you were to compare them, I'd say there isn't too much of a difference. The functionality is pretty much the same.
You can also compare the solution to Luxul, which has better scalability.
What other advice do I have?
We are a customer.
Cisco tries to move clients over to their own ecosystem so that they are only using Cisco from end-to-end.
The solution is very good for enterprises, however, it might be a bit much for a small company that may only need one switch.
If the costs are not a concern for an organization, I would recommend the product.
I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We've been very happy with the stability on offer, however, the pricing isn't the greatest and the licensing is confusing.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.