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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.
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.

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 technical 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
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
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Wilber Calle
Senior Project Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good routing capabilities and a fairly easy setup
Pros and Cons
  • "The product offers very good routing and ranking capabilities."
  • "The product could offer more integrations with other solutions."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution specifically for our internal network - for our users and some servers. We also have servers on the cloud as well, although largely we are on-premise.

What is most valuable?

The VLANs portion of the solution is very good. 

The product offers very good routing and ranking capabilities.  It allows for better channels.

The initial setup is very simple. An organization shouldn't have too much trouble setting everything up.

We've found the solution to be rather stable. It offers good performance.

What needs improvement?

There aren't any features that are lacking from my perspective. It's pretty complete.

The solution itself is quite expensive. It would be ideal if they could lower the pricing a bit.

The product could offer more integrations with other solutions. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have had experience with the solution since around 2000. In 2010 I began on the sales-side of the product. Therefore, I have many, many years of experience with the product at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution offers very good stability. We've found it to be reliable. It doesn't crash or freeze. It also doesn't seem to have bugs or glitches that affect its performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the layer you are talking about. Layer 2 is not scalable, however, Layer 3 switches offer very good scalability.

We have about 50 people currently using the solution.

How was the initial setup?

We found the implementation to be very simple, and straightforward. It was easy. There weren't any complexities, therefore, we didn't face any difficulty when setting everything up.

Deployment takes a few hours.

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

The pricing of the product is quite high. It's not the cheapest option on the market.

What other advice do I have?

We're Cisco partners. We have a business relationship with the company.

I'd recommend this solution to other organizations. Over the years, I've found that it works very well.

In general, on a scale from one to ten, I would rate it 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: Partner
Ismail-Youssef
Product Specialist at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Poor performance, difficult to implement, but helpful support
Pros and Cons
  • "I have not opened up a ticket for Cisco Catalyst Switches. However, I have used the support from Cisco and they are very good and responsive."
  • "Cisco Catalyst Switches should have better performance and be easier to use. Additionally, they should add artificial intelligence features."

What is our primary use case?

The main use of Cisco Catalyst Switches is for enterprise networking.

What needs improvement?

Cisco Catalyst Switches should have better performance and be easier to use. Additionally, they should add artificial intelligence features.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Cisco Catalyst Switches within the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My clients are not happy with the stability of the solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable but the configuration to have it scale can be complex.

How are customer service and support?

I have not opened up a ticket for Cisco Catalyst Switches. However, I have used the support from Cisco and they are very good and responsive.

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

I have used other solutions, such as Juniper, HP, Aruba, and Fortinet switches, and they are better than Cisco Catalyst Switches.

How was the initial setup?

The configuration of the solution is difficult. If you are not using the Cisco Prime or Cisco DNA for management then the solution will be complex.

What about the implementation team?

Three or five engineers are needed for the implementation of large projects.

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

Cisco Catalyst Switches are very expensive.

We have found that we need to purchase a DNA license to be able to use the Cisco Catalyst Switches but we never used it. There is an annual fee to use the solution. There are additional services that can be added at an extra cost.

They need to remove the DNA license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other solutions, such as Juniper, HP, Aruba, and Fortinet switches

What other advice do I have?

I would not recommend Cisco for anyone, many of my customers have had bad experiences with them.

For the rest of the business for Catalyst customers, we replacing all of them for our customers. I saw the many cases the customers were replacing Cisco with another vendor. It is more expensive and it didn't meet their expectations. However, we are using another technology from Cisco but the security from Cisco is not good anymore.

I rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a four out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Project Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Offers good, solid hardware and security, with great performance
Pros and Cons
  • "The hardware and the security are the product's valuable features"
  • "The cost of this product is very high and not all companies can afford it."

What is our primary use case?

We generally work with small, medium and sometimes government organizations. We do layer 3 switches, as well as 9200 as layer 2 switches. I'm an integrator and we are customers of Cisco. 

What is most valuable?

We don't use any specific protocols. For us, the hardware and the security are the product's valuable features and performance of this solution is good. 

What needs improvement?

The cost of this product is very high and not all companies can afford it. Government entities can but corporations these days are hesitant to get Cisco. They're looking for other options that can cut their costs by 30% or 40% from the cost of Cisco Catalyst Switches. I think the command line in the platform could be improved because it's divided and can complicate things, maybe they can go direct to GUI. Using all the commands is a bit difficult. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco is stable. There are no issues with outages or integration. Once it's up and running, configuration is okay, and once it's on the live network, it's fine, no issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not an issue. Cisco is their own market and it works.  

How are customer service and technical support?

If I have Smart Net, I get good technical support. Whenever I have an issue I contact them. They're very good. 

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup can be a bit complex depending on the organization. Deployment time depends on the configuration. I did an installation with around 44 switches of Cisco 3850, which took me around one week to do the installation, configuration, and handover. It depends on the number of switches and configuration required. 

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

When we propose Cisco to a company, the only issue they are concerned with is price and the yearly subscription. You have to buy Smart Net to get a warranty and that is also expensive. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Cisco is similar to other solutions such as D-Link. They have the same features. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate this product an eight out of 10. 

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: Integrator
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Presales Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Stable, flexible, easy to install, and the support is fair
Pros and Cons
  • "I like the flexibility of this product."
  • "Cisco is a bit complex."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for our network.

I am a system engineer, and we sell the products to our customers.

What is most valuable?

I like the flexibility of this product.

What needs improvement?

There is a complexity with Cisco.

They should have unified software that includes all of the licenses. We should not have to pay for different software on the same platform. Each one has a specific use or a specific feature.

If you need dynamic routing then you have to purchase the software, if you need basic IP routing, you need different software. Why do you need this type of complexity?

They have their own propriety protocols while other competitors go with other standards and are easy. Cisco is a bit complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Catalyst Switches for 15 years.

We use several different versions, not just one. If they have different software for universal enterprise services, they will have specific features to use for the specific use case.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco Catalyst Switches is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution needs to be improved. It is not very scalable. For example, if you want to enable the features such as VSS, you have to add other modules and hardware.

Other competitors have this feature available from the beginning. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fair.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It is easy to install.

I was not involved in the installation but it is approximately five or ten minutes to deploy.

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

There is no licensing fee. All of the features are available on the switch from day one.

It's not a complicated license; you have to buy a license for different services or features. This is different.

Most of the features are available without additional hardware.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Cisco to other users, along with several other products.

I would rate Cisco Catalyst Switches a nine 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
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Managing Director at Aster Networks
Real User
Top 20
Stable, very reliable, and easily scalable
Pros and Cons
  • "The configuration is easy."
  • "The solution is quite expensive for our clients. It's a pain point for some companies. They should work to reduce the price."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for networking and the UCS.

What is most valuable?

The solution is extremely reliable as a product. The clients very much appreciate that.

The configuration is easy.

The solution is customizable.

We've found the solution to be stable.

A company can scale a solution easily.

Technical support has been very helpful.

What needs improvement?

The solution is quite expensive for our clients. It's a pain point for some companies. They should work to reduce the price.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a long while. I've used the solution basically since its inception.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with the stability of the solution. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We typically deploy the solution to medium to large-scale enterprises.

The solution scales well. It's not hard for a company to expand it as they need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in touch with technical support in the past. We've found them to be helpful and responsive. They are quite helpful and very polite. We're very satisfied with the level of support we receive.

How was the initial setup?

I'm not a technical person. I didn't actually handle the initial installation for our organization.

There is little to no ongoing maintenance required once it is implemented. I'd say you have 1% to 2% of effort going into maintenance. 

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

We've found the solution to be quite expensive. 

What other advice do I have?

We are a premium partner with Cisco.

We use various versions of the solution. It depends on the client. We have multiple clients and each instance is unique.

It's deployed both on-premises and on the cloud.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations. We've mostly been quite happy with the product.

I'd rate the solution at 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: Partner
Senior Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to configure, scalable, and stable
Pros and Cons
  • "We find the product very easy to configure."
  • "The solution is expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our server. It's a network solution as well.

What is most valuable?

It's a very popular solution.

We find the product very easy to configure.

The stability is very good.

The product can scale quite well. 

What needs improvement?

Cisco is basically the number one switch in the market. It makes it hard for other options to compete. 

The solution is expensive. Sometimes we will choose some cheaper options even though they are not as stable as Cisco's offering. However, if it is a small project, it may not be worth paying Cisco prices to get it done.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for two or three years at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have found the solution to be very stable. The performance is good. It doesn't crash or freeze. it's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been excellent. A company shouldn't have any issues with expanding it if they need to.

We have three to five people that directly work with this product.

We already use so many Catalyst switches. I'm not sure if we intend to add any more. 

How are customer service and support?

We don't really need any support as we have a network engineer on staff that can help us troubleshoot if we have issues. 

How was the initial setup?

I can't speak to the initial setup. In terms of the installation process, we have a network engineer that will help us to install the switches when we need them.

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

The solution is expensive. There are other cheaper switches on the market. However, they may not necessarily be as stable as this option. 

When you buy the Cisco, the price already includes a software license.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using. It might be the latest.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. I've been pleased with its capabilities overall. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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