We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story
2018-08-02T11:48:00Z

What needs improvement with Cisco Catalyst Switches?

5

Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Cisco Catalyst Switches.

What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?

ITCS user
Guest
7070 Answers

author avatar
Real User

Licensing is somewhat expensive and should be improved. Cisco should provide customers with a more advantageous licensing model included with the purchase of the equipment. They have done some good by providing low-cost multiyear DNA center licenses with the purchases and have increased the number of benefits provided with the HW warranty, but must still work on lowering smart-net cost.

2019-10-28T13:50:00Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The only improvement I would like to see with Cisco Catalyst Switches is the pricing.

2021-11-10T15:20:12Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The prices could be improved. Cisco is dedicated to providing their customers with the latest technology, but it comes with a price. It's very expensive and when compared to competitors' products, like HP or Aruba, this is the most expensive one. I can't think of any additional features I would like to see in the next version. The features included are sufficient.

2021-11-03T18:17:00Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

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.

2021-10-22T16:37:57Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

While it is scalable, it could be better.

2021-10-21T15:48:12Z
author avatar
Top 20Reseller

The GUI should be addressed. I am not certain if they have this. The solution is kind of expensive when compared with other products.

2021-10-18T11:10:27Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

The solution offers a bit of complexity and you need a specialized workforce. The scalability can be a bit limited due to the stacking topology which limits the number of switches that can be added in a given stack It's always a while before you can get through to technical support.

2021-10-04T11:04:22Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

In terms of what could be improved, more integration is the main thing they should be focused on.

2021-08-23T07:07:00Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

You need to predict your scaling considerations at the outset. The product is expensive.

2021-08-11T14:52:23Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The solution could improve by allowing administrators to create scripts to help automate processes to make tasks easier.

2021-08-07T09:11:45Z
author avatar
Top 20Consultant

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.

2021-08-05T13:52:03Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The solution could be easy to use, you need a certificate to use it.

2021-06-25T19:53:17Z
author avatar
Real User

In the future it would be nice to see a dynamic VLAN database that's not managed by another, say, Cisco product. I would like for Cisco to come up with an affordable dynamic VLAN solution. This would mainly serve the purpose of network access control. My thinking is along the lines of that of my colleagues, that there are non-Cisco infrastructures available which are more affordable. This would give us the option of using Cisco Catalyst or of moving on to the competition. Cisco ACI is a feature I would also like to see. When it comes to automation, it would be good to be able to use Ansible or Puppet to run one's network and enforce compliance. Roadmap is the way to go, especially when it comes to network engineers. I would be very pleased if Cisco were to enable its product to work with these automation tools. This is where the challenge lies in deployment for most network engineers. Automation is key.

2021-06-24T18:42:25Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

In an upcoming release, adding SD-WAN capabilities would be a big advantage for our company.

2021-06-10T20:37:33Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Its price should be improved. It is very pricey. Its installation can be simplified. Its installation is a bit complex.

2021-06-09T14:16:30Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

I used to use the CLI, the command line, but some users may want to use the Web GUI. They need to simplify the Cisco 2960 Web GUI control, but not the entire version or the functionality for the Web GUI control. IT people will most often use the CLI to configure the Cisco Switch. They need to simplify the Web GUI and make it easier to use, and more intuitive for the users.

2021-06-03T20:38:28Z
author avatar
Top 20Consultant

I would like to see the integration of the 2960 SX switches. I would also like to see more information about them.

2021-05-18T12:27:13Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The configuration setup is a little more complex if you go into detail. The price is something we would definitely like improved. It would be nice if it was more economical.

2021-04-30T13:25:48Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

Pricing mainly is the only issue. For our company, IT is not a major investment, so it would be harder to convince management to invest in Cisco switches. For quality, they are the best, however, in terms of pricing, especially due to the COVID crisis and everything, investment into a network is now a lower priority. Before, when the money flow was better, it was easier to sell. However, now, for this current situation, a major point of pain in the company is price. Even though my priority is reliability, in order to avoid downtime, management is harder to convince and they just see the price tag.

2021-04-26T19:18:59Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

You need to have dual powers, dual power points for each to take into account the redundancy. Compared to other switches, the Cisco products are expensive.

2021-04-06T17:44:54Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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

2021-04-05T10:12:00Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

I'd like to see better reporting and also integration possibilities with other platforms. It's quite an expensive product and it would be helpful if they reduced the cost.

2021-02-25T11:09:52Z
author avatar
Real User

The price can definitely be lower. I also think that a Combi Port should be added to the next release.

2021-02-19T17:43:13Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

Installing and configuring these switches requires the proper training.

2021-02-15T17:20:13Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

Scaling can be quite costly.

2021-02-09T18:36:02Z
author avatar
Real User

When you compare it with HPE and Aruba, it should be fancier.

2021-02-09T02:28:17Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

They should be cheaper.

2021-02-08T10:10:00Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The implementation of the solution is a little bit difficult. It would be nicer if the process was a bit easier. The configuration process is hard. The pricing of the solution is quite high.

2021-02-03T11:24:36Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2021-02-03T10:58:39Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

I would like to see a graphical user interface for the configuration. This is something that other brands and models have.

2021-01-28T09:09:55Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

The solution is expensive. They should work on their pricing model to try to make it more affordable for customers.

2021-01-23T11:40:09Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Its price can be improved. It is currently expensive.

2021-01-11T14:24:24Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

Their price should be cheaper. We lose a lot of work because of the price that they have.

2020-12-11T12:44:39Z
author avatar
Reseller

We'd like Cisco to integrate better with other solutions, including their own.

2020-12-10T22:29:40Z
author avatar
Top 10Reseller

There are several versions of Catalyst, and yet, they are quite similar. If, in the simplest one, they could create a Catalyst segment where all the possibilities like QSFP, SFP, 10G, that would be ideal. MikroTik, a Latvian company, has that as an option. They include 1G and 10G and QSFP all in one switch. Cisco, however, divides it into several switches across these features. Cisco is likely doing it to make money. However, clients sometimes don't want to pay more for the switches and they ignore Cisco and grab other brands like MikroTik. As distributors, it makes it hard to sell Cisco when features come at such a high price. Another issue is the restrictions on the product. Cisco applies restrictions in relation to renewals on a yearly basis. Many other brands don't have restrictions. If Cisco lifted them, they wouldn't lose so many clients to competitors.

2020-12-07T14:47:31Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

In the future, I would like to see better security for this product.

2020-11-21T06:45:11Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2020-11-18T20:56:33Z
author avatar
Real User

It can have more security features to secure the access layer.

2020-11-16T17:28:49Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Cisco can definitely improve the training part. They can provide more training related to configuration.

2020-11-12T17:53:30Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

I would like to see better efficiency. They are powering all the PoE ports 100% of the time instead of powering only when there is a draw on them. It has too many options. Therefore, there is a reasonably high barrier to entry in terms of learning about this stuff. A lot of times, you need to be a CCNA, which is like your ticket into the industry, but it is not the easiest thing to get.

2020-11-11T06:26:00Z
author avatar
Top 10Reseller

Its initial setup can be simpler, and it would be great if we can work with a reference architecture. Cisco has the capability to provide a very integrated solution. They have DNA Center, Cisco ISE, Cisco Prime, FMC, and AMP. We are looking at all the products, but it is rather complex to pick out the right licenses that you need. The license structure is a bit complex. Sometimes, there is an overlap in products, which does not really make sense. For example, you have DNA Center and Cisco Prime, and it is not really clear what you would use for what exactly. There is a lot of information on the Cisco website, but it takes a while to go through all this and look at the presentations that are available from Cisco Live. These presentations are appreciated, but sometimes, they are a bit too much like bullet points. You don't exactly know what's behind it, so you have to do a second guess. Overall, there is a lot of information but not always to the point.

2020-11-08T19:23:51Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

There aren't any features that are missing. It's quite a good solution. There are two different families, the older family is not programmable. The newer family is programmable and everything is there, so for now, most of the improvement is in the capacity and the speed and other items. They could use more layer trees or VXLAN. Any modern setup which uses the SD axis and other features would benefit from this. It would definitely be more stable as we could remove all spanning trees. It's already technically there in Catalyst 9K. Any improvements that they make should be in the wireless area of the product. We could see more 100 GB interfaces and higher speeds in the future. The access levels could be improved.

2020-10-30T19:12:22Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

I would like to see support for one-touch provisioning. By use zero touch provision , We do need a lot of config for system boot and other, That should be improved. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/...

2020-10-27T13:19:57Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

One thing I think should be improved is that billing should be customizable for end-user. If the customer wants a particular feature or upgrade or does not want the feature or upgrade, it should be their choice. If the user rejects the additional services those should be cut off from the pricing and not forced on the billing. Instead, they just include these things and the end-user has no choice. That is a concern for end-users who are trying to be cost-conscious and know what they need — and what they do not need — in their environment.

2020-07-27T07:17:41Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

In the next release, they should lower the price. It's too expensive. They should also have a graphic interface for the switches too without the command line.

2020-07-16T06:21:00Z
author avatar
Top 5Real User

We are not working off the latest version so the switches on the product are very old and that could be improved. The one gig boards are strictly one gig and not backward compatible. This switch also does not have power over ethernet, so that's old. I'd like to see a better web interface. I can't tell you what the existing generations have so I'm sure there have been improvements. These are so old and I'm sure modern switches now have much better tools to interface with them.

2020-07-12T11:48:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

Most of the time, I struggle with the bugs. I don't find it very challenging to configure these because I have been using them for the last eight years, so I am pretty comfortable with the CLI. With these bugs, I don't know the configuration for a one time task, you configure it, you deploy it, and you forget about it. The biggest issue we are having is with bugs and memory loss, which occurs when developing the IOS. We also had an issue with Nexus 3548. The CPU started stalling and the switch became unresponsive. We had to call support and have someone remove that cable immediately, as we are not able to travel due to the COVID situation. Once the cable was removed, the switch came back to life. I searched through the log and learned what happened. The CPU was stalled for 11 seconds. I searched Google and on the Cisco bug tracker, and I found that it was a bug. There is no workaround for that. It was a huge loss for us and we lost money as a result. There was nothing that I could have done to prevent this from happening. This is a management interface that is supposed to be used to manage the device. I connected the cable not knowing that the bug existed.

2020-06-28T08:51:00Z
author avatar
Top 10Real User

The user interface needs improvement. It might make them a bit more user friendly. The one thing that I came across with the Catalyst 2950-X switch was that I wanted to alter the dashboard, so I connected it to the management interface. I gave it an IP address and I used the browser. However, as soon as I accessed it, I realized that the system of the computer from which I was accessing it didn't support that version. I was using Linux and the OS didn't support the switch. I had to get a Windows computer to access the switch. The dashboard was difficult to manage. It would have been nice if they made it obvious that it didn't work on Linux.

2020-06-15T07:34:05Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

Out of the competition, Cisco switches are easily the most expensive. There's something at Cisco called a console that is used for basic configuration and everything and I think that they excluded a normal USB. Instead of that micro USB they should put in the normal one. It would make things a bit easier.

2020-06-15T07:33:54Z
author avatar
Real User

Reducing the price would be an improvement.

2020-06-14T08:03:05Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

Cisco switches are really expensive compared to other solutions, which is something that should be improved. They are almost double in price. As of late, Cisco has been moving from one technology to the next and they don't support each other. If you want new features then you have to buy a new product and forget about the old one. This is from a licensing perspective. For example, the Cisco DNA license versus then Cisco One license are things that I don't know about. I would like to see better compatibility between Cisco and other vendors. There are a lot of features that are for Cisco devices only, and when you bring in a second or third vendor there are a lot of problems. Fixing this incompatibility would be an improvement. I have not tried a lot of other brands, but I have connected both Huawei and Aruba Wireless with Cisco. Connecting Huawei with Aruba Wireless works well with no hangs. However, connecting Cisco and Huawei is terrible. Sometimes you have to restart one, whereas other times you have to restart the other. I do not recommend mixing equipment between these two companies.

2020-04-16T08:44:38Z
author avatar
User

The price is high and it should be improved.

2019-11-12T17:21:00Z
author avatar
Real User

They should make so that they let users know five to ten minutes before productivity is restored in the case of power loss.

2019-03-06T07:41:00Z
author avatar
Real User

The current catalyst is probably outdated so we will most likely move to the newer version of the solution soon. Some additional features that should be included in the next release could include the ability to create real integration, standard policy pushing, and optimizations.

2019-02-12T10:09:00Z
author avatar
Consultant

They should make it more affordable, improve the cost, manageability, and central management. I would like to see a cloud-managed feature.

2019-02-10T10:06:00Z
author avatar
Real User

The prices are high. It's more expensive than other similar options. I would like for them to include more cloud options in the next release and a smaller router.

2019-02-03T06:24:00Z
author avatar
Real User

It should have better security and the prices can always be lower. The cheaper the price, the better but if the quality is good, it's worth it. They also have to improve the firewalling. SP access should be included in the next release.

2019-02-03T06:24:00Z
author avatar
Real User

The newer models are not so stable. Other products like 6800, 3750, were stable but starting from 3850 it got worse. We have a lot of issues and a lot of bugs. It's a new product so it's understandable but it should be improved.

2019-02-03T06:24:00Z
author avatar
Vendor

Cisco should focus more on this type of product instead of on data center switches. They stopped improving the software of these switches and they are focusing on the data center. They should focus on this type of product, more than any other thing. It might also help if they integrated their security products with the switches.

2018-08-29T09:31:00Z
author avatar
Consultant

One feature that I would like to add is for the following: At times, when I add an access list for a hostname, it doesn't actually add the hostname, it adds the IP address. So in the back-end, if my server changes the IP address, I have to go in manually and change the IP address. If the capability was there in Cisco to add a hostname instead of the IP address that would be really good.

2018-08-28T08:04:00Z
author avatar
Real User

It would be helpful to have the ability to load new IOS software without performing a reboot, or to be able to perform the reboot without disrupting end-users.

2018-08-28T08:04:00Z
author avatar
Real User

My dream is to have the netflow in the port, for the administration and the utilization of user traffic, similar to the Meraki.

2018-08-28T08:04:00Z
author avatar
MSP

I would like to see hosting multiple applications on the existing IOS.

2018-08-26T08:57:00Z
author avatar
Consultant

For the access switch for distribution, I would like to see them support 100GB, 40GB.

2018-08-26T08:57:00Z
author avatar
Real User

In terms of additional features or improvements, I would like to see more fiber ports, more security features, and perhaps the integration of wireless features into the switch.

2018-08-23T08:15:00Z
author avatar
Real User

One issue is that the competition is giving a lifetime warranty, whereas Cisco has a limited warranty on most of it. Also, Dell switching is coming up with a solution where you can put your own OS inside their switching infra. That is where they are talking about open networking. We can show that our Cisco is also an open-source. We are open to different switching operating systems if the customer is willing to put it in. We can support multiple operating systems inside the switching infrastructure. It removes the hardware and software dependency on each other. That is where I think there is room for improvement so we can talk about open networking. Cisco should also come up with open networking access.

2018-08-23T08:15:00Z
author avatar
Consultant

Currently, Catalyst is completely proprietary with Cisco. They should have programmability options, through open-source controllers. Also, some features, are very complex to configure.

2018-08-19T07:14:00Z
author avatar
Real User

Recently I have had a little hiccup working with Catalyst switches. They used a few power integration features but I'm not sure they really resulted in much power saving. But, it caused cross-vendor equipment trouble. For example, if I put some sort of equipment other than Cisco in a Cisco network, where the energy is marked as an option for Catalyst, sometimes I end up with a link breakage situation. This is because Cisco can understand its own structural power dependency and optimization, but it cannot understand the power optimization for other vendors' equipment. I had a really tough time managing the networks. Also, Cisco has been introducing some software options in Layer 3 switches. I don't find that to be important so far, when there are have SDN options all over the world now. Certain switches are even leaving that out of the licensing option, and they are providing you embedded options so that you can actually use open-source SDNs. I don't believe that this is a good option, that Cisco is actually keeping so many licensing options for Catalyst. That is my opinion on the Catalyst 9000 series.

2018-08-19T07:14:00Z
author avatar
Real User

I have found no major drawbacks in the Catalyst platforms. The price is high, but for seemingly the best LAN switching platform available, coupled with Cisco's excellent support, the price doesn't seem to be too much.

2018-08-09T06:47:00Z
author avatar
Real User

It would be good if they added some machine learning which would allow us to abandon the rigid rules for processing traffic priorities and, at the same time, save money, because equipment with similar logic (like DPI) is much more expensive. Soon, we plan to migrate to the cloud infrastructure. It would be good if the Cisco switches worked quickly in the cloud, like their hardware devices. Ideally, they would be like OVS-DPDK, but they would work out-of-the-box.

2018-08-02T11:48:00Z
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Catalyst Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
554,529 professionals have used our research since 2012.