Who, besides Cisco, for enterprise access switches?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by DragonNOA1, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. DragonNOA1

    DragonNOA1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,302
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    For some reason (well, many) our CTO wants to move away from Cisco. I can understand his reasons why, but I've been drinking the juice for so long I don't know who else to recommend besides Cisco. Who do you guys use?

    Dell, HP, Avaya.... anyone else?
     
  2. mi7chy

    mi7chy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Odd since you usually have to fight to break away from Cisco.

    Anyhow, Juniper and HP.
     
  3. DragonNOA1

    DragonNOA1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,302
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Oh, there's a fight going on, but I guess we have to do our due diligence and look at all/other options. We'll compare and contrast and see which way we want to move as an organization. Higher up's only see dollar figures though, and Cisco can get pricey.
     
  4. EspoNation

    EspoNation Gawd

    Messages:
    795
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    I have used HP switches before and the CLI is pretty spot on close to Cisco. I can confirm because I am studying for the CCNA.
     
  5. Kwisatz Haderach

    Kwisatz Haderach Gawd

    Messages:
    627
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Edit for brain fart.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  6. Mister Natural

    Mister Natural 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,447
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    HP Procurve - been a proven, reliable enterprise level switch for a long time. Been using them for 20 years and never had one fail. (knock wood)
     
  7. diizzy

    diizzy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,602
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Juniper should be a good option
    //Danne
     
  8. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

    Messages:
    19,988
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    We use Extreme, but I think I've gotten better reliability from Linksys. I don't like Extreme much....
     
  9. Nicklebon

    Nicklebon Gawd

    Messages:
    587
    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Juniper is the easy choice at layer 2 or layer 3. At one time I'd have said 3Com was an easy choice for layer 2 but I've not used them since they were bought and absorbed by HP and I never cared for them at layer 3.
     
  10. Thuleman

    Thuleman [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,834
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Is it really "many" or does he just no longer want to pay Cisco SMARTnet and maitenance fees?

    If the support fees are the issue then look into Network Hardware Resale (which rebranded itself as Curvature (WTF?)): http://curvature.com

    They sell used Cisco gear at fairly decent discounts with their in-house lifetime warranty, and they have their own SMARTnet alternative called NetSure (https://www.curvature.com/NetSureBundles) which delivers substantial cost savings. If you want to stay Cisco rather than uproot your environment and institutional knowledge then Curvature (WTF?) is a must-check-out.
     
  11. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    17,933
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    I hear a lot of commotion about how crappy HP switches are yet I've never had a problem with them.

    Is there any legitimacy with anti-HP switch complaints?
     
  12. MysticRyuujin

    MysticRyuujin Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    The big question is how do you manage your enterprise switches? What features are you using in your enterprise switches that are absolutely necessary? I find that many organizations don't actually use even a fraction of the "enterprise features" of their switch and they manage them one at a time by SSH/Telnet/Web. Netgear switches can offer the features that some companies implement on their switches.

    When you actually need the enterprise features and 4hr replacement crap that Cisco offers you're not going to beat them.

    However, it really comes down to why you need Cisco. If you don't need Cisco why pay the premium? Cisco is awesome but price/performance and price/density ratio is not exactly on top. Plus some of the limitations they put on the hardware (including license specific features) seems arbitrary and silly.

    If on the other hand you've spent thousands of dollars on management software and spent hours writing Cisco specific scripts and management procedures then it might be a huge pain to switch vendors.
     
  13. DragonNOA1

    DragonNOA1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,302
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Thuleman,

    We use Curvature now. Our CTO comes from an Avaya shop and is in love with them. It is his answer for everything. We don't like them so much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  14. QHalo

    QHalo 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,432
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Surprised no one has mentioned Arista or Brocade.
     
  15. /usr/sbin

    /usr/sbin Successfully Trolled by Megalith

    Messages:
    3,927
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
  16. DragonNOA1

    DragonNOA1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,302
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Do you use either? How are they?
     
  17. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    19,174
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Juniper = bunch of X Cisco guys started them
    HP is great as well and even Dell higher end switches are solid.

    You will find your share of problems with them all, but i would aim to HP or Juniper. Both include more options and Juniper usually handles far more throughput than the others.

    Also you will save a TON on support costs, HP are guaranteed for life and both include support for the price, not like Cisco butt raping support add-on costs that end up being 5x more than any other product just so your paying for the name.

    This isn't 10-15 years ago when Cisco owned the networking world. There are better options now but people are so drunk on Cisco Kool Aid they think there is nothing competitive out there.
     
  18. xlt92explorer

    xlt92explorer [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    +1 on the HP recommendation. Even the low end web managed switches are decent and have lifetime warranty. We sell quite a few of them to our SMB customers, along with 25xx series. All have been great, and as others have mentioned, CLI is very similar to Cisco.
     
  19. mi7chy

    mi7chy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Isn't Arista targeting the data center? None of their switches seem to support POE for IP telephony.

    Brocade acquired Foundry Networks and both aren't very common in the enterprise.

    I'd probably play it safe and stick with the top three players Juniper, Cisco or HP.
     
  20. diizzy

    diizzy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,602
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Zyxel shouldn't be bad but I don't know how their high end switches stacks up to the rest.
    //Danne
     
  21. AeonF1

    AeonF1 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,928
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Barracuda doesn't make switches, I would know, I used to work there.

    I work at a VAR and 95% of the switches that we sell is either Juniper or Cisco. There's seems to be a big exodus with companies moving from Cisco to Juniper these days.
     
  22. Nate7311

    Nate7311 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,312
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    I used to be a big Enterasys fan over Cisco, but now that Extreme Networks bought them out, I'm not too sure how their support will be.
     
  23. necrophobic

    necrophobic Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Avoid Avaya like the plague. I'm with the crowd about NHR's wtf moment and subsequent name change to Curvature.
     
  24. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,771
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    i work for a nonprofit and got a stack of nortel poe 5520 48 ports for < $200 and 24s for like $120

    so far i've been extremely happy with them :D havn't had any problems with the actual hardware, they seem very well built

    no support, but i'm kind of a lone ranger when it comes to most stuff anyway...
     
  25. Benzino

    Benzino [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,500
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    We moved from Cisco to Juniper at a company I used to work at.
    My current company is a Cisco Premier Partner, so we push that on clients.
    I'd vote for HP or Juniper.
     
  26. boss99

    boss99 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,602
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    We have tons of HP access switches. CLI is very comparable to Cisco, while it's not a pound for pound copy, if you understand one, you'll get the other.

    Lifetime warranty is cool, because we deal in such large quantities (we probably have over 2200 deployed and in production), some of our older switches are starting to go out, but they were deployed probably around 2006-2007 and have been on 24/7 since then, and in some cases in non environmentally controlled rooms and closets.
     
  27. Mister Natural

    Mister Natural 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,447
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Not looking to debate, just comment.

    HP switches are descendant of the old DIGITAL network hardware line. One of the few things HP hasn't tampered with and screwed up. Cue network pron....a hat I still keep on my shelf.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. boss99

    boss99 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,602
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    They're trying, I've tried using their A-class switches and the interface was absolute garbage. I guess it was chinese company that got sued for knocking off Cisco's IOS to closely and HP has since purchased that company.
     
  29. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    19,174
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    i dont like HP GUI and the Java usage for it..can be slow at times when i use it to quick view something.
     
  30. Mister Natural

    Mister Natural 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,447
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Can't argue with you on that. I just bought a couple new Procurve's and actually the web interface didn't require java anymore. I was quite happy to see that. Many years ago the interface was awful. Don't know if anyone remembers a program called ClearVisn along with java which was required to manage a switch in a gui. The thing was once I had it configured I really never had to mess with the switch anymore. But I hear what you're saying. The java requirement bugged me for a long time and never understood why they stuck with it.

    Reliability is there, but there certainly may be better interfaces out there.
     
  31. FlangeMonkey

    FlangeMonkey Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    I'd stay away from HP and Dell. My experience is throughput is usually bad, reliability suffers and management and function isn't as good as the others.

    I usually use Juniper as an alternative to Cisco, but Arista and Brocade are very good, but I must say I don't use them as AC. Mixed environments do have there own challenges though and discovery can be a pain.

    I'd go Juniper as an alternative is most environments, but it does depend on the business. I have mixed Juniper quite well with Cisco.
     
  32. dbwillis

    dbwillis [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,723
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    seems at work, we are switching from Cisco to Arista switches
     
  33. JTY

    JTY 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,291
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    I've never had any issues with Juniper or Brocade/Foundry. HP is generally pretty good as well.
     
  34. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    19,174
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Good to know, i only have some old 25** series from 2-3 years ago so havent been able to play with any of the new ones yet.
     
  35. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,211
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Depending on what you go with and how much money you save I'd get a few spares too. Having spares on hand beats even the best support.
     
  36. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,226
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Speaking from my observation at my workplace over the past 2-3 years as consultants have come and go, as we use to be all HP hardware, it's likely due to ignorance, arrogance, and pride. Instead of working with the equipment, we switched to what many people know better and more fluently: Cisco.
     
  37. feffrey

    feffrey Gawd

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    HP in the access, distro and core. We are moving to Juniper in the core though for expanded features.
    HP is awesome and cheap, Cisco gear is nice, but we could not afford them. Juniper gives us pretty good discounts on their gear and their jcare is cheap also.
     
  38. Dark Shade

    Dark Shade [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,872
    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Brocade is okay, we use them exclusively for our DCs. You need to be very careful which running image you have, they will have multiple versions that are 'compatible' with your hardware but will have broken features, you need to have the 'right/supported' image even if there are 10 versions of images newer than the one you are running.

    Other than that, solid hardware and support.
     
  39. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    19,174
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Cisco cornered the market decades ago and it stuck with them. For me at least now you pay for the Name with Cisco, when you can get just as good hardware from the other listed providers above and usually for cheaper with higher throughput and better performance.

    I have noted on my reading journeys people say though that Cisco support is top notch, if you have an issue usually their level 1 can fix it, where as with Juniper you can end up going through several people and hours or days to get a fix.
     
  40. randyc

    randyc Best Person

    Messages:
    1,567
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Brocade (Foundry really) -- good big switches. I used them at my old job and never had any issues

    Nortel/Avaya - All the Avaya routers and switches are really just Nortels products. People seem to like them a lot more than I do, but I never had to manage them day to day in an office


    Juniper - a lot of my customers use this if they don't use Cisco. Juniper seems to make a good product, and I haven't heard any real complaints about them.

    I've seen all the above three brands (and Cisco) in servers room all over -- hospitals, government, small business etc