Designing a local area network (LAN) from scratch is a project most IT consultants and systems integrators dream of. But determining the specifics of how that dream should be fulfilled can vary greatly from company to company. For example, one of the most fundamental components of a network, the managed network switch, plays a bigger role in overall network health and performance than many solution providers realize. If you ask them to describe the key distinctions between a switch made by Cisco compared with Aruba, HP or Juniper Networks, they may conclude that they’re all about the same, and whichever one is on sale would be the best choice. Here are five reasons to reconsider that line of reasoning:
- View the network as an architecture. Among the components that make up an enterprise LAN, the role of the switch goes beyond the speed of packets traversing the network. Cisco Catalyst Access switches, for example, are fully integrated with security, WLAN, routing, policy management and enforcement, and network management. Unlike Juniper switches, which offer no integrated wireless controller functionality on access switches, Cisco switches provide end users with ONE (open network environment) policy, management, and network across fixed and modular platforms.
- Secure Networks throughout the Attack Continuum – In a typical scenario, once an individual obtains any type of management access to a switch or router, it becomes very easy to wreak havoc on the entire network. Unlike some [need to avoid direct comparisons with other mfrs—since they’re all Ingram Micro partners, we can’t appear to endorse one over another] switches that don’t support SIEM (security information and event management), Cisco Catalyst LAN Switches use identity-based policy and threat intelligence capabilities that provide security protection across the entire attack continuum — before, during and after.
- Adapt to Network Changes. Cisco Catalyst Switches are built on the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which simplifies fabric setup and enables partners to add nodes with zero configuration. Support for Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) and provisioning across physical and virtual machine deployments contributes to the switches’ non-stop self-healing capabilities. HP’s switches, on the other hand, are built on HP’s FlexFabric which it claims to be standards based despite the fact that it does not work with protocols such as TRILL, VEPA, or OF. [need to eliminate or rework the preceding sentence so as not to say anything negative about HP]
- Optimize BYOD Initiatives. Cisco Catalyst Switches allow users to manage up to three times as many mobile devices as some switches on the market, while offering a higher level of QoS (quality of service). Additionally, Cisco Catalyst Switches support location-aware mobility and Cisco’s AVC (application visibility and control) and support for Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Lync) SDN-API delivers real-time voice, video, and desktop sharing.
- Don’t Neglect Your Customers’ Green IT and TCO Initiatives. Switches without energy management features place unnecessary burdens on end customers. That’s why Cisco Catalyst switches are equipped with EnergyWise Technology, which contributes to efficient power management and lower TCO(total cost of ownership).
There’s a reason Cisco switches have more than 60% market share (according to the latest research from Dell’Oro and Infonetics) within midmarket and enterprise environments. And, despite competitors’ claims to offer comparable network switches at cheaper prices, the evidence just doesn’t support such claims. [This sentence is a little bit iffy too. How about something like “There’s a reason that the latest research from Dell’Oro and Infonetics shows Cisco switches have more than 60% market share. While it may be tempting to use products that seem to offer comparable features at cheaper prices, it’s worth it to invest in Cisco quality” (you can probably word this better)]
Learn more about Cisco Catalyst Switches by visiting our Cisco Showcase on ingrammicro.com and see why Cisco switches are the smart and economical choice for your customers.