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April 07, 2007


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Why is cisco not a good choice besides the cost factor?

We use a mixture of Dell 6024s and Cisco 3750s for our layer 3 switches. They seem to work reasonably well. You do get some extras with Cisco - the extra price isn't just the name. You get extra buffering per switch port for example, which is good if you're streaming data at close to wire speed. We tend to use the Cisco (with a stacking cable) for our core switches, and trunk them to the 6024s for our edge switches.

Don't forget you can get refurb Cisco's with a support contract. I can't think of any reason you need to buy new ones. The switches will last forever.

J, why no fiber between your exisitng server stack and your future location... you could tie in your office to the stack later on with that.

We're not saying Cisco is bad ... in my former job I bought ALL Cisco because I could afford it and our consultants recommended it (that was 5-6 years ago).
My budget is vastly different where I'm at now ... cost is a huge consideration. I just can't justify the cost difference to get Cisco gear ... and our volunteer is very familiar with HP gear which is also key.
I'm also liking HP's lifetime warranty ... and NOT having to pay for smartnet every year.

Jason - we want to eliminate the need for a switch in the server rack so we're doing a couple straight cat6 runs right from the server NICs down to their future home. We eliminate a hop and it frees up a managed switch.

Jason - I should also note that we're only talking 6 cat6 runs ... which is 2 more than we need currently (4 physical servers).

We were on 3Com until three years ago when we started buying HP to outfit our new building. At that time a vendor proposed Cisco but it would have been more than double the cost for no real benefit. We don't have any truly high-demand applications on our network so there is absolutely no reason to pay extra for Cisco.

Our decision to go with HP was wise. We use a 4100 as the core in each of our two main buildings and 2600s in the IDFs. We haven't had a single failure in three years. I can recommend them without reservation. HP is a great company with quality products.

We put a managed switch in each rack. From a monitoring and traffic control standpoint it lets you limit server to server traffic from hitting other switches and know exactly what servers could be causing a traffic issue. We also don't use Cisco due to price except in one area. iSCSI. There is a performance difference when pushing storage traffic over a switch and Cisco's IOS knows how to handle Jumbo Frames very well. I can't say the same for Dell.

We started using HP managed switches 4 years ago, on a vendor recommendation. We have a 4104GL as our core switch and 5 2xxx series switches connected via 3 fiber, 1 CAT 5e, and 1 Proxim Wireless Bridge. Our new EqualLogic SAN will run on two HP 2824 switches. We have had an HP 2650 switch fail on us, actually due to a lightning strike, that HP replaced a.m. the next business day. I highly recommend HP’s Procurve gear, based on my experiences, the price point, and the manageability of their gear. Also keep in mind the lifetime warranty and the no cost firmware upgrades.

All of our servers connect directly to the 4104 via a 24 port patch in the server rack that terminates in the MDF.

You could use an opensource solution for routing, like Quagga or Vyatta. They just run on any old server you have laying around.

If you want a full hardware-based router Adtran makes very good ones for a better price than a Cisco.

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  • Jason Powell is the Information Technology Director at Granger Community Church. The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of GCC ...
    or are they? Hmm???

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