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“Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products”

As the product owner, one comment I get most of all is “Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products“. This is the case even though we ship well over 20 million switch ports delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year in this portfolio – to customers in all geographies, markets, verticals, and customer types.

Which products are we talking about? It’s the Cisco SMB portfolio.

See what independent testing agency, Miercom, found when they compared Cisco 300 Series Switches (SG300) to other switches in the market from competitors -- Miercom lab test report.

Cisco was top performer in the test in Performance, Energy Efficiency, Usability, Capacity/Scale, Feature/functionality, and was the most Economical. For further dialog around this report, see the following link for more details: Competitive dialog on the Miercom test report.

Almost identical results were found when comparing the Cisco 500 Series Switches (SG500) to other Stackable switches in the market from competitors – Results from Stackable Switch Lab Test Report.

 “We were impressed with the comprehensive set of features, performance, overall power efficiency, and ease-of-use of the Cisco switches”

– Rob Smithers, CEO, Miercom (Miercom report: DR120119C)

Over this last year, here’s a small sampling of additional features Cisco has added to the 300 Series portfolio in addition to what has been tested in the Miercom lab (a free software download for customers, I might add):

  • Web-based Authentication - Provides network admission control through a web browser to any host devices and operating systems
  • IPv6 First Hop Security – Protection against man-in-the-middle attack, malicious or rogue devices, and IP address theft
    • RA Guard
    • ND Inspection
    • DHCPv6 Guard
    • Neighbor Binding Integrity
  • UDLD - detect unidirectional links caused by incorrect wiring or cable/port faults to prevent forwarding loops and black-holing of traffic in switched networks.
  • Time-based POE - time-based shutdown of ports or POE for operational cost savings

Here’s a list 100+ intelligent features many/most of which are not present in the corresponding competitive products. Read it and decide for yourself: Detailed feature differentiators post.

 So more features means it costs more, right? Nope. These Cisco switches are actually just as affordable—and in many/most cases, even more affordable — than Competitive switches. See for yourself. Here’s a few examples of comparable products you can look up:

  • Cisco SG300-28 versus HP 2530-24G (J9776A) -- $513 versus $724
  • Cisco SG300-52 versus HP 2530-48G (J9775A) -- $910 versus $1,129
  • Cisco SG300-28PP versus HP 2530-24G-POE+ (J9773A) - $876 versus $1,218
  • Cisco SG300-52P versus HP 2530-48G-POE+ (J9772A)- $1,232 versus $2,324

(Prices collected on CDW Website on 2/20/2014) 

300 Series Family MR

 

But don’t stop there. Have a look at the features and pricing for rest of the Cisco Small Business portfolio. You will see very similar results in other parts of the portfolio as well (For example, compare Cisco SF500 switches against HP 2620 series). By the way, these Cisco switches come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which includes next business day (NBD) advanced replacement as part of the product – no need to purchase a separate Service contract to get this. We can only do this since we truly stand behind these products.

“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category”

Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group (See Link)

Bet you didn’t know many of these things as well. Awareness is the biggest problem for this portfolio. So, let’s change this to “Did you know Cisco had these products?”.

 

 

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Big News from the Cisco Small Business Team

February 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm PST

Happy Thursday all.

Yesterday, my brethren Product Manager, Ivor Diedricks announced his new 10 Gigabit Small Business Switch. This is the first 10 Gigabit Switch in the Small Business Series. This is an important announcement in that we are the only one (save one) to come to market with such a product for the SMB space. With its 10 Gigabit over copper interfaces, SMB’s can connect Servers and Storage devices cost-effectively for an optimal core deployment. This new switch has eight 10GBase-T copper, eight SFP+ slots and up to eight switches can be connected in a single stack. Ivor provides more color into the features of the new switch in his general availability release which also announced several new models for the 300 and 500 Series Switches which provide fantastic performance, ease-of-use, best-of-breed features and industry-leading warranty.

Thanks for taking the time to take a look today. Make it a great day.

KN48112

Here’s Ivor’s Announcement:

The Small Business product team is pleased to announce the immediate orderability of a new 10 Gigabit switch together with several new models of the 300 and 500 series switches. Small Business switches deliver great value for SMB customers with outstanding ease of use, best of breed features and peace of mind warranty. And we continue to evolve the portfolio with the constant software updates.

The new SG500XG-8F8T switch features 8 ports of 10GBase-T copper for cost-effective, high speed connectivity to Servers and Storage devices. Additionally, there are 8 SFP+ slots for 10 Gigabit long-range connectivity over fiber for backbone, stacking, or host connectivity. Up to 8 units can be connected in a single stack and may be paired with SG500X switches in the same stack. It comes with a rich feature set including VRRP Resiliency, IPv6 First Hop Security, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), Auto Smartports, CDP, and numerous Time-based capabilities for enabling items such as POE, ACLs, and 802.1x according to a schedule.

The new POE models expand the 300 and 500 Series portfolio with support for higher density POE capability, together with all models supporting IEEE 802.3az (POE+). The 300 and 500 series switches now incorporates full and half power POE models, thereby giving customers the options to select the models which best meets their needs. The new switches comes with all the rich feature set available with these product families.

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Which Cisco Small Business Router is the right one for your business?

February 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm PST

2014 seems to be flying by. I cannot seem to keep up. The blur started with, well, Thanksgiving, the Holiday Season, New Years, Chinese New Year, and now Valentine’s Day is on Friday. You made that dinner reservation right?

We often get questions from folks about which model is right for their small business, whether we are talking about a switch, wireless access point or router. Of course the answer depends on the questioner and their respective business. For a home office or solo person business to a small team of employees in a single room/area, an all-in-one wireless router will make sense. Essentially, it has a router, small switch and wireless access point in one box. Once the business requires more people and more real estate, a more complex approach maybe necessary.

I saw a tweet last week from a gentleman in the UK who did a write-up on the RV220W, which is an all-in-one model. The writer does a good job comparing a normal consumer router versus a small business router and pointing important characteristics to look for. Take a look at the write-up, then go make that reservation.

Have Fun!

Cisco RV220W Small Business Router-Does it fit your business?

The Cisco RV325 – The newest edition to the Cisco Small Business Routing Portfolio

December 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm PST

Now that the Holidays are upon us, and we look forward to 2014, the Cisco Small Business team continues to raise the Small Business networking bar with the introduction of the all new Cisco RV325. This Dual WAN, 14-port VPN Router, provides all of the same performance, security and reliability of the RV320 launched last June. Both routers are perfect for fast-growing small businesses or branch deployments. So if you are looking for more ports in the same enclosure, the RV325 is the Small Business router to take a look at.

RV320 and RV325

RV320 and RV325

Like the it’s smaller sibling the RV320, the RV325 is a perfect match with the Cisco Small Business SG300 Series Switches and WAP500 Series Access Points. As you saw from my last Blog, the WAP551 and WAP561 boasts a nice feature-set including Captive Portal and Single Point Set-up. The WAP 551/561 are controller-less Access Points meaning additional hardware is not required. The SG300 Series offers a nice blend of features at an affordable price and are designed Small Business. It has most of the features that can be found in today’s Enterprise-class Switches.

This formidable combination makes for the perfect solution for that many Small Businesses and Organizations can take advantage of. Add in our portfolio of award-winning Cisco Small Business Services, and you have a solution that all that guarantees a positive experience from Cisco Small Business Team.

One Option for this solution is the newly launched 200 Series of Smart Switches. There are four new models including 10-, 24-, 26-, and 50-port switches. These Full Power PoE Smart Switches are a great alternative as they offer a generous feature-set, solid performance and even greater affordability.

SG200 Series PoE Smart Switch

SG200 Series PoE Smart Switch

 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year’s from the Team at Cisco Small Business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Configuring Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points using Single Point Setup

November 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm PST

 

As we head towards Thanksgiving, it amazes me how fast time flies. 4th of July was a few weeks ago, right? I have yet to start holiday shopping, although the conversation at least came up this week. Wait! There is so much to get done before Christmas, so much to do with the Cisco Small Business Team! But yes, I digress.

This week, my colleague Product Manager, Nasser Tarazi, who manages the Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points, created a short video covering how Cisco’s Single Point Setup makes the configuration, deployment and management of multiple access points a snap. In less than 5 minutes, he had a secure wireless network with two access points. All of configuration was done through a setup wizard that guides you step-by-step how to configure the access points.  They automatically optimize the key radio settings so that is one thing less for you to do.  I could go on and on about how easy and fast it was, but it would be easier for you just to watch the video.

The bottom line is that Single Point Setup saves you time and money and you don’t need to be or have an expert to configure these products.  In fact, this is a consistent trait for all of Cisco Small Business Wireless, Switching and Routing Portfolios. We believe that making our Small Business portfolios are among the easiest to deploy, configure and setup as we have made it one of the top priorities.

Please take a look when you have a moment. If you have a little more time, remember to take a look at our list of Cisco Small Business online emulators. These emulators do just that, it provides a simulation of how the router, access point and of course switches can be set-up, configured and managed, all in an intuitive way.

Nasser would also like to note that the AP541N is now End-of-Life. The replacement products are the WAP551 and the WAP561.

Thanks for taking a look.

Marc

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