Deploying a Voice over IP network can be daunting given all the technologies required to deliver consistently high voice quality. This becomes especially troublesome as the network grows and more network infrastructure and endpoints are added. Cisco has found a unique solution to this problem and has formally been granted a patent for these technologies by the US Patent Office. The patent (US Pat: 8867405) has been granted for technologies enabling a zero-touch, network-wide, voice deployment. And the best part? This is supported today on the Cisco SMB 500, 300, and 200 Series Switches.
The Cisco solution incorporates a combination of VSDP (Voice Services Discovery Protocol), CDP, LLDP-MED, Auto Smartports, and mDNS. This unique solution addresses the auto-configuration of the network of switches as well as the auto-configuration of the Voice endpoints, AP’s, UC, and desktops/servers. Endpoints are automatically discovered and instructed which QoS and Voice VLAN parameters to use, and the switch ports are dynamically configured. The entire network converges on (and automatically adjusts to) the parameters needed to deliver high quality voice.
What makes this solution especially unique is that one can literally take a new switch as it arrives from the factory, plug in the IP phones and other endpoints, and have a functioning network without any configuration.
“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category”
– Kevin Tolly, Founder, The Tolly Group
For a more detailed description of the capabilities, a document has been posted on Cisco’s Support Forum.
A demo showing how this capability compares to competitive products in the market:
Another demo showing the ease of deployment with the Auto capability in action:
Tags: 300 series, 500 series, Cisco Switch, patent, SG300, SG500, smb
As an SMB, you thought there are solutions/options completely out of your range – 10 Gigabit, Virtualization, Stacking, 16TB Storage, POE+, Layer 3, etc.
If I told you you can get all of the following (an entire future-proofed feature-rich SMB network with Storage) for under $10K, what would you say?
- 16 TB Storage
- File Sharing and Backup
- Video Editing
- Storage costs – $3793 (pricing for part numbers below at CDW.com on 3/12/2014)
Amazing, isn’t it? Here’s the list of equipment that will get you there:
1x SG500X-24P – 24p Gigabit POE Stackable Switch
Tags: 10 Gig, 300 series, 500 series, SG300, SG500, smb
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)
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?”.
Tags: 300 series, 500 series, 500 series managed stackable switches, affordable, Cisco Small Business, engineering, HP, products, Proof, SG300, smb, superior, while products are more affordable
“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category.”
“The new Cisco 300 Series Switches offered the most extensive capabilities, best performance, lowest latency, lowest overall energy consumption, and best user experience of any product in the evaluation. Cisco has incorporated the most extensive IPv6 support Tolly has seen in this class of product, which is an increasingly important feature for businesses of all sizes now that the IPv4 address space is fully allocated. The combination of an intuitive Web interface, delivering both simple and advanced configuration and management, and best-in-class pricing make these products ideal for the markets being served.”
— Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group
Cisco Systems commissioned Tolly to evaluate several models of the new Cisco Small Business 300 Series Managed Switches along with comparable models from D-Link, HP Networking, and NETGEAR. In all, eleven switches were tested. Bottom line, the Cisco 300 Series 10/100 and GbE Managed Switches delivered:
- Wire-speed, non-blocking, Layer 2 throughput at all frame sizes tested (64-1518 bytes)
- Consistently low latency at all frame sizes
- Best price/performance among switches tested
- Most extensive feature set: IPv6, traffic shaping and rate limiting, scope of GUI-based configuration
- Lowest power consumption in 2 of the 3 classes tested, and best-in-class power efficiency overall
- Most extensive set of IPv6 protocol and application support
- Best usability with a simplified user interface delivering both basic and advanced capabilities in an intuitive fashion
Check out the full report and give us your thoughts!
Tags: 300 series, comparison, managed switch, switching, tolly