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’s award winning converged infrastructure management software solution just got even better! In the latest release of Cisco UCS Director, we’ve added broader and deeper infrastructure support across the compute, network, storage and virtualization layers, as well making the product even more scalable. The latest release also comes with new software development kits (SDKs) for partners to provide extensibility and interoperability and a northbound API for integration with Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) as well as other cloud management systems. Let’s take a closer look at these enhancements in detail.
SDKs and APIs
UCS Director’s new SDKs and APIs were recently made available to give our partners the following functionality:
- Northbound API which integrates into higher platforms like Cisco IAC. This API enables you to perform operations on Cisco UCS Director resources and to integrate those operations into applications so that they can provide API-supported functionality and features.
- SDK available on cisco.com & DevNet (CDN), which provides open automation for partners looking to create new device connector
|UCS Manager 2.1 (Delmar); KVM console; SAN zoning through UCS Manager; standalone management of UCS C-SeriesUCS Integration -Local disk provisioning and policies
-Workflow tasks for vNIC templates and service profile
-Assign blade or server pool to group
-Cloning of profile and profile template
Whiptail – application acceleration
- Invicta, Acella API Version 1.5 support
- Inventory reports
- CRUD actions, workflows, and reports
- Converged and stack views
UCS Central Integration
-Multi-domain Manager concept
-Inventory for UCS-M elements
-Local/global service profile and templates
-Pools and policies for network and storage equivalent to UCS-M
-Select/deselect UCS domain assigned to POD
Read More »
Tags: Brocade, Cisco UCS, Cloupia, converged infrastructure management, data center, FlexPod, HP, Invicta, Microsoft, nexus, red hat, UCS, ucs director, unified management, Vblock, VMware, WHIPTAIL
Power efficiency remains a top decision point for many customers looking to modernize their data center. Customers searching for an accurate way to compare server power among vendors are often directed to use power calculators without taking into account the many factors that drive power utilization. This notion preys on the simplistic nature of the power beast – lower number is better… but are we missing the (power) bus entirely?
The dirty little secret is that there is no industry standard for power calculators, and vendors can essentially publish a calculator around whatever workload they like (or no actual workload at all). Read More »
Tags: c7000, Cisco, dell, Flex System, HP, IBM, m1000e, power, power calculator, PureFlex, UCS
Intel estimates1 that one-third of the servers in production are more than four years old. At first, one might think that it is great to get this much service out of a capital investment, but the operational costs to run these outdated servers would pay for a complete technology refresh increasing performance and reliability while reducing total costs. How is this possible? With the Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 v2 product family and Cisco’s Unified Computing System. Read More »
Tags: B200 M3, BL460c, blade server, Cisco, Cisco UCS, data center, datacenter, Hewlett Packard, HP, HP BL460c Gen8, Intel E5-2600, Intel Xeon, Intel Xeon E5, Ivy Bridge v2, rack server, refresh, ROI, savings, sever, tco, UCS, x86
I am often asked by customers why UCS has been so successful in such a short amount of time. My response is always the same in that it comes down to two things – 1) Cisco and our partners’ ability to understand and execute against customer needs and 2) A fundamental difference in the underlying architecture.
You may know that Cisco invented UCS service profiles and built the entire system around the notion of hardware state abstraction. Cisco’s approach has been so successful because every element of the system was designed from the beginning to have its configuration set through software, without any licensing requirements. Whether customers are running bare-metal, virtualized, or any combination therein, Cisco UCS service profiles have revolutionized computing and have challenged competitors to try and replicate the simplicity and increased productivity that UCS Manager policies and templates provide. It’s no secret that Cisco UCS Manager has revolutionized the way customers deploy and manage servers, but here are a few things about UCS Manager that you may not be aware of.
Did you know that Cisco UCS Manager is embedded software running within the Fabric Interconnects in a highly available clustered configuration? This is an important distinction from traditional architectures as Cisco UCS Manager is a fully redundant management engine right out of the box the moment the system receives power, without special clustering software or additional licensing fees. Read More »
Tags: blades, Cisco UCS, Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco Unified Fabric, Dell Active System Manager, Dell ASM, HP, HP blade management, HP c-class bladesystem, HP OneView, IBM, IBM Flex System, IBM Flex System Manager, IBM FSM, service profile, UCS Manager