Cisco Blogs

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

February 25, 2014 - 24 Comments

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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  1. I am a user of Cisco 500 Series, which really outreached my expectation about switch products defined in this cost level.

    Those switches really offer a comprehensive portfolio in terms of type of stackable switches, configuration tools with rich feature rich, and at the best competitive C/P value comparing to similar products like HP Models 2810, 2910 and NETGEAR Models GSM72xxS or GSM73xxS.

    Thank you Cisco for providing such high quality products, and Cisco switches will certainly continue to be in our future purchase list.

  2. I was really impressed by the ease of use. I got my IP address quicky from a DHCP server and the rest of the configuration was really easy with the GUI and the good on-line help!

  3. Very good product! Rich feature set. Every major release the feature set are enhanced. Simple to use via Web-GUI and CLI. Bottom line – amazing value compare to investment.

    • Agreed. The combination of Functionality, performance, and value is unmatched in the marketplace.

  4. These products have WEB GUI that gives you the ability to configure all the features (and the devices are very feature-rich), and CLI very similar to IOS.
    You never need to reboot the device (unless you upgrade the firmware in order to get the newest features, Cisco release new firmware at least once a year).
    You never fail with these devices!

  5. Finally such a reach of feature device that provide the ease of use when being configured via the secured remote management. It looks like the a lot of thoughts and debug was done. It defenetly answers the high level of expectations when using Cisco devices

  6. Very impressed with this product.
    It is very feature rich – and you get much more than your money’s value. On the other hand it is very simple to manage – both via GUI interface and CLI.
    Just a few points I especially liked:
    1) PoE support – supports all types of connected powered devices – both old Cisco type and new standard based; PoE+ support – this means I am not limited to the type of device I can connect (AP, Phone, surveillance Camera etc)!
    2) GUI interface – on the one hand a menu based interface that allows full configuration option for the advance user, on the other hand a very “novice friendly” getting started page which provides links to the essential device configurations (VLAN; IP, and device statistics.)
    one more cool feature in the GUI interfaces – it supports all the Major languages!
    3) Stacking – I am using an SG500x-24P device – it is so easy to setup this stack (up to 8 units!)- this allows to manage all 8 switches as one – with fail-0ver redundancy. there are even have 2 10G uplinks on each unit!
    Just the right product for SMB network!

  7. The Web Interface is very nice, and we can do most of the thing without using CLI commands (I am a CLI commands person), easy to use and must more easy to understand than the CLI commands.

    The PoE feature is very good as well.

  8. The easy usage of CLI and GUI imppressed me a lot even as the engineering team of this product, and the intellegent features like smartport, auto-voice vlan…make the deploy ment easier and quicker.

  9. I’ve been working on both SX300 and SX500 products before their public release. Their transformation from a LAN switch for phone networks to replace legacy equipment to an all purpose, enterprise-integratable switch that can support and cross connect thousands of different deployments has been astounding. The fresh feature set on every major production release and minimal caveats are one of the largest appeals to me. I hope everyone will have the chance to use one these for a small (1-10 user) or big (300+ user) environments to see how effectively priced and placed this product really is.

    • Tom,
      You’re right – we have added literally hundreds of new features in these products over the last few years. And, these products are deployed in customers of all sizes.
      Thanks for your comments.

  10. Must say these switches have served me well. I am very surprised for what you get for the money.

    • Indeed – value for money has been a key component of this portfolio. It is purpose-built for the SMB marketplace after all.

  11. This is so true, I’m so excited by these switches. The command line on the SG300 makes me feel right at home coming from IOS. I had no idea these existed until Q3 of 2013 and the more I use them, the more I like them. Playing with an SG500X this weekend 🙂

    • John – glad to hear these work out well for you. Let us know how your experiences with the SG500X goes.

  12. Deployed 2 more SG300-52P switches this weekend. I am really impressed with them. Cisco really is doing themselves and small business owners right with the SG line of products. Extremely powerful with an impressive UI that makes administration a snap.