Need advice for Production Network Upgrade

Discussion in 'Networking' started by nekopep, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,
    I'm working in an SMB with 30 people. (R&D, software, solidworks)
    We currently have cisco 2x SG500-52 switch + 2x SG500-24.
    All computers are connected to 1Gb and a samba server is sharing file over 4 * 1Gb aggregated link.
    The issue is that current ciscos are interlinked between each other throught stack ports, but these are only 1gb (!).
    Not to say that these link are one of bottleneck we have...
    We are in the process to upgrade our servers, and they will get 10Gb capabilities.
    I've started to look at cisco upgradabilty and feel very bored by their offer. The SG500 got 5Gb link but only between switch of same family (say no upgrade possible) AND through a copper SFP link :/ (we use fiber...)
    These switch are expensive (1K€ range) and honestly their gui are poor but these are CISCO.
    Now I'm looking at other brands and saw several much lower pricy things.

    I only use VLAN, not sure I 'll need other advanced feature. (No link agregation since we try to swithc to 10Gb)

    I saw:
    DELL X4012(backbone) + X1052
    Ubiquity 16XG ES-16-XG (backbone) + ES‑48‑LITE
    microtik CRS317-1G-16S+RM (backbone) + CSS326-24G-2S+RM

    1/Can they do the work? What are the hidden thing I do not see compared to Cisco one?
    I've looked at switching capacity, and looks OK (at least for ubiquity)
    2/I did not see any good review of Ubiquity one, any people using them with recent firmware and having excellent performance with them?
    3/How about Microtik, is this equivalent to Cisco switch?
    4/Any feedback on DELL one?
    Are their UI good, quick and easy to use?

    Is this a good idea?
    Equivalent to them seems to be SG500X or SG350X but price is just.... uncomparable...

    Thanks for your feedback!
     
    #1
  2. CookiesLikeWhoa

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    24
    First off...Since this is a production environment I would strongly recommend you go with products you can get with a service contract and then get the service contract. While you can save the company some money by doing it a "roll your own" style, you are also on the hook for all service and maintenence. Eg. you're on vacation in Hawaii with the family, get a call that no one can connect to the SAMBA server at work and it needs to be fixed now. Sadly you're on the hook to get this fixed. If you have a service contract, you can contact Dell, Cisco, HP, or whom ever and have them sort it out.

    That all said, I can only really comment on the US-16-XG. They get knocked for poor DAC compatibility and the copper ports lacking function with Intel Chipsets, but with fiber and optics they work very well.

    If you have Cisco, I would, personally, recomend calling one of their reps to give you a run down of what they can do for you and your budget. This will help you get an idea of what you really need and what they can provide in your price range.

    While I use a lot of UBNT switches at home in my lab (8 of them right now) I would not recommend them for production. I have not had any major problems with them, but the lack of a service team or service contracts makes it hard to recommend. If something goes sideways you are at the mercy of the community and what the forums can do to help. While the community and forums are very good, you cannot rely on them to help run your business.
     
    #2
    aero likes this.
  3. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    122
    I think there is a couple people here running Dell equipment and specifically those switches you listed (look over the 10gb for under $500 thread). If I was in your position Dell is probably the route I would go. Mikrotik and Ubnt can't give you a service contract like Dell (or CISCO) can. Ubnt is cheap and great if you are willing to tinker (love the AP the rest needs some work). I hate my Mikrotik RouterOS UI. My Dell 55xx series have a very usable gui and the cli is so close to CISCO you almost forget it isn't.
     
    #3
  4. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    452
    Dell or Aruba/HP and of course Cisco.
    UBNT maybe but I personally would not do it with that much volume depending on it.

    Are you sure saving money and the smaller upgrade is worth it vs spending more and getting a bigger upgrade (or 10G all over) ?
     
    #4
  5. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, let say with a maximum of 6K budget and where I live the only support i will get from cisco, dell is a local dealer. So yes, I got a service contract with a local company to help, but the best service you can get is always from internal. That said, we delegate the boring things to this external company, but still we need to know how the network is working. So my point is more, that with less pricy switch, I keep on something simple that anybody can fix just in case. (moreover we can have spare part preconfigured (!))

    So here, if the only point to get cisco switch is for support I will never get directly from them, I think other alternatives start to be interesting.
    The question then, is, are dell, mikrotik and ubnt reliable? The gui easy to manage?

    Honestly, when you take a look at cisco switch, we use 5% of the available options and lack performance compared to these less supported switch. But, perhpas I'm missing some point there. (Hidden switching capacity of smaller switchs?) As I said, we only use VLAN and rely on fast switching and throughtput. Things that these small should do reliably.

    So, here I looking at reliable switch, and will try to get a support contract on them from my local service company :)
     
    #5
  6. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    452
    Dell > UBNT > Microtik in my opinion if they are the 3 options. (Reliability and performance of switching)
     
    #6
    aero likes this.
  7. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem here is I wanted to upgrade my network keeping on cisco, but the way they design their switch must make me change all the switchs of the company.
    We have 1 SG550-52, 1 SG-500-52, 2 SG-500-24 (the 3 last stacked).
    Going the 10Gbp road means going to change at least the two SG-5XX-52 to SG-550X-48 (3KEuros) vs 1KE for dell for example, that is a lot of technician support days for issues on the network :)
    And I will not get a backbone swith (multi sfp one) for that price.

    I'm currently doing a comparison sheet, price etc. to decide.
     
    #7
  8. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    (Dream) Ha one question, does one of them have a kind of central GUI? That is you connect to a UI and you can control all the switch configuration on the network? (/Dream)
    You this kind of thing with cisco stack, bur very limited use case. (same switch family and carefully selected)
     
    #8
  9. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    452
    Your probably getting to the size where stacking is less practical.
    It’s a tough position, without any 10G uplink ports the current switches are not that useful at all.

    Maybe a 10G core of sorts then used 500X or similar switches (or 4948E-F used) to get 10g uplinks at a sort of reasonable cost or you want all new ?
     
    #9
  10. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    452
    Any reason to exclude HP switches ? Some have lifetime warranty and would also be an option, cheaper than Cisco generally and good quality and performance.
     
    #10
    Eliav likes this.
  11. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hum, will take a look at 4948E-F used. I'm considering the ebay refurbished road, but haven't seen interesting things so far. I'm not specifically looking at all new, if price difference is interesting.
     
    #11
  12. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nope, no reason, I haven't taken a look at them, any recommendations?
     
    #12
  13. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    452
    Will check the HP switches, I don’t have exact models in mind off the top of my head but I have some notes on them, I am sure others will jump in as well with HP switch models.

    Yeah I was only thinking of used enterprise Cisco with 10G uplinks as they should be well priced and take a spare also, you loose the nice GUI of stacked business line switches but they are a solid choice in all other aspects.

    Like this..
    Cisco WS-C4948E-F-E Catalyst 4948E-F Switch w/ Dual AC Power - 1 Year Warranty | eBay
     
    #13
    nekopep likes this.
  14. bitrot

    bitrot Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2017
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    23
    The small business series of Cisco switches is actually very competitively priced. E.g. the stackable SG350X and SG350XG series with 10Gbase-T and SFP+ ports. Comparable HP switches from the 1950 series are considerably more expensive, both the gigabit switches with 10gbit uplinks and the 10gbit aggregation switches themselves. Cisco offers a lifetime hardware warranty, too.

    I’m in the market myself and have been evaluating numerous brands of switches for my homelab. Looking for a stackable combination of a 10gbit aggregation switch for the “backbone” and at least one 24 port or 48 port gigabit switch with 10gbit uplinks. The only thing preventing me from pulling the trigger on the SG350X(G) series is the noise the switches make. Feature wise, they have a ton to offer (e.g. layer 3 switching), more than the competition (and admittedly more than most people in a small business environment actually need).
     
    #14
  15. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,914
    Likes Received:
    452
    @bitrot maybe my pricing info is a bit old and also corporate prices.
    I was just offering an alternative to Cisco but I have to say your right Cisco is it too badly prices for this situation I think.
     
    #15
  16. nkw

    nkw Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    44
    I think this is good advice, however just to play a bit of the devil's advocate: There are times when essentially buying 2x the equipment from one vendor (say UBNT) is far less than the cost of buying 1x+service contract from another vendor (say Cisco). If the primary concern is hardware failure sometimes simply having available spares can be as good as or better than a service contract.

    If the concern is the vendor fixing bugs you come across then buying spares in lieu of a service contract doesn't help you much. For instance with the US-16-XG, UBNT has been well aware of problems with the copper ports that they have yet to be able to fix. However for other stuff their release cadence and transparency means they (IMHO) are squashing more bugs than others (of course they might have more to start with). On the flip-side, having a service contract is no guarantee either, unless you are huge enough to have vendor penalties/SLAs. While 20 years ago Cisco TAC was staffed by magicians and unmatched by anyone, now, they aren't as bad as HP, but it is by no means unheard of to have them simply lie about the existence of a bug or not be able to do anything about one in a timely manner. I can't speak to Dell support on the network side.

    I don't think I would agree with a blanket don't use UBNT in production, just be aware of what you are getting into. A lot depends on how able/comfortable you and your staff are with solving issues on your own.
     
    #16
  17. woodshop2300

    woodshop2300 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    18
    That’s more or less how the Ubiquity unfi line works. They all connect to and are controlled by a central UI controller software.
     
    #17
    nekopep likes this.
  18. nekopep

    nekopep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hum interesting, I took a look deeper in their product line and found two interesting products:
    UNMS: UNMS - Ubiquiti Network Management System
    And Unifi:
    UniFi

    what I find interesting, and the capacity to see network throughput on each ports, unified management via docker (for unms) or controller (for unifi).
    Something I'm not able to do with my cisco setting, was only using iperf for that.
    Really interesting, digging deeper, an feedback welcomed :)
    How to choose between unify and unms supported product line???
     
    #18
  19. woodshop2300

    woodshop2300 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    18
    The unms is beta, so I would shy away for production. It’s also meant for the air* products, so the WISP industry. (Wireless Internet Service Provider).
    UniFi is for your on premise wired/wireless WiFi stuff and is considered stable.
    The 2 would overlap a bit if you say wanted a wireless link between 2 buildings at a location or something.
     
    #19
  20. audio catalyst

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    12
    Unms is beta, but edgeswitch products come with a decent webgui by themselves.

    Unifi is nixe, clean and build on the exact hardware platforms, but run usually n-1 on their edgeswitch/edgerouter software because they have intergrate the controls/functions in their controller.

    I have found both cisco TAC, hp support, juniper support have been abismal the last few years, since they off shored their support, if it's not a straight hardware issue you'll be in for fun.

    While there is a support desk at ubnt, there is also a huge and mostly knowledgable support community in their forum, with the actual devs and support guys there too, which results in things being picked up sooner than others do.

    As regards their xg serie switches and issue, that is a supplier ( broadcom in this case) slowdown.
    Funny thing is, that while netgear 10g switches run the same hardware, and problems with copper, nobody seems to put them down because of that

    send from a mobile device, so typo's are to be expected :)
     
    #20
Similar Threads: Need advice
Forum Title Date
Networking Need help and advice for a home router. Jun 16, 2019
Networking HP/Juniper (Cisco/Dell?) Stack switch needed! Advice me! May 18, 2019
Networking need advice on home pfsense / cisco virtual wireless controller setup Feb 5, 2018
Networking Mellanox Card choice (VPI or Eth) : need advice Oct 4, 2017
Networking 40G Network Setup Advice Needed Sep 17, 2017

Share This Page