Cisco: Catalyst 9400 Series Switches Review

The Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series of switches is a next-generation modular access switch line built for flexibility, security, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart buildings. 

The series is an enterprise switching platform for high availability, with modular access/distribution/core switches designed to help bridge the network to business and business to customers.

Cisco offers three core types of models for Catalyst 9400 Series switches based on the number of slots: the Catalyst 9400 10 slot, 7 slot, or 4 slot.

See more: The Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Market

Cisco and the switch market

Cisco held 49.9% of the global Ethernet switch market share in Q3 2020, according to Statista.

Since 2013, Cisco has not seen a lower market share than 47.2% in Q2 2020.

The company’s revenue in 2021 was $49.8 billion, with a net income of $10.6 billion.

Features

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches have many advanced capabilities designed to provide a high speed and capacity, high density, and availability to help protect companies before, during, and after an attack.

The series has some useful features, such as supporting up to 9.6 Tbps, providing the latest in 90-watt UPOE+, and MACsec 256 encryption, which helps to reduce the attack surface and enhance rapid threat containment. 

Other features include:

IoT readiness

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches provide the segmentation, automation, and reliability required to support the next generation of smart buildings and IoT without interruption, while limiting where IoT devices go on the network. These switches offer up to 384 ports of 100 W perpetual Cisco UPOE, PoE+, and PoE, allowing Cisco to deliver IoT convergence at scale.

End-to-end visibility

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches allow organizations to move to the cloud with confidence with integrated Cisco ThousandEyes network intelligence. Cisco simplifies, secures, and transforms the cloud environment from the network edge and delivers a digital-ready approach that extends to where applications reside.

Foundational technology

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches provide high density and high availability with hot patching, graceful insertion and removal, NSF/SSO, and redundant, platinum-rated power supplies and fans. The switches also support advanced routing and infrastructure services.

Faster core, faster access

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches are designed to provide twice the speed and capacity of traditional switches, and Cisco DNA Center simplifies IT operations. There is a lower operating risk while users plan and implement migration projects with Cisco services.

Use cases

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches are used as a core switch and to interconnect data centers in the same city and other cities.

University HealthSystem Consortium

University HealthSystem Consortium is a hospital and health care provider that uses multiple Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches for its data centers. The switches provide better speed, stability, and security with enterprise-class wide area network (WAN) and (local area network) LAN protocols and features.

Mark McCully, senior network administrator at University HealthSystem Consortium, says the switches are “a solid and secure network core for your enterprise.”

“We tap into the APIs that the Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches make available to provision resources on the core switches for different pieces of whatever infrastructure we are running as code scripts,” McCully says. 

“Using automation to build out infrastructure resources allows us to turn over new environments to our application development team much faster (with less likelihood of user error or build issues).”

EBSCO Industries

EBSCO Industries is a leading provider of discovery services, databases, and several information resources and services for libraries worldwide. The company uses Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches as a collapsed core design at all of their remote offices.

Christopher Hall, senior director of employee support services at EBSCO Industries, says Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches “allow us to perform all the requirements of a medium to small office without having too many pieces of equipment. The security and management are there along with the speed.”

He says that no other switch can meet as many diverse needs as Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches can, and it’s relatively easy to find people who can set up, run, and operate them.

Continuant

Continuant is a telecommunications service provider in Fife, Washington that uses Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches for their access layer switches. They are satisfied that the switches can handle the number of users and traffic as required.

Benjamin Salmond, a Cisco network engineer at Continuant, says, “These switches handle a full amount of users with ease, especially with dual 40 G uplinks.”

“I think that the configuration of the Catalyst IOS is very straightforward and easy to teach others,” Salmond says. “For me, they are great for the access, distribution, and even core of the campus architecture, depending on the amount of traffic necessary, such as a collapsed core.”

User reviews 

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series Switches have an overall rating 9.6 out of 10, according to TrustRadius review. Based on the G2 review, Cisco Catalyst Switches have a very good rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switches mostly receive a rating of 5 out of 5, with a couple models receiving 4.9, according to the Router-Switch review.

Price

There are a wide variety of Cisco Catalyst 9400 Series switch models, with prices ranging from about $60 for home office use to $85,000 for large enterprise hardware.

See more: Dell: Storage Hardware Portfolio Review

Al Mahmud Al Mamun
Al Mahmud Al Mamun
Al Mahmud Al Mamun is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. He earned his B.S. in computer science and engineering from Prime University, Bangladesh. He attained more than 25 diploma courses and 100 certificate courses. His expertise and research interests include artificial intelligence (AI), artificial neural networks, and convolutional neural networks.

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