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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of purchasing a two 24 or one 48 ports switch. By looking at the Cisco switch, it is WAY too expensive. We are a small business non-profit organization with around 40 machines. Will anyone tell me the really big advantage of a Cisco switch over some other brand such as 3Com, Dell, Netgear, Linksys, and HP etc.? Like I said, Cisco switch is very expensive and I'm not sure if it is worth the money in comparison to some other brand.

Any suggestion is appreciated.

ljCharlie
 

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Typically the Cisco kit will be able to handle pretty high levels of network traffic throughput, probably over multiple networks and with advanced features such as access control lists, accounting, policing and security features and possibly other things such as front maintenance accessibility, and integrated cable management systems may be included depending on models.

As you've noticed, however, all this comes at a price! Plus as a general rule configuring them is no easy matter; Cisco kit requires reasonably complex programming to use even the basic features; it is definitely not the same as an off-the-shelf SOHO piece of kit such as the 3Com, Dell, Netgear, Linksys kit you quote.

The low end router/switches from 3Com, Dell, Netgear, Linksys, etc are designed for small home and business networks of up to 254 computers and low-to-average bandwidth. Whether they provide the reliability and maintainability, etc for a small business operation is a point open to some debate.
 

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I just purchased a Dell 24 port gigabit switch (goes for about $400) for a small 25 machine network I manage. This was an upgrade from a couple of 12 port 10/100 3Com switches and the Dell seems to be doing the job. Dell also has 3Com gigabit NIC's for under $50. For the money, the purchase seems ideal for this kind of network (my humble opinion, of course).
 

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Cisco switches are ideal for critical networks and give a high level of sysadmin management options, if you don't need this level of functionality, go for a HP Procurve switch, lots cheaper (at least in UK) and give you management features. I have used them for years and not had one fail yet, one installation is still using a 12 year old 10 meg unit with a thin net module !!
Cheers,
10forcash
 
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