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Best enterprise switches for newbies?

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Our company is looking to replace it's 9 year old Cisco 10/100 switches with something a bit more modern to increase port density/reduce the number of devices, create a more logical/efficient network topology, and get gigabit to the desktop.  One of the issues we have is our network administrator has no IOS or other switch operating system experience.  He inherited the network from a past employee years ago.

I'd like to deploy units which a skilled IT person with common sense/skills can work with through a GUI interface, even if they don't have IOS or other OS experience.  Does this even exist on a managed switch (not a GUI, but an easy one).

We will have about 150 desktop endpoints connected to the switches plus a couple dozen servers.

I have to work with what I have and I could use a good direction on this.

Many thanks!
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Question by:linesplice
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wfcraven12 earned 125 total points
ID: 35009797
The Cisco Catalyst series is great.  Easy to manage - especially if you're no CCNA.  They have the Cisco Network Assistant which has a user friendly interface
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by:lancecurwensville
lancecurwensville earned 125 total points
ID: 35010504
I would recommend the HP Procurve series; especially if you're not into command line.  Cisco is the industry standard, without question, but, without CLI and the knowledge of their proprietary IOS, much of their higher functions will be out of reach.  The procurve series uses a pure web interface console to make even advanced vlan routing easy.  Solid warranties and a pricepoint that is within reason are major benefits.
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by:tgtran
tgtran earned 125 total points
ID: 35010536
All vendors offer Web GUI management (no CLI experience necessary) - Cisco Catalyst, HP Procurve, Dell PowerConnect, 3COM switches are good for the enterprise.  It is all come down to your budget..
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by:cranakis
cranakis earned 125 total points
ID: 35010581
There are a lot of considerations when designing a network of this size that incorporates both server and workstation computers.  I would suggest getting started by going to cisco's website and downloading their Blueprint for Smart Deployment PDF.  You will have to give them some info about yourself before they let you download it but this can be a good thing because you can have a cisco rep call you, which should help you iron out some details.  I would try to stick with Cisco if you can as they offer the most functionality and scalability with still being somewhat user friendly.
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by:AG4SM
ID: 35020565
My choice would be HP Procurve since they do have a full featured web GUI and CLI if needed.  They have lifetime warranty on their gear as well as gigabit ports with POE for wireless access points.  You can even get the chassis series that you slide blades into so you can have a main chassis with many fiber blades and ethernet ports in one chassis.  For the money, they are my pick.
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Expert Comment

by:wfcraven12
ID: 35027038
I think basically what we're trying to say is that it's best to go with what you're most comfortable with.  Have you vendor(s) bring their products in & demo it for you.  If you're going to be making a decision like this that you are going to be sticking with for years, it's best to get your eyes & hands on what you may be working with before putting the money towards it.
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