Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Done Paying Ransom

We are opening a new office in Denver in January.  After doing some soul searching and research I've decided that I'm done paying Cisco ransom.  I'll be implementing HP ProCurve switches in the new office.  This is huge for me.  For many years I was a Cisco bigot.  I even sat in on the CCIE lab back in 2000. (Yep..I missed it by a few points but it was a cool experience.)  Now that I'm actually responsible for paying for the gear as well as configuring it, I can't justify Cisco anymore.  Here are the points on my reasoning:

  • These days, layer 2 & 3 switching is commodity.  There are few gains found between different vendors gear.
  • HP ProCurve gear has a lifetime warranty and free software updates.  Smartnet has always been painful to deal with because it's true extortion.  You are paying for them to fix things that were broken when you purchased the product.  Beyond that you are paying for insurance on the best made gear in the world.   Seems to me if it's the best gear it shouldn't need insurance...or at least cheaper insurance.
  • The long life of a Cisco box is stifled by it's Smartnet price rising at every renewal and the fact that in 6 months the box that will work for years becomes End of Sale...then End of Life.  What's the use of buying high end gear and then swapping it out every 3 years just so Cisco has a better bottom line? 
  • Cisco gear is a chain saw. It's really powerful to those who use it every day, but for those of us that want to set it and forget it....that's exactly what happens.  You spend hours researching a topic...figure out how to implement it..and then you forget about it.  When something breaks or needs adjusted the CLI forces you to "relearn" everything to get back to where you were.  They need to dumb some of this stuff down.
  • eBay.  So you buy a used box and you have to "re-certify" it just to pay the ransom of Smartnet?!?!?!   You'd think they'd be happy just to get the support contract as expensive as it is.

So that's it.  As far as switches are concerned I'm done with Cisco.  Once I find a replacement router I feel good about, I'll jump ship there too.  As for firewalls...I just received a SonicWall NSA5500 that's waiting for me to play with.

So long Cisco....you were good to me once....but you've priced yourself out of the market.

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