Why We Just Bought 100 Juniper Boxes Instead of 100 Cisco Boxes
In spite of the sales reps outdoing themselves as to who could offer the deepest discounts (like hotel rooms in Vegas, only a fool pays list price) the Juniper EX series of switches offered a clear advantage over the Cisco Catalyst series. In the end both vendors offered us a big pile of little boxes for about the same pile of cash. About the same number of ports, about the same number of boxes.
To get the prices down in the same ballpark as Juniper, Cisco had to specify 12 different Catalyst models, all the way from lowly 3560's, which I consider old-timey, to 3750E's, with various port configurations and features. Juniper: Only five different models: The 24 port all-SFP EX4200, 24 and 48 Cu port EX4200s, and 24 and 48 Cu port EX3200s. (If we'd had a little more cash I would have like to have bought all 48-Cu-port models.)
All Juniper ports are gigabit. Most Cisco ports in our spec had to be 100 megabit to match Juniper's pricing.
There is a rumor floating around that some Cisco devices are coded to reject non-Cisco (i.e. non-ridiculously-overpriced) SFP modules. If it's true, that's just evil
Some Juniper switches were spec'ed without any fiber ports, which made them cheaper. Adding four SFP fiber ports is a $500 slot option, and if you don't need it you don't have to buy it. You can swap the $500 4xGBit card for a $1500 card with two 10-gig ports when it's time to upgrade.
All Juniper devices run the same OS. No fussing about which version of IOS to get, and especially whether the features you need are in the apparently random selection of features is in the IOS you get.
The Juniper EX series has field-swappable fans and power supplies. Lose a PS or fan in a Cisco 3600/3700 series, except for a few high-end models, you have a dead box.
The Junipers all have POE on the first 8 ports. The built-in JunOS web interface is generally better than the built-in IOS web interface and is good enough for many setups.
OTOH: The Junipers are loud. Do not expect to install the EX series under someone's desk or anywhere else out in the open.
OTOH: It's not terrible, but nothing compares to the vast collection of generally well-written documents on Cisco's web site, and their active user community.
OTOH: You have to learn JunOS. Not hard, it has it's pluses and minuses, and if you know the fundamentals of the parameters you are trying to set, it's not hard to learn.
Comments are not available for this entry.