I just discussed why I like Fortinet FortiGate firewalls over the Cisco PIX or ASA. Now, I thought I would spend some time discussing HP Procurve switches.
Like I said in my previous post, I don't have anything against Cisco. I still manage a bunch of Cisco routers. I was Cisco certified (CCNA & CCNP, I let them expire). I think Cisco has a great product line and there is no doubt they are the leader when it comes to networking gear.
However, for the last 4 years, I have been managing and purchasing HP Procurve switches and I must say, I like them a lot.
Like the Fortinet FortiGate, HP Procurve switches are easy to configure/manage. For configuration, they have a CLI, a DOS-type menu, and a web interface. I personally like the CLI and menu system, but the web interface is great also.
The HP Procurve line also has some of the cheapest per-port prices on managed switches I have seen. They have great modular switches and the 5400 series has models with gigabit and POE-capability on every port.
The icing on the cake though is the lifetime warranty. I know it is hard to believe, but it is true. As long as you own the device, HP will send you replacements for hardware failure. We had some 8-10 year old Procurve switches at the City of Provo (we replaced most of them eventually in order to get higher throughput) and any time a module or port went out (not very often) Procurve sent a replacement.
To be fair, Cisco might offer some advanced features in their switch lineup that the Procurve cannot compete with. Also, there is some advanced licensing that you need to purchase on some of the Procurves to unlock some of the more advanced routing capabilities. However, for the most part I think the Procurve is an alternative to Cisco switches.
What types of switches do you use? Do you like them? Why or why not? What are some features that Cisco offers in their switch lineup that I should check out?