We are looking at purchasing a Cisco Small Business 300 Series 20-port Gigabit Managed Switch.

Does anyone have any experience with these switches? are there are better products for similar money?

We are just using this switch to connect all of our Dell iDRAC ports together in a VLAN.

  • Do you have any other requirements than "supports VLANs"?
    – mfinni
    Mar 3, 2011 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


personally I wouldn't recommend the Small Business Line from Cisco for the office environment. Especially not for connecting servers. Their flexibility is very limited and their throughput might not serve your needs.

Instead you might want to look at the Cisco Catalyst Access-Switches instead (C2960 for example), even if it's a bit more expensive. If you're about costs you even might to think about refurbished Cisco equipment.


If all it's ever going to is handle your management traffic and nothing else then I'm sure it'll be fine. Personally I like all switches to have dual PSUs but if it's just for DRAC then why not?

  • I generally agree with your thoughts. My only concern would be if he was doing a lot of ISO mounts using remote management, if @CyberOptic below is correct in his contention that the throughput on the SB line is poor.
    – mfinni
    Mar 3, 2011 at 19:08
  • Good point, I use HP's iLO all the time but to be honest only very recent machines can really make use of 1Gb links for iLO .ISO mounting.
    – Chopper3
    Mar 3, 2011 at 19:17

Don't think that the Cisco 'Small Business' switches are going to give you quality close to their Catalyst/IOS line. They're really very basic switches designed for a single-switch office running on Windows.

Their management interface is very basic and poorly designed and depending on the firmware version, may only work in IE.

I'd actually rather suggest buying an unmanaged switch (if you really just need very basic connectivity) or a Catalyst (if you actually need a managed switch) instead of one of these.

Treat parts of this semi-rant as opinion, as always YMMV, but just be aware of what you're getting

  • thanks, can you recommend an unmanaged switch? Mar 3, 2011 at 19:59
  • An unmanaged switch won't let him do VLANs, so that may be a problem based on his description.
    – mfinni
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:46
  • Presumably his iDRAC ports will all be on the same VLAN, so he can hook up his unmanaged switch to an access port in the appropriate VLAN.
    – MikeyB
    Mar 3, 2011 at 21:19
  • I was thinking about connecting all iDRAC ports to a switch and then connecting the switch to a VLAN on a Sonicwall 3500. Would this work with an unmanaged switch and Sonicwall VLAN? Mar 3, 2011 at 21:38

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