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Meraki MS Switches vs Cisco 9000 Switches

When it comes to professional networking, picking the right hardware is essential. Not only does hardware represent a significant portion of the overall networking costs, but it can implement limitations into a network that prove detrimental to business operations.

Striking the balance between cost and performance is one of the great challenges for anyone designing or building a network, and it requires study.

To help with that, you can compare premier networking technology to see where the pros and cons lie in order to make informed decisions. As a part of that effort, below you will find a breakdown and comparison of Meraki MS switches and the Cisco 9000 series.

Meraki MS Switches

Meraki MS switches are designed to live on the cusp of high efficiency and high performance. With stacks that easily achieve 100G throughput, they are quite powerful but not quite on the level of high-end data centers.

Cloud management tools, easy troubleshooting, and simplified deployment are all designed to reduce management costs. Additionally, the switches are built to integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructure. They can add raw power to a system while still playing nicely with legacy systems.

In all, they are designed to be flexible, adaptable networking tools, and that makes them ideal for a wide range of applications — as long as absolute performance isn’t the primary concern.

Key Features

  • Optional Layer 3 Networking
  • Up to 40G Uplinks
  • Up to 100G Stacks
  • Zero Touch Configuration
  • Integrated Troubleshooting Tools
  • Flexible Stacking
  • Energy Efficient Design
  • Low Acoustics, Including Fanless Switches
  • Cloud Management
  • Up to 740W PoE Budget

Use Cases

Considering the design and key features, Meraki MS switches shine in applications for medium-sized businesses. Supporting anywhere from 50 to 1,000 users in a network, these switches can form the backbone of the infrastructure without driving costs too high.

You’ll see them often in enterprise settings, and they can even serve as powerful support for higher-end networks that include Cisco 9000 hardware. When flexibility matters, Meraki MS shines. That applies to offices, healthcare facilities, schools, and similar scenarios where user numbers get high without reaching into the stratosphere.

Cisco 9000 Switches

Cisco 9000 is designed for data center work. These are high-end switches that prioritize performance over everything else. While they do include tools related to Cisco cloud management and some ease-of-use functions, these switches often require more effort to deploy and manage.

For that effort, they provide the highest levels of performance. When speed and throughput matter more than anything else, Cisco 9000 is the clear choice among professional-grade switches. They can do it all, and the series is expansive enough to provide specific (even niche) features for many network designs.

Key Features

  • Optional Layer 3 Networking
  • Up to 400G Stacks
  • Intelligent Performance Designed to Minimize Packet Drop
  • Faster Application Completion Times
  • 10/25G Ethernet
  • 8/16/32G Fiber
  • PoE+

Use Cases

As previously mentioned, Cisco 9000 switches do great in data centers. The powerful switch stacks can handle very large volumes of traffic. That’s the principle design behind the series, and the switches perform admirably in that capacity.

Cisco 9000 switches also do great as the primary infrastructure for enterprise systems across the board. Even if you’re networking an office, when you have high data demands, the 9000 switches do great.

Other use cases include remote monitoring, video monitoring, campus networking, and more.

The Bottom Line

When flexibility and cost-efficiency are the most important metrics, Meraki MS switches are hard to beat. With their easy deployment and management, they will save money on networking labor costs, and their designed flexibility allows them to work in hybridized networks without creating trouble.

If the network needs raw power more than anything else, then Cisco 9000 switches will reign supreme. Aside from providing high speeds, they have unique design elements that are intended to virtually eliminate packet loss, making them roughly 50 percent faster than similar switches. Cisco 9000 is a staple in high-end networking for a reason, and the series will remain a top performer for some time.

Additional Learning Center Resources