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Tolly Report: 300 Series Managed Switches vs the Competition


"Cisco has raised the bar for this product category."

"The new Cisco 300 Series switches offered the most extensive capabilities, best performance, lowest latency, lowest overall energy consumption, and best user experience of any product in the evaluation. Cisco has incorporated the most extensive IPv6 support Tolly has seen in this class of product,  which is an increasingly important feature for businesses of all sizes    now    that the IPv4 address space is fully allocated. The combination of an intuitive Web interface, delivering both simple and advanced configuration and management, and best-in-class pricing make these products ideal for the markets being served."

                    --- Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group

Cisco Systems commissioned Tolly to evaluate several models of the  new Cisco Small Business 300 Series Managed Switches along with  comparable models from D-Link, HP Networking, and NETGEAR. In all,  eleven switches were tested.

The bottom line, the Cisco 300 Series 10/100 and GbE Managed Switches delivered:

  • Wire-speed, non-blocking, Layer 2 throughput at all frame sizes tested from 64 to 1518 bytes
  • Consistently low latency at all frame sizes
  • Best Price/Performance among switches tested
  • Most extensive feature set: IPv6, traffic shaping and rate limiting, scope of GUI-based configuration
  • Lowest power consumption in 2 of the 3 classes testes, and best-in-class power efficiency overall
  • Most extensive set of IPv6 protocol and application support
  • Best usability with a simplified user interface delivering both basic and advances capabilities in an intuitive fashion

Download report

Ivor Diedricks
Cisco Employee

While this report is very impressive, view it in light of the bigger picture. Here's an article published in CRN showing Cisco's commitment in this space:;jsessionid=fYY8mL-CQlRZ3dN-1hR+Vg**.ecappj03?pgno=1

Both of these are independent evidence that Cisco Small Business really means business.


Cisco Employee

The Cisco Small Business 300 series switches are best in class and this report proves it.


Solid build, feature-rich yet easy-to-use, lightning fast performance, stable software, remarkable hardware, unbeatable in its class, incomparable in its value.


The 300 series are the perfect proof that Cisco is very serious about the small business market. It doesn't happen every day that a company raises the bar for a product family!

Community Member

This is not "yet another small business family". This is a game changer, both in data performance, but most impressively in the PoE energy efficiency.


I find my 302-8 rock solid with a smart user interface. Personally, because I have mine in a small closet, I treasure the fact that they run cool to the touch. I think that a full featured, high performance product, that is also power efficient, is pure gold. It will last longer and cost less to operate!

Cisco Employee

Anybody who thinks that Cisco can't compete on price AND features against our competitors is not familiar with this new switching line.  For the full architectural approach, Catalyst and Nexus are the answer - but if you need to go head to head against a competitor price point, the SF/SG 300 line will do the work for you.


Here's a great 2-page "At-A-Glance" Guide that is a quick snapshot for competitive positioning of the Cisco Small Business Switch portfolio.


"Cisco Series 300 Switches Don't Cut Networking Corners", good review by saying: "The latest small business switches from Cisoc give workgroups an branch offices a wealth of new choices for creating reliable managed networks" Furthermore the review shows 10 pages of the GUI configuration with comments above each of them reflecting the configuration possibilities and the ease of use.

Christian Isla

Not a very user friendly interface for configuring.  Far to many dependancies.  Often using the "copy port settings" does not work because one of the destination ports may have another VLAN or type set.  This defeats the purpose of "copy port settings"

Cannot set a monitor port destination if port is something other than access vlan 1. OR "error port x belongs to a vlan".. who cares what vlanit is!!  it is a destination monitor and I don't want to go through the 20 step hassle to redifine my destination port to make it specificall access vlan 1.

LACP doesn't seem to work.  Even worse, I get the same "Port X belongs to a vlan" if the participating port is something other than access vlan 1.  This is totally useless.