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Returning Netgear Switch - Help choosing Cisco Switch

Level 1
Level 1

Well, after hours of netgear support, we can't get the uc320 system working properly with VLAN's. I'm going to be returning the switch next week and diving into a cisco switch.

We currently have a need for 20 ports. We may soon be moving to a new building and will need 15-20 more. I'm thinking about getting a 24 port switch now and buying an identical switch later this year if / when we move.


- 24 port minimum

- Gigabit on all ports

- Flawless connectivity to the UC320 system in voice only topology.

- PoE not required (maybe the second switch will be the PoE model.)

- Ability to connect additional cisco switches in the future (stack).

Here are a few models within our budget:




Any feedback would be appreciated. A #1,2,3 recommendation would help as well. Thanks in advance.

12 Replies 12

Tom Watts
VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni

Hi Ryan, the SG300 and SG500 both will seemlessly integrate with the UC320. I would strongly recommend to stay away from the SGE2000 for connectivity to the UC320.


-Tom Please mark answered for helpful posts

Level 4
Level 4

We have done many of the SF/SG-300 series and I can definetely recommend them.

I'm in the middle of an install with an SF200-24P and it's a bit of a PITA to work with.  Maybe it's just because I'm used to CLI on the Catalyst series but getting something as simple as VLANs configured is just mind-boggling.

From what I hear (from my Cisco rep and the SMB UC SMART Designs) the 300-series switches are the new standard for UC320W deployments.  I think they're newer and may have more features than the 500-series as well but I can't be sure.

Phil: I would definetely recommend the 300 or 500 series over the 200. We have found the GUI to be pretty good once you get used to it. They defintely have more features than the ESW switches. The ESW's have been EOS'ed at this point I think.

Yeah, unfortunately I'd already spec'd out a 100-series switch only to have my Cisco rep point out that they can't provide PoE to 100% of their ports so guess who ate the cost of the swtich upgrade to the 200-series?   Either way, definitely not going the way of the 200-series again...

You're correct about the ESWs also - just saw confirmation on a WebEx about the SBCS and she actually crossed them out on the product portfolio and said "they're gone."

Level 1
Level 1

Hey everyone,

Just an update. Got the sg300 yesterday. A night and day difference compared to the netgear. Plugged everything in and without even the push of a button all computers and ip phones automatically registered and are working excellent.

Thanks for the feedback on this issue. If anyone is reading this thinking about buying a 3rd party switch to use with their uc320, spend the extra money and go with a Cisco switch. Well worth it.

Apparently the 200-series is supposed to be "plug and play" with the UC320W also.  I'm considering doing a factory reset when I arrive on-site tomorrow to see if that's true.  I need to update firmware anyway so why not?  (I'll backup config first)

Level 1
Level 1

Unfortunately I had already ordered a Netgear GS748TP before reading your message. After a few hours of unsuccessful experimentation, especially in light of your comments here, I'm going to box it back up and return it. Thanks for the heads-up, it probably saved me some hours of aggravation.

I note that this document - dated February 2012 - says this regarding switches:

"Cisco recommends ESW 500 series switches for deployment with UC320W. SF 300 / SG 300

series switches require additional configuration."

I gather from comments here that the ESW's, however, are no longer recommended and that the SF/SG 300 series seem to work out-of-the-box with the UC320.

Can anyone comment if I'm likely to experience trouble if I use a SG300 series as my "main switch" but there are other unmanaged/dumb switches in my network? I would prefer to use PoE to power my phones. I currently have a 24 port Gigabit switch, and a 24 port 10/100 switch, and a few 8-port PoE switches scattered around where it's not feasible to run additional cable. I had purchased the Netgear switch in hopes of moving almost everything onto a single switch and making Gigabit/PoE available to every compatible device.

I don't see a 300-class device that's a direct competitor/replacement to the Netgear 48-port Gigabit/PoE switch - there's a 500-class switch, but the retail price seems to be close to $2K, which is more than my current budget.

So . . . my inclination would be to use something like the SG300-28P, but that'll leave me short a few ports, which can run on my existing gigabit unmanaged switch . . . unless that's an unrealistic assumption. I'm new to the world of VLANs, and frankly would prefer to ignore them, and don't mind paying a moderate premium for the privilege of doing that if it means everything will just plug in and work. I guess the next best alternative would be two SG300-28P's, or an SF300-24P for the phones + my existing 24-port gigabit switch for faster devices.

Hi Greg, the ESW switches are EOL/EOS. The SX300 series have replaced them. Running the or the code on the SX300 series is very feature rich and integrate beautifully to the UC320 and UC500 platforms. Connecting other devices to the SX300 is also no problem, especially unmanaged switches.

Edit, the Netgear GS748TP looks like a direct alignment to the Cisco SGE2010P switch. Which in my opinion is a dreadful switch to use with the any voice deployment.

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-Tom Please mark answered for helpful posts

Connecting other devices to the SX300 is also no problem, especially unmanaged switches.

Thanks for your comments. My only lingering concern concerns the use of VLANs, which are new to me - just to be sure I'm understanding, if I use an SX300 (most likely a SG300-28P), and plug an unmanaged switch into it, and I have a device on the data VLAN connected to the unmanaged switch, as well as a device on the voice VLAN connected to the unmanaged switch, the SX300 won't treat that port as limited to either data or vocie, but will allow all "downstream" devices to communicate?

Greg, an unmanage switch is just that. It doesn't understand IP addresses, VLAN, CDP advertisements, smart ports or anything. The unmanaged switch will deliver the data according to the destination MAC address. It won't realize the 802.1q tag. Another device connecting to the unmanaged switch will get access to tagged traffic instead or possible have autocratic-like behavior by putting frames to any VLAN including the native vlan.

Also, depending on the unmanage switch, the VLAN tag is 4B making the packet size too large from 1518 to 1522 therefore possibly discarding the data all together.

Please rate helpful posts

-Tom Please mark answered for helpful posts

Just to follow up, I ended up with an SF-300-24P. I decided it wasn't worth the extra $ for gigabit for a switch that's going to be used to power Fast Ethernet phones.

I replaced my old 24-port Netgear 100mb switch with the SF300; it worked almost perfectly out of the box, except that the SF300 didn't correctly identify my other switch (a Netgear JGS524) as a switch, which led to it restricting some traffic from that port, which it had auto-detected as "IP phone + desktop". This is the issue I was perhaps inartfully trying to ask about above.

That was pretty easily fixed by forcing the "smartport" setting on that interface to "switch", and now everything's working nicely + without annoying AC adapters.