Not sure, how many people here are all that interested in networking, but I would like to see more discussion threads here again. In addition, I figure here there will not be the gut reaction of hatred towards Dell's Networking products.
I work at a small college, we have been trying to budget out to upgrade our older network infrastructure. The bulk of it is Cisco 2960s, 3550, and 3750s as our intervlan routing and distribution layer of our network. Our 3550s are tagged with a manufacture date of 2005 and most of our 2960s are not that much younger.
Our budget to overhaul the network is not as big as I would like so this has pushed us at looking for alternatives to Cisco. We brought this up with our vendor that sells us the bulk of our equipment and they said Dell networking has really improved and the Force10 OS based switches.
We managed to get a free Dell N1548P and our experience has been fantastic. Force10 OS commands are identical IOS commands for just about everything.
Something we did not even plan on but Dells power consumption (Not counting POE in these numbers) is beyond fantastic. Our current Cisco switches consume about 70-100W depending on load. Our new Dell is 8W on average with 21W during load. Even Cisco newer offerings for access layer switches the 2960-X series the 0% load consumption is still around 30W. Upgrading our networking equipment is going to cut our power consumption by about 10,512 kWh/year. The lack of support for shutdown on port-security violation is really the only feature we are missing, and being able to set MTU on a per port basis.
With that going well we decided to take our vendor up on an offer to package our new server and san with two Dell N4000 switches. Most of the problems I found people talking about either were minor or have been patched. The only major issue we found is when using non-Dell certified third party SFP 1Gbps modules with auto negotiation to a Cisco switch would cause the operating system on the switch to hang. Latency testing showed more consistent performance pings are down below the 1ms on average. When before it was very possible to see pings be about 8ms average with spikes into the 20-50ms range.
Overall happy so far with our experimentation into Dell Networking, depending on when we get the numbers I may update this thread once we get the costs to upgrade our network with Dell vs Cisco equipment. Our quick math shows we might be saving 10k dollars but our vendors sometimes manage to get equipment a lot cheaper. We also don't have to pay for IOS licensing with Dell.