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Author Topic: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...  (Read 12241 times)

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Offline habibalby

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Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« on: February 01, 2014, 03:00:39 PM »
hello guys,
We are thinking of replacing / upgrading our core switch Nortel Core 8600 switch and edge nortel switches 4500 and 5500 series. All edge switches are 10/100 mb speed except 5500 10/100/1000 for server farm.

Our requirements to upgrade is to cater for VDI solution, VOiP and Video conferences on Cisco jabbar.

the current vendor is insisting to go with Cisco 7700 Nexus series and 2960 1Gib for edge switches.. vendor judgement and sticking with Cisco for better support and higher performance, but I really see it they want to vacuums our money.

I have suggested what about upgrading the chassis of Current core  8600 to 88/8900 Nortel Core and replace edge switches with 1Gib switches. They are strongly against this option because its going to cost less amount than replacing with Cisco..

The Bill of materials of Cisco around  around 400.000 US$..

Spending this amount of money on the networks infrastructure just to introduced VoIP and VDI.. On top of that the amount of VoIP and VDI solutions, will kick our a**s nicely.

In my opinion is to spend the whole money to upgrade the current chasses of Nortel and Replace the edge switchs and from same budget introduce the VoIP and VDI... Does it make sense?

Please share your opinion..

Thanks,



Offline Flintstone

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 06:38:43 AM »
Hi habibalby,

When we upgraded our Extreme core and server/edge switches in my last job our management insisted that we go Cisco.  At the time I was not involved in the process and a Cisco core was installed.  When it came around to the server/edge switches again the management insisted Cisco was the way to go.  I priced up the server/edge switches with the relevant Cisco and Nortel replacements and let the management decide.  The management decided to go down the Nortel route as Nortel under cut Cisco by 50% and the support costs were also significantly cheaper.

The Cisco/Nortel Network supported data and VoIP/Video conferencing by using QoS.

In your case I would price up both solutions and let the management decide?

CheerZ

Offline habibalby

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 12:57:38 PM »
hello,
Thanks for your reply.. When you went with Nortel did it make any performance impact? backup/iSCSI / Storage/ servers when you run your vMotion on those switchs?

The current infrastructure is 7 years old only and I havent had any major issue with Nortel, I don't know why the sales reps keep saying Cisco in performance better..

Offline Flintstone

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 03:56:31 AM »
Hi habibalby,

There is no difference in performance between Cisco and Nortel/Avaya.  They are both wire speed switches.

CheerZ

Offline Dominik

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 04:33:30 AM »
Hi habibalby,

I had the same discussion a lot of times. Cisco is the market leader so a lot of network distributors want to push their costomers to Cisco.

When you do deeper look you can deploy a modern network with all the major vendors like Cisco, Avaya, Extreme Networks, HP, Brocade, Juniper....

A network that can handle VDI and VoIP can be build up with all these vendors.
So I see two major factors, the price and the skills of the IT staff.
If you had a Nortel/Avaya network for years and feel comfortable of handling it, I would try to stay with it in fact if you go to a different vendor there will be new bugs (every vendor has bugs regardless what they tell you) that you have to figure out. If you work with equipment you know well you know these bugs in fact of you expierence.

Cisco is very expensive in my expierence you can build up an Avaya network with the same number of ports for 50% of the price. The stackabel Avaya switches are covered by a lifetime warrenty, so maintandance
is also significant cheaper than it is by Cisco.

My last advice is however you will decide , build the complete network with one vendor.
If you mixup for example Access from Vendor A und access from vendor B you will have a lot of hickups when opening a case at one of these two vendors.

Good Luck
Itīs always the networks fault!
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Offline habibalby

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 06:01:11 AM »
Any other advice in relations to the core upgrade? Passport 8600 to higher Nortel models?

Offline Dominik

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 07:00:26 AM »
It depends how many ports you need and the recommanded features.
Can you provide more details what you would like to have.
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Offline farrier

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 08:04:44 AM »
Bear in mind the unseen advantages of putting in a decent Cisco environment - support. The web is full of thousands of blogs and forums about Cisco, not to mention the excellent support documents from Cisco themselves and endless books.

If you are trying to do something complex then there is almost certainly someone out there that has done it before and blogged about it. Avaya? If the answer isn't on Mr McNamara's blog or forum then you're stuck with the dreadful Avaya pdf guides and that's all the help you'll get.

A second consideration is personnel. If you need an engineer, shake a tree and a Cisco one will fall out; they come in all shapes and sizes from CCNA to CCIE. Avaya? Well, you might find someone who knows about them, if you're lucky.

Offline TankII

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 08:33:48 AM »
My former employer is replacing their 8600 core with 7700 series catalysts, due to the need to have full wire-speed and basic L-3 only.  The distribution is 6500's and the edge is 3750's, upgrades from 8600's and non-POE 470's.
The cost:  overall, about 2 million more than Brocade and about 4 million more than Avaya.
The hidden cost:  About twice the heat and power load of Brocade and about 60% more than Avaya, both heat and power.  The upgrades to support the new heat and power loads cost another 1.2 million.

We had one 8600 already running with 8800 compatible hardware, so we only need to upgrade one chassis at a cost of $80K to then allow 7.X code and SBR in the future.  We are doing the upgrade kit from Avaya.
Our edges are 5500's and 5600's (2010 upgrades from 470's and 3Com 1100's - about 60 switches), and are running VOIP, Cisco Video Conferencing, Wireless AP's (just turning on 802.11N 3x3 MIMO), LYNC, and Citrix Netscaler users without any issues whatsoever.  In our legacy Server Farm, we have two 5698's running IST/SLT mode, with a pair of 5510's, the Netscalers, two 10Gig iSCSI arrays and about 60 servers left all running HA mode with QOS set to one and maximum.  Oh, and all the VOIP servers are running on the same 5510's as well, no issues to report.
We are running Brocade in our new Data Center(s), not only due to the reality at the time the VSP7000 was brand new, but the MRP from Brocade was tried and true.  It has worked with everything we've thrown at it.  We chose Brocade FC and Ethernet instead of CAT5500's with FC/ethernet combined due to our SAN engineer's previous experience with latency, S-Flow support for network visibility without having to deploy V1000's on every VM host, a common management platform,and better expandability in the future.  The 2000's were too limiting for future growth, and we would have had to buy a 7000 to get the management software!
BTW, we are re-deploying 470-PWR units in one building that's now SLT'd back to our main 8600's, and they too are running VOIP, Video, LYNC, Radiology Imaging review, and other services over them. 
You have to remember - Most IP phones only support 10/100 speeds, so going GIG might not benefit you as much as you think if the pc's are hanging off the phones.  QOS is what makes the difference.

Farrier, while I agree there are many Cisco engineers out there, the Sr. Network Engineer who works for me and was in a pure Cisco shop for 15 years absolutely enjoys working on the Avaya gear.  The fact I created configuration templates doesn't hurt either, and I've shared our L-2 configuration guide here.  What matters is VAR support.  If you have a good VAR, it can make up for any issues you might have, n matter what the product is.
TankII 

Offline Flintstone

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 09:20:28 AM »
Hi habibalby,

I personally wouldn't worry about mixing manufacturers for your LAN as long as they are both standards based?  I have never had a support issue where one manufacturer blames the other.  I have always been able to prove who owns the fault :)  Just make sure your VAR can provide adequate support for all your LAN/WAN.

I don't think I have ever worked in an environment where everything is owned by one manufacturer!

CheerZ

Offline Paul L

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 08:58:34 AM »
Here is the deal......

Sales people get big bonuses when they displace a competing vendor from an account. Its true for all the Manufactures, Avaya included.  Cisco is probably putting allot of pressure on their sales staff you are dealing with to get Avaya out of the account. When it comes to doing that Cisco plays the dirtiest and will tell any story you are willing to hear.  Better support, faster performance, its all crap. I work closely with Avaya and I have heard all the stories the Cisco, HP, juniper people tell.  It has become laughable.

Cisco hates those Avaya(nortel) 8600/8800 because they have a 9 year life cycle.
Cisco hates those Nortel 5500s because they have been around for almost 10 years now and you can still buy them.  its nuts when you think about it....
Cisco wants to be able to sell you a new Nexus Core every 5 years.

Stick to your plan, Refresh your core to 8800s and start to phase out the 4500s for 4800s.  You will be good for another 8-9 years.
With the $300,000 you will save can start some new projects like phasing out the 5500s for VSP4000s or 7000s, Firewall replacements or Wireless.
ACSS- Avaya Enterprise Routing Switch  #8

Offline habibalby

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 01:38:29 AM »
Hello,
Points are taken and highly appreciated your feedback and contribution on this. However, I'm also exploring Dell Switches/Networking in General and I have open another thread for that.

Appreciate if some points can be shared for Dell Networking.

Regards,

Offline Dominik

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2014, 04:07:45 AM »
As mentioned erlier , I can not say anything nice about Dell network gear.

IMHO
Dell is a Server vendor, that has some switches in fact  they have to, so they can sell the complete portfolio. Dell has only standard features, nothing that would convince me to use Dell switches. There is no big community and the Dell support is also not very good in my expierence.

If you want a big online community you should look at Cisco or maybe Juniper.
But these two vendors have expensive hardware and maintandance costs.

If you are looking for modern network gear so you could build e.g. a fabric to have less manual configurations in your network take a look at Brocade or Avaya.

For me an also very impotant point is to use gear that you now. If you go to a complete new vendor / hardware you have to learn a lot , before you feel comfortable with that gear.
In this learning phase there can be pop up some unseen problems  that will be complicated to fix until you now everything about your switches.

Cheers
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Offline TankII

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Re: Replacing/Upgrade Nortel 8600 Core Switch...
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2014, 09:41:22 AM »
Dell or Force-10?  Big difference in quality and performance.
The Dell switches I've seen look like someone hand-painted the lettering on it.
Force-10 has a very nice switch portfolio.

TankII