We use the Cisco 200 and 300 series for our projects. A very big problem though for us is that the 24 and 48 port ones are very very noisy at full speed - almost like a server. The problem is that in many of our projects, e.g resi or small offices, we install our racks in closets or rooms where there are people very close and the noise is unacceptable.
I have thought hard to try to solve this problem but I am not sure I like the solutions:
1) Use a special noise reducing rack - this is very expensive.
2) Use a midspan like Powerdsine but I have feeling that they will be as noisy at 16+ ports. Also now you have 2 devices to manage and you can not so easily reboot 1 port (i.e one device) if needed. Also these midspans cost more than a PoE switch somehow...
3) The only brand that I have found that makes kind of silent PoE switches is Pakedge. We have used some in our projects to overcome the noise problem but the truth is they are not cheap and they have not convinced me to become our goto brand.
4) Use a small multiport power injector like the planet. Since this is only 4 ports it does not have any fans but now I have multiple devices to manage and many power outlets. My big problem with the planet is that it is 10/100 only but maybe there is something similar that is gigabit?
5) Any other solution I missed?
From all of the above I think I like 4) more but what I would really love is Cisco to acknowledge such a problem existS and come up with a solution - on the other hand PoE requires big power supplies and there is not much you can do with the heat.
Another example is our office. It is spread out in 4 small offices over 4 floors and I wanted to use a Cisco 24 or 48 500 series PoE switch on every floor. We need the PoE for all the cameras, for our phones but we also have automation devices like touchpanels and processors that use. My problem is though again the noice - the switches will be close to people working, it has to be something that is it almost silent and I have a feeling that a 24 port SG500X will not be silent.
I am also surprised that not many people have mentioned or struggled with this problem. In resi and small office environments it is now becoming a major one for our and really affects the budget and design of the network.