Cisco Falling - Favorite Network Switches 2017

By: IPVM Team, Published on Oct 20, 2017

1 major manufacturer fell and 1 outsider manufacturer gained as integrator favorites for network switches from more than 140 votes / explanations submitted.

These 2017 statistics is the successor to our Favorite Network Switches for Surveillance 2015.

In this note, we break down:

  • The six favorite switch manufacturers
  • What the major changes were over the past two years
  • Why integrators picked what they did with color commentary

* ***** ************ **** and * ******** ************ gained ** ********** ********* for ******* ******** **** more **** *** ***** / ************ *********.

***** **** ********** ** *** successor ** *** ******** ******* ******** *** Surveillance ****.

** **** ****, ** break ****:

  • *** *** ******** ****** manufacturers
  • **** *** ***** ******* were **** *** **** *** years
  • *** *********** ****** **** they *** **** ***** commentary


Favorite ****** **********

*********** ***** ********* ***** to ***** ******, *** by * ******* ******, with ******** **** ******* gaining:

******* ** **** *******, with ***** ** **%, and ******** ******* *********** mention:

Key ******

***** *** ***** *** trends ** ***** *** in ***** *******:

  • ***** *******:****** ***** ******* * preferred *****, ***** *** fallen **** **% ***** our **** ******, **** 37% ** **%. **** ** this *** ** ********* for ** *** ********* ** ******** and *-****, *** ****** which *** *** ******** previously.
  • ******** *** *-**** ******:********'* ***** *** ******* lines **** ******, **** ~10% ** *********** ******** them, while *-**** *** ****** to ~*%. **** ******** only * *** ***** (2-3%) ** **** *****.
  • ******* *** ** *******:****** *** ***** ******* Netgear *** ** ********** similar ******* ** ******** polls, **** ******* ********** slightly *** ** ********** slightly.

Main ****** *** *** *****: *****

***** ***** *** ***** down *** **** ****** reason *** ******** ******** other **** *****, ****** nearly *** ***** ****** mentioned. ***** **** ******** (remote ******, ********, *** reliability) **** ********* ************ for ******, ***** *** overwhelmingly *** ******** ******.

Cisco: ******* *****, *** ***** #*

***** **** **** **% from *** **** *******, down ** **% **** 37%, seeming ** ***** **** due ** ******* ****** Ubiquiti *** *-**** *******. Integrators' **** ****** ******* for ******** ***** ******** similar ** **** *******: reliability, *******, *** **** recognition ** ******** ** departments. 

  • "***** ***** ******** **** because ** *** ******** with *************, ******* ** stock, **** **** ***********, and ******** ** *********** prefer ***** ********. ***** higher ******* **** ** rarely * ******** ** project ****."
  • "*****. ****'** ********, *** terribly *********, *** **** have ********* *** ************. Also, ****'** **** ** get ******** ** *** customers' ** ***********."
  • "***** - **** ***** brand. **** ** *** cisco ** *** ********* IT ***., **** **** that ** *** ********** a **** ******* *******."
  • "*****. **** ****** *** the **** *** **** reliable. *** ***** **** thing ** ** *** can’t ******** * ******* in *** *** ** easily *******."
  • "*****. ***% ********, ******* product *** ***** **** an ***** **** *** units ** ***. ********** else **** *** **** for *********** *** *********."
  • "***** ******* * **** lots ** ********** **** them *** **** ***** lots ** ******** **** an **** ** ********** interface"
  • "***** *** ******. *** cheap *** ********* *** what ** ****. * like *** ** *** a *** ***+ ***** on ****. **** ****** or ******."
  • "***** - ****** ******* set *** ******* ******* line *********. ************ **** quality ******* *** ********* that ** ***********."
  • "***** - ********** *** looks **** ** * quote!"

*** **** ****** ***** switches *** ************ *** the***************, ***** * ******* switches, ********* ** *-** port ******, **** ***.*** options. ***** ******* (* cameras *** *****) *** also *** ****** ****** "*****" ************ **** ********** ********, but **** ******* *** budgets.  

Still #* *** #* -******* *** **: ***** *******

******* ***** ** ** second **** ****** **** a ****** ******** ** integrator ********** (*** ****** drop *** **). *********** cited *** ****, **** performance, *** ******** ******** as ***** **** ******* for ***** *******. 

  • "******* "*****" ********. *****/*********** is ******** *** *** markets. ** ***'* **** many ****** *** **** offer * ******** ********. Used ** **** ** go ******* ******* ***** process ** *** ***'* but **** ******* ** to ****** *** *** the * ** * times * **** ** need ** *** ** works ****. * *** "like" ***** ******** ****** from * ******* ******* set (** *****, ********) but **** *** ****** worth *** ***** *******."
  • "******* *** ***** ** medium ********. **** ****, few ********, **** ***** for **** ******* *** managed ******** **** *** a ***** *** *** smb. ********* ** *** needed *****."
  • "******* ***** ** **** well *** ** *****."
  • "******* ******* **** *** reasonable *** **** *** had *** ****** **** them."
  • "******* ******** *** **********"
  • "******* ** *****"

*******'* **/** ***** ********* **/** ******* ******** have **** ********** ******* in ************, **** *** management *** ***+ ********.

** **** **** ****** to ***** ******* ** our ****** ******, ****** ~4%. ** ** **** surveys, ***** ******** ** cited ******** ******** ** lower ***** **** *****.  

  • "**, ***** ****. ******** has *** ** *** features *'** **** ****** on ***** *** ********** systems *****, ***** ******** carry * ******** ******** (even **** *** ****'* the ******** *****), **** have ***** ******** ******* for *** *** ***** I've ****** ** - even ** *** ****'* factory ******* / *********, and ***** ******** *** very ************* ******. **** win ** ***** ********."
  • "*** *** ******* ********. Right *****/***** ******, ********** and *** ***** *** needs, **** **********, ******** warranty ****** ********** *** industrial ***. **** *****/********** versatility, ***** ********** ******* but **** ** *** field."
  • "** ********. *'** **** Cisco *** ******* *********** also *** * ***** HP ***** * ***** balance ******* ********, **** of ************* *** *********** price. ** *** ****** projects ** ********* *** 2520 ****** ******** ** the **** ***'* *** 5400 *** ****** ** the ****"
  • "**, *. **** ****** and ********** ************* ******** to ***** *** ****** such ** ***** *. Easy ************* ************. ****,****,************ and *** *** ** and ******* *. ************ is ******* ** *****. No ******* **** ***** for ********"
  • "** ******, ******* ************* and ********** ** ***** but * *** **** money. ***** ** **** stuff *** *** *** a *** *** ***** 5 *******. ** **** has * ******* ** its *******"
  • "** *** * *** of ** ********, ************ the **** ******. ****'** affordable *** ****** **** issues."

***** ****/**** ******* ********** ** **** ******* in ************.

#4 - ******** *****

*** ******* ****** ** our *******, ******** ****** to *** ***** **** ******** in the **** *******. *********** ******* to **** ** *************/********** and *** ***** ** main *******:

  • "** **** ** *** a *** ** ******** switches *** * **** migrated ** *** ******** switches *** ****** **********. They *** ****-********* **** good ***********, *** **** to ******."
  • "********, ******** **** ** configure *** *** ******** priced."
  • "******** ***** **** ** my ******** *** ** low **** *** ***** based ****** *************."
  • "******** ** *** ***** Wireless ****** ****** *** have *** *** ***** controller. ***** *******. **** works!"
  • "********, ***** ********* & has **** ******** *** PoE."

********'* ***** **** *********** ****** **** *-** ports, *** ***** ********** integrated **** ********'* ******** and ******** ******** **** a ****** *********. 

******** *** **** * relatively **** / ****** entrant, *********** ***** ***** switch ***** (***********) **** ***** **** years ***, *** *** expanded ** *** ********** and ***** ***** ** *** past *** *****. **** expansion, ********* ******** **** *********** for ******** **********, ****** ******** *** Ubiquiti's **** ** ********.

#5 *-**** ********

*-**** **** ****** ***** in **** ******, ****** from ***** *% ** ~7%, **** *****, ******* options, *** ************ **** IP ******* ** *******.

  • "*-**** *** **** *** of ** ******** **** because *** ***** *** the ******** ******* (****** port ***** ************ **** their *** ***** ********) is **** ** *****."
  • "*** ******* ***/** ******** installations ** *** *-****. There ** ******* ************** in *-**** *** **** work **** **-****** ****."
  • "*-**** **'* **** ** use, **** **** ***** unmanaged *** **** ******* and ***** ******* ********."
  • "*-****. ** *** * price ********* ******* ***** rewards ******* *** ***** is * ***** ** Customer ********* ** *** brand **** ******* ** the ******* *******."

*-****'* ******** ****** ************ ********* ********* ** ONVIF *******, **** ********, and ****-**** ******** *** surveillance *******.

TrendNet *******

*******, ******** ******* ********** steady, ******** ******** ** ~5%, ****** ************* *** capabilities.

  • "********. **** *** **** affordable *** *******. ** several ***** ** ***** them * **** ***** had ** *****."
  • "** ****** *** ******** and *** ****** ** that *** ********* ** suppliers"
  • "********, ******** & ********** cost." 

********'* ***+ ********* **** ******* ***** those ********** *** *****.

Future *******

***** ** ***** ****** results *** ******* ******, we ****** **** ***** cost *********, ** ********** Ubiquiti, ** ******** ** increase ***** *****.  ** contrast, ********** **** ** Cisco, *******, ** ** have *** ********** *****/****** to ******* **** ***** lower **** *******, * likely ***** ** **** integrators ******** *****.

Comments (72)

 "HP, hands down. ...great customer support for the few times I've needed it - even if you aren't factory trained / certified, and their products are very competitively priced."

That's interesting, because that's contrary to what I have heard from Cisco in the past where they said if you buy one of their switches for resale and you are not an authorized Cisco re-seller, they said they would not support you they would require the distributor you're buying from (CDW for example) blacklist you and not sell you anymore Cisco switches.

For integrators selling Cisco switches, I'm curious how many are Cisco certified resellers, and if not, when they call Cisco for support does Cisco ask them where they got the switch form and does their distributor know the integrator is buying it for resale.

Unhelpful: 1

What, is there a Cisco employee or distributor here? I simply presented facts based on experience and asked what I thought a reasonable question. Geesh. :)

From what I have observed That policy is pretty standard in the high end IT hardware industry. It discourages know-nothings  who don't bother to educate themselves on switching & routing principles and/or who don't get certified on the in's and out's of a particular manufacturer's gear from clogging up support lines that are meant for higher level issues that skilled/certified engineers can't figure out in the field because perhaps there is a software bug or the procedure isn't sufficiently documented.

Other manufacturers will offer support to anyone who calls, don't have to be certified, but only if there is a support contract attached to that piece of hardware purchased with the gear. 

 As for the Ubiquiti switches, do dealers not think that if they put that on quotes eventually customers may say to themselves, "If they using some so common and easy to get as Ubiquiti, then I'll just go online and buy them myself and probably install them myself, so they can cut that out of the quote."

That's the easiest thing to head off. Simply tell the customer that the system will be warranted as a whole using only hardware, software and labor furnished by you.

If they insist on furnishing certain devices, offer no warranty on the entire project or better yet decline the project. 


That's a pretty good counter.

You'd give up, say a 60 camera, install just because you can't sell them the switch?

Yes. I don’t position my company as an “installer” or a “dealer”. I provide end to end solutions. There’s a big difference. The former generally makes you an easily interchangeable commodity. The latter generally makes you a trusted adviser who keeps accounts for many years. As such, I do not allow IT managers who probably won’t even be at the company a year from now to dictate how I build my solutions or worse, to parse my solutions and add their own hardware into it. That’s nuts in my opinion. 

Hi all


I'm a corporate end user based in South Africa. We are very prone to lightning , especially in the summer season. We have found that putting an IP device, i.e. camera, on top of a pole somewhere in the field and  then connecting it back a regular corporate level, e.g. Cisco 3850, is not a wise exercise. 


We've gone the route of using in field PoE injectors with either Ethernet to fiber converters or smaller 4\8 Port Industrial switches in the field with fiber backbones to our internal core.

This minimizes  hardware replacement costs when lightning strikes one of our field IP devices as usually, we may lose the IP end point and PoE injector but the industrial switches tend to take a hit or two before total failure.

Interesting to hear on makes and models of ruggerized or industrial switching units that installers use and recommend , specifically when it comes to difficult environments that are lightning prone.


Never heard of a network switch ruggedized to interdict lightning.

We use lightning arrestors or fused surge protectors on the ethernet cable so that in the event of a lightning or external surge on the network cable or device, the fuse opens after the switch. Below is a link for an example


My opinion: None of them address multicast very well.  Avaya VSP is/was far superior and made by the same hardware manufacturer as Juniper and Cisco (so assembly quality is good).  Extreme has bought the Avaya VSP networking business but they are keeping VSP only at the core, which for a core network design is a great idea but their edge switches are no where near the ability of Avaya's VSP 4k but more importantly to use this technology, it becomes expensive.  You could replace a core and with that little guy as it had all of Avaya's SPBm features.  On the VSP infrastructure they tested over 15,000 multicast camera streams, didn't even break a sweat and there was no packet loss or quality loss when they pulled and replaced uplinks (the PIM kiss of death).  The reason is they don't use PIM!  They don't need it.

I am the General Manager for Dell EMC for surveillance. What is stopping the folks here from using Dell Networking? Having come from Cisco, Dell has a great value proposition at the edge and edge aggregation layer. You can combine this with vmware's software defined networking solution called NSX that competes at the high end with Cisco for your larger projects where performance is critical.  How can Dell earn more of this networking business? 

Ken, its always good to see a manufacturer not just throw out a sales blurb, but either cite specific ways your product is better, or if not sure what will win a client over, then ask what can be done.

For starters, maybe cite some real performance tests where EMC switch beat 2 or 3 comparable competitive products in performance.

"We ran 24 4K cameras on our switch at 15FPS and here's how our switch performed against Competitor A's and Competitor B's same spec switches."

Or if it only did as well, then cite some other beneficial criteria, like a longer or better warranty, and maybe better support levels.

Also, since any customer can buy EMC online, maybe a real dealer discount that makes using and recommending EMC switches a real value for the integrator, that everyday end users shopping on the web can't get. And I'm talking real beneficial discount, not 25% and expecting us to be happy with that.

All fair points. I did not provide all the justification at this time as I am hoping to get an understanding of what is the reason Dell is not on the list and what we can do to earn an opportunity.  One point I will point out is that we offer on-site deployment and service options that are very cost competitive and since we are an end to end provider, you can have a Dell technician help install and configure your switches, servers, storage, clients and virtualization. 

On your last point. We offer a much better discount if you become an actual partner vs just going to In opportunities where a Dell partner is competing, we have been able to provide compelling pricing and protection through registration. 

One point I will point out is that we offer on-site deployment and service options that are very cost competitive and since we are an end to end provider, you can have a Dell technician help install and configure your switches, servers, storage, clients and virtualization.

I think one of the problems is if you are always aiming for the "Big Fish". What you mention is all nice and well, but deals that involve those kinds of needs including virtualization, which is fine for Access but for Video is much more challenging, are much fewer and farther in between. You have to be able to scale to the mid-size and smaller jobs, too. I think many dealers would only want to start you off on smaller deals to see how well you work before they take a chance on a larger deal with you.

It's kind of like those Dell and HP reps who kept wanting to talk about data-deduplication and off site synchronizing for video. It showed how little understanding of the market they were trying to break into that they had.

We offer a much better discount if you become an actual partner vs just going to

Better have something way better than 5%, which is what some reps I talked to [a long time ago] offered and they thought I should be excited like a kid at Christmas. I wasn't. 

Dell has such a bad track record, and bad name in networking. That's why you're not on the list. Dell needs to do the actual hard lifting of changing people's perspective through hiring effective Field Sales Engineers and Managers, taking it on the chin from a margin perspective, and actually start driving customers and specifications to require the product. This is the case with Dell Servers still. If Avaya, Enterasys, Brocade, etc have all failed at this over the years, with amazing support, innovative products; I will be impressed if Dell can turn this ship around.

What this poll reflects is years of overselling capabilities, and underperforming. Dell Support is a punchline/laughing stock anywhere I've worked (including 2 large Dell Server dealers).  Dell is going to need to actually bring companies into opportunities at this point, not expect people to give them a look, just because they're asking to help now. 

From the PoV of the networking industry: Dell's networking is a combination of multiple vendors with their lower end "Force10" different in quality from their upper Force10.  Multiple problems if you are going to tie into NSX, you would need someone like us to do it right.  NSX is not the best solution either, there are standards that are far better and I have talked with VPs at VMware about this and the NSX team is basically untouchable.  This causes two problems, one, they might be solving a problem but they are adding complexity.  Two, the cost!

Now, you can assume that the infrastructure is in place, but this also doesn't solve other technical problems.  If you are dealing with multicast, 99% of the time you will not saddled up to NSX because you will risk melting the core.  We have elegant solutions for this but as most are pointing out Cisco is the 900lbs gorilla.

Ken, to answer you directly, when you are buying Dell networking, it's unclear what you are getting.  Some is sub-Netgear and their higher end is too expensive and at that point, I can not only sell a product at or better quality that their higher end but also better solution.  Dell will give you awesome deals, but the quality is not there.


Thanks for the detailed and candid feedback. If you are willing, I would love to discuss this in more detail. Dell EMC is committed to the surveillance industry and we want to provide quality solutions. Please shoot me an email at so we can connect and discuss how we can do a better job in this area. 

I'm gonna give this discussion, poll, and all commenters a negative Honovich style review. To have Ubiquiti at 10% and no Mikrotik even mentioned or commented on is reason enough to strip the IP from IPVM.

Mikrotik beats all of these hands down if we are considering price and performance.

Cisco's only way of surviving is buying Mikrotik. Never gonna happen. I hope.

Is this the very first time anyone else has ever heard of Mikrotik like me? Ill check it out and appreciate you mentioning this brand. Always open to a new line that we cna rely on. 

Which Mikrotik switch do you think is most competitive for surveillance applications? I like some of their router products, I have a RouterBoard on my desk I have been testing some things on, but for switches I do not see anything particularly competitive for surveillance. Most of the switches do not support any form of PoE, and the ones that do list passive PoE.

Ubiquiti at least has some better options for PoE switches.


I made sure to reread the discussion subject of "Network Switch".  If it would have said POE Switch for Surveillance Systems, then your are correct. That is one thing I have been waiting 15 years for Mikrotik to do. Offer more models of POE switches.

Which Mikrotik switch do you think is most competitive for surveillance applications

They have a couple models that run their SwOS, but that link you posted can be misleading. Switch/router/AP/bridge/CPE/WiFi router/VPN server or client/Radius Server........................ If is says switch but runs the RouterOS then it can basically do everything a high end cisco switch can do limited on hardware resources. is Mikrotik's product site with prices. 

So you could get an hAP mini for under $20 with routerOS level 4 and get all level 4 capabilities.

Mikrotik RouterOS levels


Hard to beat. Except lack of POE options.

Except lack of POE options.

Which is one of the most valuable components of a switch being used for IP cameras/video surveillance.

For a survey of security/surveillance integrators involving network switch preferences, it is safe to assume that PoE is going to be a make or break feature.

I agree. But I would guesstimate only about 1/4 or less of the discussion talked about POE features. So that's why I mentioned Mikrotik. Basically they dominate anybody on that list in a non POE environment on price to performance and capabilities scale. That is for video surveillance industry or just about all others too.


The title of the report could be changed in my opinion. POE Switch would have save some arguing.

But not every switch used in surveillance is PoE. Non-PoE switches are often used at the core in large networks or for connecting clients/servers/storage.

Moreover, the chart showing stats is titled "Favorite Network Switch For Video Surveillance", and this is IPVM, a surveillance/security-focused site. 

I would also preemptively argue against anyone trying to say "use non-Microtik when you need POE or use Microtik for your core switches" since you normally don't want to have a lot of mix and match brand network switches.

Chad, Mikrotik is router centric.  They focus on tying a premise to MPLS, BGP, OSPF or with VPNs.  I think they could provide interesting solutions, but I solve everything without those complex protocols and only interface with them when I have to (like when replacing a customer's core [I come from the network side of things]).  I think there is a reason it's little mentioned.

Price is very interesting though, I have to admit.  For a larger job, I would not use this, I would be using Extreme at this point (for SPBm features for hacking resistance, multi-tenanting and dealing with multicast).  I don't necessarily require Extreme at the edge (for ports) but they will certainly reliably run cameras and other devices and they are a step above Netgear at the edge, they are superior now at the core to all vendors (equal in quality build, but superior in software and software design).

Cisco sucks the air out of the network world.  They have so many IT certified and in love with their product (I call it their adherence to job security), but it's complex, buggy and doesn't solve a problem.  Rumor has it they plan on implementing SPBm, then things could change for them.

Mikrotik is winner on the edge with price but they do nothing to change the game in technology.  Funny thing, Cisco back in the late 90's had one of those routing switch with firewall feature set devices like they have and they abandoned it.

What does Extreme do to change the game in technology?

Extreme didn't change it, Avaya did, but Extreme bought the Avaya networking business.  Their shortest path bridging at the core.  Nothing can touch it and it's perfect for multicasting (Pelco tested ~15,000 camera streams on then Avaya VSP gear).

How long ago was this? I'm guessing quite a while back? Depending on how they conducted the test and the details of the streams and hardware setup it may not be much to brag about.

Nothing to brag about?  No one else can do it.

Forgot to mention their CPU load only hit 13%.  Not only did they test this and it passed with flying colors, they tested it while pulling uplinks...which murders multicast.

The reason why this worked and it still does, is that they do not use PIM.  PIM is a program that runs on a router or L3 switch.  Spanning tree events, among other events, kill the PIM tables and they have to rebuild.  That means you have to re-gather IGMPs and build everything back up, which means loss of video and loss of that time.

What they do in the fabric is not really routing it's more like switching.  In addition, the core did not experience a load of 15k macs in the L3 core.  This has to do with the design of SPBm  The core have a very low MAC density, it only knows about itself and neighbors.

The Avaya Edge (not sure the Extreme group is going to implement this in the existing edge switches) switches also have IP Shortcuts and depending how far you push the VSP edge to the edge switching, you can still implement this.  This allows local routing without traversing to the core.  Normally you have to design for this, but this is part of the fabric, you just need to pay for the feature and then... you just enable it.

This still works to this day, it's been vetted.  There are companies that finally gave this a shot and now Cisco can't even give their gear away to them.  Cisco has offered free Nexus gear and the customers will not take it.  In some places of really secure camera environments, they will not replace it because they cannot.  Nothing else will work!

This is not in a lab somewhere, this fabric is running around the world.  Extreme right now is #1 in technology, just not in market share.  That has a lot to do with entrenched IT and the size of Cisco.


Nothing to brag about? No one else can do it.

Well without knowing the details I can't argue. Please provide details of test. 

I will give you a bit of scale.  1500 cameras, that is the best a Nexus 9k can do.

But as a general rule of business, companies that achieve something that can't be repeated by any other company usually stay out of bankruptcy. And that bit of technology would be worth more than the few million Avaya sold for. 

You obviously don't know Avaya.

This is the guy that actually did the test.  I know him and we had a conversation about this test.

Listen to what this guy has to say, he used to be on the vendor/camera side with Pelco.

This is a great video on multicast and security problems as well that this solves.

Well I don't know how large of a job you are talking about, but I doubt there is many IPVM members that will need a more powerful switch than Mikrotik's entry level CCR1009 model

Scroll down to the bottom and they give you actual throughput data. 

And if you get into the routerOS capabilities, Cisco is the only one that can compare in that department. Ubiquiti is pretty, and considered by most as more user friendly. But even Ubiquiti will agree and say they have always been behind Mikrotik when it comes to routing/switching/bridging/QOS/bonding/VPN/monitoring/troubleshooting capabilities. 

I haven't seen any Extreme products first hand, so I can only comment using their website info. And I don't see anything impressive there. Ubiquiti's marketing and web design team is much better.  Looks like ExtremeOS offers more VOIP auto config and cloud control than mikrotik. How much do they run?

Yeah no kidding, no one but Cisco matches the tech of Mikrotik; I mean no one on IPVM really needs switches with redundant power supplies. In all fairness, their network monitoring application is one hell of a bowler.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man

Over the line Rhodes!

Chad, respectfully, I do not think you understand the most common needs and requirements for switches as it specifically relates to video surveillance applications.

Scroll down to the bottom and they give you actual throughput data.

No need to bother. Throughput and backplane speeds on common switches are more than sufficient for video. It is rare to see a properly configured camera max out a 10Mbps port, much less a 100Mbps or GigE port.

And if you get into the routerOS capabilities

Except nobody will. IP camera deployments are often a flat LAN. They are most commonly dedicated instead of converged networks, VLANs are not uncommon, however that is often about as complex as it gets from the perspective of routing/shaping/tagging/etc. 

Mikrotik also has no real representation in the surveillance space. I am not aware of any manufacturers reps pushing the product, the products are not carried by distributors like ADI, or sold/recommended by large manufacturers.

For the majority of surveillance deployments, Mikrotik switches are either overkill, or underkill. Having features that integrators will not use (and my not understand) and lacking options like PoE that exclude them from the vast majority of use cases. 


I'm ducking all your arguments. I was replying to Walter. Trying to understand his remarks comparing Mikrotik and Extreme. I'm not trying to stream 15,000 camera feeds. But I'm pretty sure that's more than your standard trendnet can handle.


Joking aside, can you go into more detail. I'm here to learn.

understand the most common needs and requirements for switches as it specifically relates to video surveillance applications.

#1. POE




These are in no particular order because there are dependencies on use cases, specific deployments, etc.

I would say integrators would want the following main criteria when choosing a switch:

1) PoE, if not in every product at least in enough models to offer good options of 16/24/48 port models, as well as models that can support high wattage on multiple ports for things like PTZs, cameras with heaters, etc.

2) Easy availability, ideally stocked by their preferred distributor and local branch. In addition to this, ease of returns when a unit fails.

3) Easy interface. WebUI preferred over CLI most of the time. As mentioned above, complex things like routing, traffic shaping, or even setting up span/mirror ports are uncommon. Make it easy to put ports in a VLAN and bounce PoE power when needed.

4) Low Cost. For surveillance setups the switches are more of a "necessary evil" than core component. They are not what the customer is buying or interfacing with from a solution perspective. The customer does not "see" the switch in any way (as long as it does the basic job of forwarding packets).

There will be variances to the above, but rarely will integrators choose a "preferred" switch (today) based on criteria like backplane speeds, Layer 3 features, redundant power options, modularity/stackability, etc. In many cases when criteria like this come into play it is for larger enterprise-level systems where the customer's IT department often drives the decision, as the switch will be managed and monitored with the rest of their infrastructure and the integrator has very little input on the choice. 

I would add IGMP as a requirement.  Only needed for multicasting but if you want to find a go to vendor, then that is needed.

You might be able to get away with the customer running PIM, so this would not be a requirement.

Fiber uplinks and outdoor rugged as something that may be needed.

If you are managing a dedicated network (which you are if you installed one and if you are not and you installed one, this will be a security problem for you and the company), CLOUD will be your friend.

Since you are banning Mikrotik from the competition, and forcing me to pick a "flat LAN" switch. 

TP-Link price to performance is better than netgear, dlink, trendnet. Ubiquiti and Cisco are considered over kill by your standards.

On some levels I agree with you. I use some TP-Link network equipment at home and have found the price/performance ratio pretty good. However, it always feels a bit "cheap" to me, and I do not think I would use it in a work-for-hire scenario.


Well at least I got some levels this time. :) Not enough for a vote though.

Since you are banning Mikrotik...

I love Mikrotik routerboards! They’re awesome to play on and I use them at home for their unmatched WiFi power.

But there’s about zero chance that your serious integrator types, e.g. “Millabaugh”, are gonna go for non-standard POE in a plastic shell :)


Brian, respectfully, I do not think you understand the more advanced needs and requirements for switches in a large network. And you don't understand that the stuff you quoted me saying dealt with Walter's and I debate about the overall price to performance clear lead Mikrotik has in network switches.

And even if I didn't understand the requirements or lack thereof for video surveillance applications, I would recommend Mikrotik again because the majority of use cases will have a Uniview POE NVR. I don't think you can label somebody incompetent because they have a different setup. I guess I could have said why would you waste the money on an extra switch when most NVRs have POE out and sufficient amount of bandwidth. Especially since you said:

No need to bother. Throughput and backplane speeds on common switches are more than sufficient for video. It is rare to see a properly configured camera max out a 10Mbps port, much less a 100Mbps or GigE port.

Which leads to my next comment:

Brian and IPVM team, respectfully, it appears that somebody doesn't understand the most common needs and requirements for switches as it specifically relates to video surveillance applications. After reading this tutorial, It sounds like Brian isn't on the IPVM team that posted it. Or maybe I am misunderstood again thinking the IPVM team tutorial contradicts Brian's statements?

Multicasting Surveillance Tutorial

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Jan 04, 2018 |  

Network bandwidth is a key concern in surveillance systems.


For the majority of surveillance deployments, Mikrotik switches are either overkill, or underkill. 

A mikrotik switch that is cheaper than the competition can't be considered overkill because it has more capabilities. Just pretend they aren't there.

Having features that integrators will not use (and my not understand) and lacking options like PoE that exclude them from the vast majority of use cases.

I'm not sure how having extra features becomes a drawback? Mikrotik doesn't force the end user to use and understand every feature available. And all the switches I have used can be powered up and working as a switch without any user configuration. I agree lack of POE would be underkill in a POE required scenario.

Mikrotik also has no real representation in the surveillance space. I am not aware of any manufacturers reps pushing the product, the products are not carried by distributors like ADI, or sold/recommended by large manufacturers.

And I saved the best for last. The one thing we agree on and I mentioned from the start is lack of POE out. But that is about to change with the new 8 and 24 port POE Switches they are releasing soon. And as soon as I get my hands on them to try out, Broadwaves will be first to represent Mikrotik in the IPVM surveillance space. Just have to get Uniview to recommend them and they will be legit. ADI is of no importance. 

I changed "Network bandwidth is a key concern in surveillance systems" to "Network bandwidth can be a concern for some surveillance systems" since it is clearly not a major concern for many systems and in the very next sentence we already say, "large systems still encounter issues with large amounts of video data" which clearly qualifies the concern for a specific segment.

Chad -

I have architected and deployed networks that literally spanned continents. I helped 2 ISPs build out both datacenter infrastructure and WAN delivery infrastructure. I am good on understanding networks, topologies, protocols, etc. I have written software that fully autoprovisioned networks on various platforms  I do not need to get into a ‘cable measuring’ contest over who has the most networking background, but I assure you I have been around.

The majority of your use cases may have a Uniview NVR, but Univiews market share is relatively tiny. Suggesting that Mikrotik should be expected to be commonly used because of your edge-case idea is not a strong position.

If we go back to your original comment in this thread, you started out by critiquing the results of a survey of what integrators say they use, and then recommend a product few people have heard of, with very limited support, and a general lack of a highly popular feature (PoE). 

Mikrotik has been a poor fit for the average surveillance deployment, a big reason why you do not see many integrators saying they use it. It would be even worse for multicast networks, which add layers of complexity, because the availability of field support in real time to intergrators is highly limited, at best. 


I do not need to get into a ‘cable measuring’ contest

Just try and keep it to Imperial measurements guys so the majority of us stubborn US readers don't have to use metric converters. Thanks in advance!

Not even sure you could compare them.  I cannot find anything where Mikrotik supports IGMP or PIM.  This means no multicast and honestly, based on it's target with legacy networks, this makes sense.

Post this over at the Mikrotik, Ubiquiti, or even Cisco forums and let me know the responses.

Cisco sucks the air out of the network world. They have so many IT certified and in love with their product (I call it their adherence to job security), but it's complex, buggy and doesn't solve a problem. Rumor has it they plan on implementing SPBm, then things could change for them.

Acquisitions is their only hope. But I just hate'm cause I aint'm. They have been dominating the market for a long time. 

Really? MikroTik. The Latvian powerhouse with a support page that looks like this, is going to take the entire market away from Cisco? With 3 day turn around on Email Support Replies?

I'm not saying MikroTik doesn't have good products, or support (I have no idea); but Ubiquiti has a much better shot at taking down Cisco, as does HPE, Brocade, Juniper, Extreme, etc. MikroTik would need to take down one of those other manufacturers first.

Cisco is not in the business of selling $100 routers and outdoor Wireless bridges.

You're correct in thinking that at some point, they may want to be, and they'll purchase someone. Again, they would probably consider Ubiquiti, Cambium, Proxim(CEO already ran a company acquired by Cisco), etc...

My last point would be, this is IP Video Market, its not representative of the IT Physical Infrastructure world at all; its a niche focus in an entirely much larger ecosystem. 

I guess self proclaimed Sarcasticists don't see other peoples sarcasm. Like throwing Extreme in the mix of Brocade and Juniper.

My last point would be, this is IP Video Market, its not representative of the IT Physical Infrastructure world at all; its a niche focus in an entirely much larger ecosystem.

Then why are we talking about switches and routers? Now I am really confused.

Extreme bought Brocade too.

Only Brocade Data Center, or Core business, not the Edge or Wireless AFAIK...

Yeah, they were already content with their own wireless solutions (they dropped Avaya's which was actually really cool since they extended their fabric to it and it solved many security and deployment issues, but this could be brought to any AP really), which apparently is not that great.  I hope they bought Brocade for the customer base really, otherwise they have 2 fabrics from Brocade, 1 from Avaya and their own traditional networking (which is going away but they are planning on moving everyone to their CLI).  Avaya's fabric should be able to do anything they need it to, but there might be something unique about Brocade hardware.  I was told though that Brocade is being left to run as a separate business.  I am worried that Extreme really didn't have a good plan for these buys, time will tell.

I wasn't aware of the Brocade purchase.

I am worried that Extreme really didn't have a good plan for these buys, time will tell.

Looking back in time doesn't paint pretty picture with Avaya purchase. And Avaya buying part of Nortel before that. 

Maybe  Cisco will buy Extreme next and bankrupt them all. Making way for Mikrotik. :) sarcasm.

Yeah sorry if the Mikrotik vs Cisco comparision was sarcasm, I totally wiffed on that...

Its routers and switches use within the Video Surveillance market vs routers and switches for in home PC Client access vs CPE ISP vs etc. I don't know how that is confusing. Is it odd that Motorola isn't on this list despite how much of the cable modem market they own? 

Then why are we talking about switches and routers?

Because professional IP cameras rarely support wifi.


Sean, Cisco did try to get into the business selling 100.00 routers when they owned Linksys for a while ;).  To be 100% accurate, they are no longer in the business in selling 100.00 routers.  I am just busting balls.

You beat me to it. They ruined one of the great SoHo router brands when they bought linksys. 

Sean, Cisco did try to get into the business selling 100.00 routers when they owned Linksys for a while ;). To be 100% accurate, they are no longer in the business in selling 100.00 routers.

The Cisco RV Series has multiple sub-$100 options.

Currently you can get an RV110W on Amazon for $60.

You could also buy a Dodge Dart in 2016, but I wouldn't have said Dodge was in the business of selling sub-$18,000 compact sedans.

What I don't understand is how they could take an exceptionally good product line like linksys and transform it to crap. I have rarely seen the new cisco versions work correctly for any length of time. 


Back in the first decade in my IT days, I noticed the drastic drop in quality control too when Cisco bought Linksys. I always suspected they did that purposely to try and drive small business back to the entry level PIX 500 firewalls, which many had stopped buying when the Linksys routers came out because they were a lot cheaper and easier to setup.  What they didn't bank on was small business customers and IT service were not going to go back to the Cisco PIX's, that instead they would go the the D'Links, Netgears and similar that were more than happy to fill void. Later the Cisco Linksys series started getting better when I guess they realized this, but you never had the same feeling of reliability the original Linksys routers seemed to have.

I still have one of the first purple and gray, 2-port Linksys routers they ever sold at CompUSA. It survived two lightning strikes when the cable modems and the NIC on my computer didn't.

I still have one of the first purple and gray, 2-port Linksys routers they ever sold at CompUSA. It survived two lightning strikes when the cable modems and the NIC on my computer didn't.

You betcha. The people I come across that still have those in working environment always ask if they should upgrade to something newer. And unless they need some extra features I always say keep the purple ones. 

This would concern me though:


Overpriced. Paying for the "Cisco" on enclosure. Mikrotik has 1 switch that can do everything these Cisco models can do plus some extras for a whopping $40. Ubiquiti also much better alternative for those models.

Cisco should stay in the very upper end of networking equipment. That's their bread and butter. Not SoHO, not Wireless, and maybe not even VOIP. 

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