Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cisco 3750-X vs Brocade ICX6450

I had a guy say to me a few days back in a conversation we were having: "So you would put the Brocade in (in the network) over the Cisco"?  He was referring to putting the Brocade ICX6450s sitting on a desk over the Cisco 3750-Xs. My answer: "Yep".  He didnt ask why, but this company is an all Cisco shop.  Nothing wrong with that, but I like to back up what I say with some facts.  You decide for yourself when comparing these two side by side on some important hardware performance specs.
Forwarding Rate:
Cisco 3750-X 48 port (any model)      101.2mpps
Brocade ICX6450 48 port                  132 mpps

Switching Rate:
Cisco 3750-X 48 port (any model)      160 Gbps
Brocade ICX6450 48 port                  176 Gbps

Stacking Bandwidth:
Cisco 3750-X 48 port (any model)       32Gbps
Brocade ICX6450 48 port                   40Gbps

Total Members In A Stack:
Cisco 3750-X 48 port (any model)         9
Brocade ICX6450 48 port                     8

Generic Price (based on a popular equipment sales site):
Cisco 3750X-48T-S                       $8224.99  
Brocade ICX6450 48 port              $3165.99


  1. I am interested more in your thoughts on Brocade. We are a shop that seems to have every single vendor aside from Brocade (Cisco, HP, Juniper, Extreme) and I am not sure why. We got a new IT director and would like to start consolidating moving forward. Brocade has proposed us either a pair of ICX switches or a pair of VDX 6740's. Cisco went hog wild and wants to replace all of our switching with a Nexus 9000 series switch. What are your opinions of use and management of the Brocade devices?

    1. Dennis, I certainly recommend the Brocade and I like the product line, but to me, it does depend on what your goals are. I have always said that for feature richness and the best TAC support, go with Cisco. But, for performance and cost, go with Brocade. That is my personal opinion. We would have to go into details on what your needs are for a definitive answer though. But that is my first response to anyone who asks.
      As for the management, I always use CLI to manage and configure the Cisco/Brocade gear. So its all the same to me. I dont use GUIs at all with these two unless I have no choice. Just my preference.

  2. You're stacking bandwidth is wrong for the 3750-X, it is 64Gbps

  3. Anonymous, if you are going to play that game, then the stacking bandwidth on the Brocade ICX6450 is 80Gbps to compare apples to apples. (the old famous Cisco bi-directional game....)


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