As a very long time Linksys user I am not totally unhappy that the Linksys name is no longer part of the product designation.
We provide IT management and support to many SME businesses. Part of our management functions on behalf of our clients is to ensure value for money. From a Linksys aspect, in the past this meant a trade-off between value (low-cost - a Linksys benefit) and reliability and stability.
On the one hand, we continuously had to monitor and test firmware upgrades before implementation. On the other hand we have many clients still running netwrok VPNs on 6 year old BEFVP41 units with no outages at all due to the equipment...
With this experience in mind, we are anticipating that the Small Business Pro equipment is likely to be fully specified and tested, for which we will gladly recommend to our clients the higher prices commensurate with that reliability and stability.
From this perspective, we have tested the SA520 and the AP541N and the initial results are favorable - they appear to be an improvement on the Linksys RVS4000 and the RV042. Pricing is higher, but not exorbitantly so.
When looking at the switch pricing, however, I was unimpressed to find that the 24 port Gigabit switch is north of $1,300 - amost 3 times the price of the SRW2024.
I realize that pricing is a corporate decision by Cisco - and I have no doubt that they do not want to have their Small Business Pro series cannibalizing the corporate switch sales. However, we cannot recommend this to client management as it is excessive. Given that we set the standards for all of our clients (and ALL of our clients are currently using LInksys products as an exclusive standard - we do not permit any other networking equipment), our choice is difficult:
Do we stick with the Cisco Small Business Pro for the WAN aspects of client networks and evaluate other vendors for the LAN elements?
Given that we have been badly burned by both Linksys One and Microsoft ResponsePoint, we specifically no longer specify IP voice systems by network vendors, so any infrastructure-specific advantages in this regard are not an issue.
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