back to article Cisco SMB revolution: selling hardware with no subscription required

Cisco has revealed new hardware it is willing to sell to small businesses outright – no subscription, but still with support and warranty! Such innovation! "At Cisco we've been relentlessly focusing on how to simplify IT – making it easier to manage, deploy, secure, and easier to buy," opens a post by Greg Smith, Cisco's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco already has a line of SMB products not requiring a subscription.

    As far as I know, for example the SMB switches - like the SG350 line - do not require a subscription for updates and support. The fact that executives see it as a selling point and not something to bury deep in products brochure is welcome anyway. It's far easier to use them in a SOHO or SMB (more S than M, probably) environment without having to pay for a subscription.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    I'm actually impressed

    I would not have believed that you could get a Cisco device of that spec for $125. Hell, my Synology AP cost more than that a few years ago. On the flip side, I don't pay Synology a subscription, either, and I continue to get software/firmware updates; I wonder how long Cisco provides updates for the devices mentioned in the article.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm actually impressed

      Would you *want* a Cisco device though? It'll have a hard-coded backdoor or a firmware bug that'll brick it if it's left on for a month or a authentication-bypass vulnerability :/

  3. Woodnag

    Maybe they know that the patchable life isn't very long?

    No subscription, no implied ongoing security patching obligation...

  4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Cisco has revealed new hardware it is willing to sell to small businesses outright – no subscription, but still with support and warranty! Such innovation!

    Should we tell them?

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Don't I recall them acquiring Linksys some years ago? Commodity hardware, purchased over the counter that did basic networking tasks. Its really the command and control options, the sort of thing that the average user isn't interested in, that causes stability and security issues so commodity hardware should be bulletproof.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Many products in the Cisco SMB line have their roots in the Linksys acquisition - when they sold it they retained some of them.

        Anyway Linksys had and still has a professional line too - more configurable than the average consumer device. The LAPAC APs I bought years ago came with multiple SSID, VLAN support, clustering, captive portal and WPA2 Enterprise/RADIUS authentication. Not so bad to build a more secure network.

        Now I'm looking to replace them, and even the new Netgear Orbi Pro are more limited (despite the mesh features) - I'll have to look again at some SMB offerings like the Cisco AP in the article (or TP-Link or Draytek) - although these are again ceiling mount devices and I would prefer something that can simply put on any horizontal surface.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Orbi's are junk

          Bought a set for my mum. The first few versions were alright, but they doubled down on all the wrong things. You have almost no control over the AP config in the firmware. You have to install the crappy app, which does not let you configure much either, and it if decides to grab the same address as something on the existing network, god help you, and it will knock itself and your network offline.

          Ubi's AmpliFi line were better if you need mesh coverage, but also seem to be in a tailspin as far as updates to either the firmware or the product line. I have been using Nano HDs on each floor in standalone mode (I hate Ubi's "controller" software) and a 3rd party PoE switch. Setup is pointlessly stupid so I can't recommend it, but it is at least boring and stable once configured, and you can update the firmware.

          The Orbi's like to park themselves on top of adjacent wifi signals and will just disable large chunks of their 5g bands instead of moving to open channels. They also like using 2.4g links, killing performance even on dual band gear. You are pretty much stuck with whatever it wants too do, as there is no "advanced mode" setup for things you may be used to seeing. This can also cause headaches if you have gear with a radio chipset that is picky about band/WPA/SSID settings.

  5. Mayday Silver badge

    Maybe they realise (to a degree)

    That people have got jack of subscriptions and actually want to buy something?

    FWIW - CCIE here. Certainly doesn’t mean I run towards the bridge logo. In fact the subscription model has driven me up the wall for a few years now and I consider other options. Unfortunately most of them “require” subscriptions too.

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