Back in 2003 I was living in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada mountains in California. Life was good and I was wearing two hats. By day I was teaching beginning computer classes at the local junior college and by night repairing broken computer systems. California was going through a budget crisis and colleges were seeing their funding dwindle. [Side note: In California there is some type of crisis almost daily whether it be money or energy that effects everyones life :-)]

Anyway, one of my fellow associates at the college asked me if I would be interested in attending the Cisco Academy for Networking, which he just so happen to be teaching next semester. Long story short is that the class needed 15 students or it wasn’t going to fly and it would be canceled. This instructor had also just bought a new Mercedes and I could hear it in his voice that those car payments were getting harder and harder to make each month. 🙂 So I signed up for the class. Little did I know that this was a accelerated course meeting twice a week at night, in 4 hour blocks for 12 weeks!

What was most notable about the class was it was similar to a paper cut. You know it is there and it is slightly annoying, but burns like hell if salt gets into it. But I made it through the pain and suffering and learned more about networking than I really wanted to know or ever use. Most of my clients were small businesses or consumers. It usually sufficed that a 16 port anything would normally do.

As many of you know, Cisco had purchased Linksys to give the company a consumer version of their networking products. It now seems that Cisco is blurring some of the lines between the Cisco products and Linksys products and are offering similar type products in the same configuration. Cisco now offers a 16 seat or fewer line of products that compete directly with the Linksys brand. This overlap appears to be intentional and Cisco will continue to provide products for large business users as well as SOHO in the future.

So what is the main difference? Cisco products are best suited for those who have the technical expertise associated with the Cisco line. Whereas the Linksys brand is basically designed to be more consumer friendly and less technical in nature and more easily used by smaller organizations who do not employee a full time tech.

Comments welcome.

[tags]cisco, linksys, products, [/tags]