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Hardware Thread, Gigabit switches - managed + unmanaged in Technical; Not as much managability, you can still VLAN and Trunk / Bond on them though...
  1. #16

    john's Avatar
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    Not as much managability, you can still VLAN and Trunk / Bond on them though

  2. #17

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    Smart switches offer a limited set of managment features, usually a web page to configure it and a few of the more basic monitering and managment tools.

    Full layer 2 managed switches usually offer more configuration options like telnet and SSH. They also support the full range of network managment stuff like propperly implemented port trunking, much better interoperability with other brands of switches. VLANs, remote port enable/disable, SPF etc. They tend to have much more sturdy processors in them also making them more stable and robust. I have had a couple of smart switches burn out their managment portion and the smart tend to be slower when configuring anything (in the switch).

    In general they (layer 2) just give you a lot more freedom to configure the network and manage, safeguard or partition the traffic on your network. They also offer much more feedback when you are trying to track down certain kinds of network issues and can be set to alert you if something goes wrong.

  3. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    leco (16th March 2010)

  4. #18
    leco's Avatar
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    Do smart and fully managed work together? Thinking maybe a 48 port fully managed and a couple of 24 port smart. Would that work?

    When you say 'partition the network traffic' does that mean I will be able to say route incoming external remote connections differently to the internal stuff?

    Seems hard to believe I only did the research at Christmas when a switch broke, now I'm doing it all over again for the Gigabit. Compartmental informational thinking (or just mental). My brain hurts and it's not even 8 O'clock yet! But hey the sun is shining and what am I paid for anyway.

    Thanks again.

  5. #19
    danrhodes's Avatar
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    I'd plum for the HP gear, or if your feeling plush drop the cash on some Cisco kit.

  6. #20

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    Do smart and fully managed work together? Thinking maybe a 48 port fully managed and a couple of 24 port smart. Would that work?

    When you say 'partition the network traffic' does that mean I will be able to say route incoming external remote connections differently to the internal stuff?

    Seems hard to believe I only did the research at Christmas when a switch broke, now I'm doing it all over again for the Gigabit. Compartmental informational thinking (or just mental). My brain hurts and it's not even 8 O'clock yet! But hey the sun is shining and what am I paid for anyway.

    Thanks again.
    As long as they are from the same brand and series then smart and managed ones usually work together fine. The issues that can arise generally occur because of the limited feature set of the smart one, we have some fully managed and smart D-Link ones at one school, one of the managed ones will work fine with the smart ones allowing trunking and link teaming but the other one will not as it is from a different series and does not speak the non standard implementation used by the smart switches.

    From a basic standpoint using no additional features they will all work fine together if connected via a single port and not using any enhanced features no matter what the brand. Its just when you start using the fancy bits that it can cause issues.

    If you are going with all the same brand and series then yes the setup you propose above would probably work just fine and will save you a bit of money as well but you will loose out on some of the additional features on your edge switches.


    The partition the network traffic bit was a reference to VLANs and standards based trunking which will allow you to divide up your physical switches into multiple segments so they behave like separate switches which can add to security and speed. Some smart switches also offer VLANs but again you need to know they will all talk together.

    As it is layer 2 managed it does not include routing, just slicing up the ports into different groups that cannot talk between each other. To get this functionality you need a layer 3 device like a layer 3 switch, router or even a server to pass traffic between the different segments intelligently.

    Don't worry about the brain burningness of it all, switching and routing are both very large areas of expertise and everyone suffers from having to slog through lots of research to get the best system available at the time.

  7. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    leco (16th March 2010)

  8. #21
    36Degrees's Avatar
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    I recently bought a 3 Com and have been impressed with it. There was a slight problem with the SFPs not autonegotiating with the upstream switch but that was easily resolved by applying the latest firmware.

    I bought a 3CRBSG2893-UK which is 24 x 1Gb + 4 SFP slots - current price 160 on Probrand.

  9. 2 Thanks to 36Degrees:

    leco (16th March 2010), rhr (16th March 2010)

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