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Wired Networks Thread, New Core Switch Suggestions in Technical; @ glennda : The issue with the v1910 is that it doesn't seem to want to talk to our existing ...
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    @glennda: The issue with the v1910 is that it doesn't seem to want to talk to our existing switching infrastructure if VLANs are involved. Actually, it is more complicated than that. It worked fine until I made the v1910's web interface available on another VLAN. It became intermittent at that point. Upgrading the firmware on the v1910 introduced a weird certificate problem. (Firefox won't trust it and refuses to allow an exception.) I'm curious if the v1910 came along with the 3COM acquisition.

    And more generally, just so I don't unduly bias someone against D-Link gear, I should say that we have generally been happy with their switches. We have about 24 DGS-1248T and 10 DGS-1210-48 switches in service. These are fairly low-end "web-smart" switches. Just basic features (VLANs, link-aggregation, 802.1x, etc.) accessible through a web interface. Other than the crappy link aggregation performance, the occasional lock up while messing with stuff over the web interface, and the fans needing to be replaced right around the end of the warranty period, we've had little to complain about. I'm hoping to keep most of them in service on the edge. (Of course, our networks are almost all edge. Not much of a core to speak of yet.) We've probably had to reboot switches three or four times since we started using them. Knock on wood, we've had no failed ports.

    To put this in perspective: We do absolutely the opposite of over-building. It has mostly worked. Where it doesn't, we either suffer or find work-arounds. As an example, I've been replacing old Cisco routers with commodity rack-mount PCs running pfSense. It has worked very well for us. I'm also experimenting with building Linux routers/firewalls and have generally been very happy with the flexibility this brings at very small cost. When it comes to security (ie. firewalls), I actually feel strongly that one needs the source. Other than that, I'm not advocating what we do. Not at all. Our budget imposes this approach upon us.

    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    [snip]

    Messing with the different networks at different levels you can definatly 'feel' the difference when imaging a machine or installing something. Schools with the tidy back end gear can sit there mashing the HD of a batch of machines full tach while still serving the rest of the school normally. Other places we do imaging in smaller batches or out of hours as the shear throughput bogs down the network noticeably. Everything still runs but you know something is up. Diagnostics are another big thing, schools with the shiny gear the answers are usually a telnet or console session away, quite a bit I can even remedy completely remotely resetting certain components or pointing out the exact point of failure. The others need that bit of extra presence and kicking to get the answers and fixes out.

    Warranty is the other thing, the school with the big switches now has all their network gear under lifetime warranty. That means that other than upgrades in future the network is sorted. In the other places there is still a state of flux and fluid budgeting to stay ahead of the next great excrement storm.

    There are merits to both ways but I have to say that I prefer overkill to under kill any day of the decade, let alone the week. In saying that the Cisco stuff is a perfect example of the overkill method, sure you can get away with a D-Link for the 9 months or so that it works reliably but a Cisco will happily work reliably for ten years and only cost about four times as much, cost benefit wise the Cisco/HP/Other Solid Vendor is a better choice if you can swing the budget to buy into the 'dream'. As I said in another thread, we just pulled an 8 year old Cisco core which still makes other schools jealous for its ability, we pulled it to go bigger not because anything was wrong with it.

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    Procurve 5406zl is perfect, I've got a 5412zl... which I only got because of a very good deal.

    I'm thinking about getting a 5406zl so that I've got redundancy at the core.

  3. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural View Post
    @glennda: The issue with the v1910 is that it doesn't seem to want to talk to our existing switching infrastructure if VLANs are involved. Actually, it is more complicated than that. It worked fine until I made the v1910's web interface available on another VLAN. It became intermittent at that point. Upgrading the firmware on the v1910 introduced a weird certificate problem. (Firefox won't trust it and refuses to allow an exception.) I'm curious if the v1910 came along with the 3COM acquisition.

    And more generally, just so I don't unduly bias someone against D-Link gear, I should say that we have generally been happy with their switches. We have about 24 DGS-1248T and 10 DGS-1210-48 switches in service. These are fairly low-end "web-smart" switches. Just basic features (VLANs, link-aggregation, 802.1x, etc.) accessible through a web interface. Other than the crappy link aggregation performance, the occasional lock up while messing with stuff over the web interface, and the fans needing to be replaced right around the end of the warranty period, we've had little to complain about. I'm hoping to keep most of them in service on the edge. (Of course, our networks are almost all edge. Not much of a core to speak of yet.) We've probably had to reboot switches three or four times since we started using them. Knock on wood, we've had no failed ports.
    Eep, you have been VERY lucky, we had a stack of DGS-1248T units, both versions and without fail every single one of them has become unstable, dropped ports, impeeded multicast and broadcast traffic, sounded like jet engines and expired within two years if not completely, to the point that it was not worth giving them power any more.

    I tend to prefer discrete hardware like routers simply because it has a manual and you don't need to spend a week or two pulling apart the source code to figure out WTH its actually doing or where the irksom little config file is actually hidden. They also burn many times less power, make less noise and take less space.

    I'm a little harsh on stuff like this as I have wasted far too much of my life cleaning up such setups when the person who hexed and cursed the whole thing together moves on and leaves the school holding the completely unmanagable bag. Uniformatity does have its benifits and transferability is one of them, sure you can get around a bunch of it with propper documentation but a discrete system is almost always going to be easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural View Post
    @glennda: Upgrading the firmware on the v1910 introduced a weird certificate problem. (Firefox won't trust it and refuses to allow an exception.) I'm curious if the v1910 came along with the 3COM acquisition.
    Did you try going CLI?
    at 3COM CLI
    _cmdline-mode on
    [password is] 512900
    What I really like about this switch. This one gets upgrades, upgrades and upgrades: https://h10145.www1.hp.com/downloads...&prodSeriesId=

    But, I have that switch since it was released years ago and there are bugs.

    Talking about HP or H3C, they throw in feature by feature, but they really donīt fix their bugs and security holes, although they are tested and confirmed by hp networking support team in GB. Of course, Iīm not a big customer at all. But I really hate it when Iīm either told to wait for the next release again and again, or that the next level hasnīt looked at the problem at all.

    So, what would be the next step forward? So please give me an alternative to a V1910? Perhaps with some SFP+
    Last edited by snoerre; 31st October 2012 at 08:40 PM.

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    @snoerre: I'd read about opening up the CLI on the v1910, but haven't tried it yet. My opinion is is that the web-interface should work as advertised. It would also be nice if a web-interface could be used for most configuration. My staff tends to get scared of the command-line (but my personal preference is command-line all the way). Since my initial post, HP has responded to me and we're working on the issue.

    Thanks for the bit about your experience regarding the HP switches, especially about unfixed security issues. Those are the kinds of experiences that have pushed me towards open source solutions whenever security is a requirement. I would very much like to trust a vendor's word regarding security, but with the possible exception of Cisco, my experiences won't allow me to do so.

    I'll share what we go with and our experiences going forward. But progress is going to be slow. The bottleneck being my time.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoerre View Post
    Did you try going CLI?


    What I really like about this switch. This one gets upgrades, upgrades and upgrades: https://h10145.www1.hp.com/downloads...&prodSeriesId=

    But, I have that switch since it was released years ago and there are bugs.

    Talking about HP or H3C, they throw in feature by feature, but they really donīt fix their bugs and security holes, although they are tested and confirmed by hp networking support team in GB. Of course, Iīm not a big customer at all. But I really hate it when Iīm either told to wait for the next release again and again, or that the next level hasnīt looked at the problem at all.

    So, what would be the next step forward? So please give me an alternative to a V1910? Perhaps with some SFP+

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural View Post
    @snoerre: I'd read about opening up the CLI on the v1910, but haven't tried it yet. My opinion is is that the web-interface should work as advertised. It would also be nice if a web-interface could be used for most configuration.
    My experience with 3Com/H3C/HP is to ALWAYS work on the command line. Certainly on the 3com/HP equipment, it almost never works as advertised.
    You won't notice the details on a web interface like you would on CLI (such as peculiarities with the web interface) and it's more difficult to do bulk operations.

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    @SYNACK: Thanks for the warning on the DGS-1248T switches. So far, I've never been able to implicate them in an issue. I'll trust them less as a result of your comments. We have definitely had issues with some very old and high-end (for their time) D-Link switches, but they were quite ancient.

    I'll admit that it was a struggle finding good sources for Linux networking material. Ended up just buying a few books from O'Reilly, Packt, and an excellent one from NoStarch. But this was more for networking security background. Honestly, I've found the Linux command-line network configuration tools to be less esoteric than the Cisco equivalents... Although I have to admit that I like how the history of Cisco's product line is often embedded right there in the CLI. In any case, I've been on both sides of either being easier. For example, getting our Cisco routers sending NetFlow stats to the right place (a Linux box, of course) was a piece of cake. I've yet to get the Linux routers doing the same. pfSense is completely different. If you are doing something that everybody else uses it for, it is dead-simple and will work well. If not, you better be buying support from the developers (which is a really good idea anyway).

    When I started here, we had a mix of Linux and Cisco networking equipment (still do). In both cases, nothing made sense. The problem: No documentation of why anything was configured the way it was. And the fellow who knew why was so angry (he'd been fired) that he wouldn't talk to any of us. And then he passed away! Now we try hard to document what we do and why.

    Don't get me wrong. If we had the money, I'd go Cisco. But we bought and deployed 400 computers this summer. Our only cost was shipping. $5 each. That's how we roll. (And I'm very mixed on whether it's a good idea.)

    King of straying off topic a bit here: One can build really low power Linux boxes, actually just PCs. (We're building an off-grid home. My average power-budget for computing is 200W. Guess how much I've delved into this.) I've got PC Engines Alix boxes that we use as firewalls and to coordinate shutting-down/bringing-up servers due to power events. They draw about 10W under load (but can only push about 70Mb/s). Our pfSense routers are probably more like 40W and will do 600Mb/s with a fair bit of packet inspection. The networking numbers are assuming pfSense, which has a pretty inefficient firewall. I'd expect Linux to perform better.

    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Eep, you have been VERY lucky, we had a stack of DGS-1248T units, both versions and without fail every single one of them has become unstable, dropped ports, impeeded multicast and broadcast traffic, sounded like jet engines and expired within two years if not completely, to the point that it was not worth giving them power any more.

    I tend to prefer discrete hardware like routers simply because it has a manual and you don't need to spend a week or two pulling apart the source code to figure out WTH its actually doing or where the irksom little config file is actually hidden. They also burn many times less power, make less noise and take less space.

    I'm a little harsh on stuff like this as I have wasted far too much of my life cleaning up such setups when the person who hexed and cursed the whole thing together moves on and leaves the school holding the completely unmanagable bag. Uniformatity does have its benifits and transferability is one of them, sure you can get around a bunch of it with propper documentation but a discrete system is almost always going to be easier.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    My experience with 3Com/H3C/HP is to ALWAYS work on the command line. Certainly on the 3com/HP equipment, it almost never works as advertised.
    You won't notice the details on a web interface like you would on CLI (such as peculiarities with the web interface) and it's more difficult to do bulk operations.
    CLI is a must with HP/3com switching as mentioned.

    I would also state you can copy and paste command strings into them for example straight out of documentation and configure a switch with pasting say 15 commands into the cli and its all done.

    On another note I think the V1900 series is a little underspecced for normal networks (not sure why just do). Personally I'm an E range kind of person (28/2900's) for edge switching.

  9. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural View Post
    King of straying off topic a bit here: One can build really low power Linux boxes, actually just PCs. (We're building an off-grid home. My average power-budget for computing is 200W. Guess how much I've delved into this.) I've got PC Engines Alix boxes that we use as firewalls and to coordinate shutting-down/bringing-up servers due to power events. They draw about 10W under load (but can only push about 70Mb/s). Our pfSense routers are probably more like 40W and will do 600Mb/s with a fair bit of packet inspection. The networking numbers are assuming pfSense, which has a pretty inefficient firewall. I'd expect Linux to perform better.
    Cool I totally understand, I disregarded lots of the bad press on the D-Links after we got our first few as they seemed to work well and I could easily blame bad PXE implementations or dodgy cabling or something for the rare faults. We got more and more thanks to the cost then they started showing their true colours, I think someone feed them after midnight or something

    Good to hear that you are going the efficient route, your original post did not specify, there are lots of very power efficient ways to do computing stuff which can be decent. Some of it is down to the manufacturing processes as well, the average industrial switch will have thicker copper layers in its motherboard, longer lasting components and redundant PSUs. As you say though it is all down to your setups and methods. If you have the documentation and staff that can cover it as well as the spares/facility to replace burnt out stuff.

    Both ways have their benefits and detriments, as long as these are catered for you can end up with a decent solution from each.

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    Thanks for the tip @CyberNerd and @glennda. I'll give the (warm and comforting) CLI a try on the v1910 Monday.
    @glennda: I really can't put my finger on any raw numbers that would make the 2800 series more attractive than the V1910. The 2900 series brings 10G to the table. I imagine the 2800 versus V1910 difference comes down to L3 static routing performance. Heck, if the price of the 2800 line is comparable to the V1900 line, I'd go with them based on their being home-grown in HP. But I know almost nothing at this point.

    To date, we've only used switches for switching. I consider routers as security devices and therefore like their source to be open. As long as I have this view, the L3 routing capabilities of a 2910al-48G would be wasted. But I'm on the fence about this view. So you can see why the v1910 is interesting to me. It might actually be capable of decent link-aggregation performance. That would open up the bottle-neck we have between switches, to the router, and to servers. And it can do L3 static routing. I want to explore the security implications of doing static routing in a switch. It may be something I can live with. But cost is by far the biggest factor here. I would love nothing more than to put 10G between our switches, router, and servers. At our larger schools, this is justified, the money just isn't there (and I'm working on that).

    Anyways, I imagine my situation is quite entertaining. I certainly find it so. If I ever seem cross, it's just my envy showing.

    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    CLI is a must with HP/3com switching as mentioned.

    I would also state you can copy and paste command strings into them for example straight out of documentation and configure a switch with pasting say 15 commands into the cli and its all done.

    On another note I think the V1900 series is a little underspecced for normal networks (not sure why just do). Personally I'm an E range kind of person (28/2900's) for edge switching.

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    In case it helps we've just put in a 3Com/HP v1910 to provide gigabit to our media computer suite. We have it set up with link aggregation - 2x 1GB links to our 3Com 5500G core switch stack. Also have VLANs configured as well between the core and v1910.

    I gave up on the web interface on the v1910 as I had no luck getting link aggregation working. As soon as I enabled the CLI as @snoerre mentioned I was able to get everything working correctly. As mentioned CLI is definitely where it's at when configuring switches. The CLI is very similar to our 5500's which is nice.

    One thing to note with the v1910 is that I believe you can only configure a maximum of 2 ports in a link aggregation group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashm View Post
    In case it helps we've just put in a 3Com/HP v1910 to provide gigabit to our media computer suite. We have it set up with link aggregation - 2x 1GB links to our 3Com 5500G core switch stack. Also have VLANs configured as well between the core and v1910.
    Intersting because we put in 2x 5500G's to our media suit with 2x10GB uplinks to th A5800 core!
    It was a bit overkill for now, but we had the 5500's left over from to upgrade to A5800 and the near edge was already running 4800G's

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Intersting because we put in 2x 5500G's to our media suit with 2x10GB uplinks to th A5800 core!
    It was a bit overkill for now, but we had the 5500's left over from to upgrade to A5800 and the near edge was already running 4800G's
    It will certainly be interesting to see how well this set up works but as the file sizes of the video files aren't too big, 720p MP4 rather than DV file sizes so I'm hoping it should work pretty well without maxing out the links or the Nas. Have given them dedicated storage in the form of a spare ReadyNas that we had which naturally is set up with 2x 1GB link aggregation as well.

    I have to thank you for one of your previous posts as I used a similar config that you set up on your 4800's to get link aggregation working on the v1910.

    Would love to start looking at upgrading to 10GB and something like a A5800 at the core, but unfortunately have other priorities at the moment. I have to say our 3Com 5500's have been absolutely brilliant, I can't really fault them so I think I will try and stick with Comware based switches where possible in future.

  14. Thanks to Ashm from:

    CyberNerd (4th November 2012)

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    Just thought I'd mention that the 3Com 4800G = HP e4800G = HP A5500EI.

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/su.../c03557213.pdf

    A fact that isn't always obvious on the HP Site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psydii View Post
    Just thought I'd mention that the 3Com 4800G = HP e4800G = HP A5500EI.
    You can actually "transform" a "3Com 4800G" into a "H3C S5500-EI" by "brand h3c" as of R2215. I think you need to do _hidecmd before that.
    With current software it shows "HP A5500-EI" afterwards, I think.

    HP actually set the E4800G EOS, but further sells the A5500-EI. Pricing of A5500-EI is of course higher than E4800G
    Last edited by snoerre; 7th November 2012 at 07:46 PM.

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