sonofsanta (24th February 2012)
I ordered an HP 5406Zl 44 copper and 52 fibre ports, 36 Gbics and an additional power supply for circa 12k. I also use HP 2610's for edge switching although this is only 10/100. I would look towards to the 2810 range which is 110/100/1000 if i had the money.
All our switching is HP procuve and its brilliant. We seperate blocks into Vlans and its very stable.
I have been continually impressed at just how simple this Juniper hardware is, it just works I don't think I've done anything much bar a few VLAN tags since it went in. I have however monitored traffic and been impressed at just how much data we are chucking around and how nothing slows doing it!
We worked with @Net-Ctrl on the project, and they won the procurement process with the Juniper solution, and they were faced with competition from the following brands - Netgear, HP, Cisco and Extreme, these solutions were offered from various vendors, and based on the feature set required, support, installation and configuration the Juniper deal from Net Ctrl was the best on the table in both long and short term requirements.
So albeit a lesser heard name, Juniper have been a bit like Extreme in the past hiding in the core of places rather than in the monthly junk mail catalogues, they are certainly worth looking into and using. Without Juniper you wouldn't have Internet its big in the Internet routing, we are certainly converted to them and have been over the moon with the product and what it has done for our network, I was sceptical that a new switching setup could do so much for improving our systems but it did and I was impressed as were the staff upon the return after a week away.
I know @Soulfish also echos my feeling on Juniper having had them recommended by him to consider as I know he would give his arms and legs to rip out his Cisco and swap it for Juniper in his new school
Planning on getting Gbe everywhere I can - opportunities such as this are not like to rise often, so I'd rather do it right.
I'd still be inclined to stick with HP if most of your kit is already 3com as the transition is likely to be easier because the operating systems are the same, or at least similar. You'll also get better support from HP or engineers using existing 3com kit, module interoperability etc.
If you are completely ripping out the network then consider juniper, extreme, cisco etc.
The Base model we used is p/n J9447A then plugged additional modules in.
We went with Cisco when we replaced our network. We have two 4900s at the core (redundancy) and have two 48 port 2960s at each mdf. One 2960 is dedicated POE. We have 10G modules for switch to switch fibre connections. We have Cat6 from 2960 to end devices. We have a Ruckus wireless setup with POE from 2960s to WAPs.
We considered only HP and Cisco.
The reason we went with Cisco over HP was that the total power the POE switches could give was greater for the Cisco switches. Careful about POE regarding what a switch can give per channel and what the total switch can give. A switch might not be able to support max power on all ports at the same time.
Cisco came in with an aggressive price to compete with HP. HP's ease of use and price makes it competitive. We did a little research on HP configuration versus Cisco configuration and ongoing HP management versus Cisco management. We also looked at the power output for POE for current needs and expected growth.
Truth is, since it was configured, we have made very few changes to our Cisco configuration.
sonofsanta (27th February 2012)
The Juniper switches we have are POE on every port and they can handle full power on every port at the same time if configured to do so, we have a 24 port 2200 and every port is in use serving POE to all the phones in the building at the same time and also to an access point or two. Juniper design there kit for Internet Backbones the kit is very good and it's evident in the build and quality of the products!, you can break a Juniper device and it will still forward/route traffic because of the way it is designed even if you break the config it rolls itself back if you so wish after a certain length of time, the default being 10 minutes.
I still have a few Cisco switches here n there - 2950's! Great switches but they are on the access layer and not at the core, they'll be swapped out soon as we get Juniper EX4200's in at the core the 2200's will serve as access switches.
Although I do like HP kit I've never been anywhere that uses HP switches. I will be buying a HP Pro-curve to go in my home lab at some point I've heard nothing but good reviews about Pro-curves.
Design question here but do people put a switch at the top of their servers racks and then link into the core or do you link straight to the core?
I think if I was to replace switches today, gigabit to the desktop and 10Gb backbone is the way to go. This can be over CX4 or OM3 fibre depending on your network infrastructure.
The ultimate method of determining a good spec (besides the make and port speed) is the switching capacity. This varies considerably, for example:
48 Port HP 5800 - 256Gbps
48 Port HP 2910 - 176Gbps
48 Port HP 1810 - 104Gbps
Yet they're all classed as gigabit switches, so it's certainly a spec to look out for - higher is of course better
Higher shouldn't be equated as better, without context within which to make that determination.
For example, I wouldn't say that a 747 is a better plane than a Tornado, because it holds more people - as the metric for determining value might be that the plane be a fighter jet...
It all depends on needs - i'd not expect a school to see the levels of traffic that would require the 5800 series switches, the 2910 would be perfectly functional. The 1910 isn't much use IMO due to its lack of 10Gbit ports - using it would cost you more to trunk the 4 SFP ports together to get 4Gbit than buying a 2910 - but then again, it depends on your traffic needs.
In this context it is correct however. The higher the switching capacity, the more the switch can move around.
The point I was trying to make is the HP 1810 has a similar switching capacity to that of a 10/100 switch, so the fact workstations would connect at 1000Mbps, you'd get comparatively poor performance in terms of transfer speeds, if you were expecting much higher speeds than 10/100.
Every situation should be looked at and decisions be made according to the needs of the individual network.
Well, hardware is not everything. Look at the software features, instead.
e.g. HP 2910al. Great switch, more power than a 3500yl, 10Gbe options, but software? It is still on "procurve version 14.x" No signs of K.15
HP 1810: Look at the firmware size and compare to the V1910 series... LACP with 4x 1Gbit/s is working very well on the V1910 (== ex 3Com 2928/2952 series).
Talking about the A5800 (== H3C S5800). You take that one, if you like to build e.g. a MPLS/VPLS network, running BGP IPv4/IPv6, OSFPv2/v3, ISIS IPv4/IPv6 with PIM-SM/SSM IPv4/IPv6 multicast routing...
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