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Wireless Networks Thread, New Core Switch- Recommendations? in Technical; We're just about to add a couple of sites to our existing campus which will require at least an additional ...
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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    New Core Switch- Recommendations?

    We're just about to add a couple of sites to our existing campus which will require at least an additional 2 fibre connections on our main core swich (currently full). We've also got a new blade chassis (on gigabit ethernet connections) that's hanging off a switch connected to the current core switch. Obviously this is far from ideal so I was thinking given this expansion now would be the ideal time to start looking at a replacement core switch so we can return to a full star network topology with all of the servers hanging directly off the main switch.
    In terms of connection we'd need the following as a minumum :-

    *At least 14 Fibre Connections (to cope with current servers and uplinks plus future expansion)

    * At least 10 gigabit ethernet ports

    Currently all of the switches on our network are 3com (a mix of 4900s and 4400s). If we needed to I think we might be able to buy additional stacking units but given current developments (and likely future ones) on the site I think that a new core switch would be the better more future proof option.
    I was thinking about something like the 3com modular chassis below fitting with a gigabit module and a fibre module :-

    3COM 3C16894-UK 3Com Switch 7754 4-Slot Chassis Bundle
    http://www.3com.com/products/en_US/d...se&sku=3C16894

    it's difficult to predict what options we might use in future (VOIP,PoE,80211N) but does anyone have any suggestions for alternatives to the 3com above and are there any features we should be looking for in particular? Would a modular option be the best bet or are stacks perhaps untimately more flexible?

    Any recommendations/advice would be appreciated?

    TIA

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    Netman's Avatar
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    We bought an HP 5406zl-48G in the summer... 48 GB copper ports and added a 24 port fibre Gbic module... came to less than £6k for the core, which I thought was very reasonable. We also replaced all our edge switching with Procurve stuff and I'm very pleased with it so far. Reliable and fast with plenty of features should you need them...

    I think modular is the way to go personally...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Netman View Post
    We bought an HP 5406zl-48G in the summer... 48 GB copper ports and added a 24 port fibre Gbic module... came to less than £6k for the core, which I thought was very reasonable. We also replaced all our edge switching with Procurve stuff and I'm very pleased with it so far. Reliable and fast with plenty of features should you need them...

    I think modular is the way to go personally...
    Same recommendation from me. I've just spent the morning playing with the Wireless services module add on for the ZL.

    Module and test RPs arrived yesterday. So far I have the Procurve APs downloading config and authenticating with 802.1x to my existing IAS setup

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Same recommendation from me. I've just spent the morning playing with the Wireless services module add on for the ZL.

    Module and test RPs arrived yesterday. So far I have the Procurve APs downloading config and authenticating with 802.1x to my existing IAS setup
    And me... We have the same here.

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Cheers for the reply's fok. £6kish works out round about the same as the 3com spec we were looking at and the HP looks like a better unit. Hopefully it'll play ball OK with the rest of our 3com switches if we go down that route!
    In fact it's looking like 3com might not be the networking powerhouse that they once were as there seem to be holes in their product range (which suggests they're struggling to get new products on the market). That and there's talk of them being bought over by a Chinese company which concerns me when it comes to getting support for it in future.
    I'm definitely of the opinion that HP would be the better option at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Cheers for the reply's fok. £6kish works out round about the same as the 3com spec we were looking at and the HP looks like a better unit. Hopefully it'll play ball OK with the rest of our 3com switches if we go down that route!
    In fact it's looking like 3com might not be the networking powerhouse that they once were as there seem to be holes in their product range (which suggests they're struggling to get new products on the market). That and there's talk of them being bought over by a Chinese company which concerns me when it comes to getting support for it in future.
    I'm definitely of the opinion that HP would be the better option at the moment.
    I suggest to give your 3com supplier a call. You allready havemany 3com switches in your network so why not give them a call. You a right that the chinese company Huawei is trying to get ahold of 3com. Another fact is that 3com and huawei are allready working together. The newest switches are Huawei internally (the 5500's). I think you can get some good switches in that product line for a good price. Why get the hassle in your network with different brands.

    bio..

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Just resurrect this thread we've had a look at the HP and have noticed that the Procurve management software seems to be cost option. Is anyone using this software and/or are there any alternatives available? Ideally I'd like something along the lines of our 3com network supervisor software that will allow us to view a diagram of all our switches to monitor network traffic for both 3com and potentially HP switches?

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    The Procurve Manager software is free, and will do pretty much everything you could want, the paid version, Procurve Manager Plus has extra bells and whistles - see here: ProCurve Manager Plus 2.3 - Features

    Personally not impressed with PCM+ as it's written in Java, thus a horrendous resource hog.

    3NS will also recognise HP switches.

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    The network supervisor works with any switch brands i think.

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    I just use the command prompt for configuring, and Cacti + Nagios for monitoring. I would have been using the HP Pro software instead, but the license details were delivered and promptly went missing!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    In fact it's looking like 3com might not be the networking powerhouse that they once were as there seem to be holes in their product range
    To be brutally honest - they never have been a networking powerhouse in the same way as Cisco (or HP nowadays). They used to make good network cards back in the day when you could only get 3Com, Intel and Adaptec - but they've never made particularly good switches.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    I'm definitely of the opinion that HP would be the better option at the moment.
    Most definatly. HP here - and happy.

    Butuz

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    [QUOTE=Butuz;208895]To be brutally honest - they never have been a networking powerhouse in the same way as Cisco (or HP nowadays). They used to make good network cards back in the day when you could only get 3Com, Intel and Adaptec - but they've never made particularly good switches.

    They did invent ethernet though so that is something!!

    3Com switches have improved leaps and bounds in the last 12 months as well.
    Last edited by western; 25th June 2008 at 12:38 PM.

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Good to know that HP offer a free version of Procurve manager. They certainly aren't keen to advertise that fact on their website!
    Happy to hear that we'll still be able to use our existing 3com network management tools even if we decide to go down the HP route aswell. We've looked at stackable options but for a core network switch I'm swaying towards a modular solution as I feel it would be more resilient and offer better expansion options than buying several switches and stacking them.


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    Were getting a 5406zl soon. We have ended up with more computer suites then I could ever have imagined so we need more fiber capacity at the core.

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    we upgraded our 4900 with a (stackable) 5500.
    I'd rather stick to one manufacturer, it's less to learn and easier to manage updates, etc.
    I don't have any complaints with 3com, support for the lifetime of the product - and the 5500 is a very good piece of kit.
    If I had a brand new network I'd consider HP though.

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