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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Managing a Cisco 2900 Switch?

    Okay, I found a great deal on a 2924EN-XL 8MB with the latest IOS software and I got it on the network last night. ($150 from a guy 6 blocks away, still in the original box, perfect condition, with manuals, cords, etc.)

    I figured out how to configure some things, like ntp and dns but what I would really like is some kind of guide to the basic management of it, common configuration stuff. Something that's not a tutorial, but like a large command reference or real-world how-to guides.

    I've looked at hundreds of pages of Cisco's IOS documentation and it's just disgustingly organized and presented and there's no user feedback or suggestions, or common problems. So are there any good forums that are very active and have lots of searchable archives with info on a switch like this, or how-to guides, FAQ's, etc?

    I've really done a lot of searching but haven't found that one great source of information that ties everything together.

    Suggestions?

    -Jon
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    175
    O'Reilly's Cisco IOS in a Nutshell. Just read the whole thing and now I feel like an expert
    Fork Networking - 1995-2010+
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    5,017
    Eek, you are doing this as a learning exercise right? its not on a production network?
    Can't we all just get along

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Portland, OR
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    Eek, you are doing this as a learning exercise right?
    But of course
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  5. #5
    Search cisco.com they provide well written documentation about their equipment.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2004
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    Portland, OR
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    uhm, yea. Suuuuure it is.
    Fork Networking - 1995-2010+
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Amsterdam, NL
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    642

    Re: Managing a Cisco 2900 Switch?

    Originally posted by apexio

    I've looked at hundreds of pages of Cisco's IOS documentation and it's just disgustingly organized and presented and there's no user feedback or suggestions, or common problems. So are there any good forums that are very active and have lots of searchable archives with info on a switch like this, or how-to guides, FAQ's, etc?

    -Jon
    Well... its a pretty basic switch, there isn't that much that needs managing.

    Things we do when a new (acess layer) switch is connected to our network

    - update IOS (if needed)
    - set IP settings (address, dns, gw)
    - set timezone
    - set ntp
    - disable http
    - set telnet and snmp access-lists
    - set snmp community
    - add switch to our managment system
    - shutdown all interfaces (except vlan1 & uplinks)
    - setup remote syslog

    When we connect a customer we "no shut" that interface and add an interface description.

    Most of the things mentioned above dont really need howto's. If you do need pointers let me know.
    Or are you planning on doing fancy things with the switch?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    175
    Well, I wanted to know what I *could* do with it. What I'm interested in doing is well, let me list my setup.

    I want to use a bridging FreeBSD box as a traffic shaper and firewall (it's all setup and running as a bridge now). But if that server goes down I want the 2924 to stop using it so the network doesn't go down. I'm not sure of the best way to do this.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Amsterdam, NL
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    Originally posted by apexio
    Well, I wanted to know what I *could* do with it. What I'm interested in doing is well, let me list my setup.

    I want to use a bridging FreeBSD box as a traffic shaper and firewall (it's all setup and running as a bridge now). But if that server goes down I want the 2924 to stop using it so the network doesn't go down. I'm not sure of the best way to do this.
    Step1:
    Uplink (to the world) connected to interface fa0/1
    FBSD 1st NIC (outside) connected to interface fa0/2
    FBSD 2nd NIC (inside) connected to interface fa0/3
    all other servers connect to interfaces fa0/4 --> last

    Step2:
    put interfaces fa0/1 and fa0/2 in vlan2

    Step3:
    all other interfaces in vlan1

    Step4:
    create a script that verifies that FBSD is still doing its job.
    If FBSD is down let the script telnet to the switch and put int fa0/1 in vlan1

    Presto...

  10. #10
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    Location
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    Hmm, I thought there was some way to let the switch, switch between uplinks if one router went down.. spanning-tree? I want to have the switch manage it all, no outside scripts.

    Thanks for the setup info though, i was looking at it differently and yuor setup would be better. How do you relate vlan's to physical interfaces?

    Thanks,
    Jon
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Amsterdam, NL
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    Originally posted by apexio
    Hmm, I thought there was some way to let the switch, switch between uplinks if one router went down.. spanning-tree? I want to have the switch manage it all, no outside scripts.
    spanning tree works if there is a layer2 loop. Which is not the case when you are using the FBSD box.

    Thanks for the setup info though, i was looking at it differently and yuor setup would be better. How do you relate vlan's to physical interfaces?
    Nothing fancy.
    - conf t
    - interface fa0/X
    - switchport acces vlanY
    - end

    X = interface number
    Y = vlan number

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    I was thinking of a setup like this:

    Unmanaged Switch -> Uplink
    Cisco Switch fa/1 -> Unmanaged Switch
    FBSD 1st NIC -> Unmanaged Switch
    FBSD 2nd NIC -> fa/2

    Hence it makes a loop. By default it would use fa/2 to FBSD, to the unmanaged switch, and then out the uplink port. If FBSD goes down, it uses fa/1 to the unmanaged switch and then out the uplink port.

    Could spanning-tree be used in this setup to automatically re-negotiate a route if FBSD went down?
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Amsterdam, NL
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    There is a slight chance you could get it to work.
    Possibly by setting the spanning-tree cost higher for one of the interfaces.

    But I must advise against it.

    That setup would only work if the FBSD box powers down.
    If FBSD hangs or the pf rules get f*cked up your servers are unreachable.

    My previous suggestion with a script would be better.

    btw.. I usually do not trust unmanageble switches. it would be a waste to go through all this trouble and build a high availability network with an unmanageable switch as a single point of faillure.

  14. #14
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    Location
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm just trying to make the network as reliable as possible. I dont trust the FBSD box to stay up all the time so I'm not going to use it unless it could automatically be bypassed. I'll try something along the lines of your first recommendation.

    -jon
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  15. #15
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    Amsterdam, NL
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    You can trust FreeBSD to keep running forever... (well.. more or less...)

    I have never seen a correctly managed FreeBSD fail/crash/hang unless it had faulty hardware

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