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  1. #1
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    Question Recs for Quality "Small Needs" L3 Switch that does VLANS?

    Hi

    I need a basic L3 switch for maybe 25 mbps that will do hopefully up to 50 VLANs and which will not require me to hire someone to configure it.

    As much as I like Cisco, that rules them out.

    The reason I'd like a Layer 3 switch is so that I can run my backups and inter-server transfers without adding to my bandwidth bill. Also, VLANS are a critical requirement as i have a lot of customers with root on their managed servers.

    So i am looking at HP [gasp] switches. How "easy" is the web-based configuration widget? [I'm an advanced unix admin but networking is a mystery to me.]

    This is a starter switch and once i have a full cab of servers I'll be able to spend $7K on a pair of 3560s and hire someone to configure them for me ... but until then what can i get to meet my requirements?

    Thanks!
    George Donnelly / Systems Administrator
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  2. #2
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    You'd be surprised how easy what you are describing is to do on a Cisco. If you are willing to put in a little Google effort I think you'd come up to speed quickly.
    Anthony M. Faoro II - tmf [at] adtaq.com - (425) 444-8787 ex 7000
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyAdtaq
    You'd be surprised how easy what you are describing is to do on a Cisco. If you are willing to put in a little Google effort I think you'd come up to speed quickly.
    Thanks. I guess that, while I want to be Cisco-proficient at some point, I don't really have the time to do it right now and want an easy way to get an L3 switch up and running. I have heard that the HP web interface is easy...
    George Donnelly / Systems Administrator
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  4. #4
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    What you asked for:
    http://www.trendnet.com/products/TEG-160WS.htm

    Where to buy:
    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?so...WS&sa=N&tab=wf

    They do have 24 /52 port versions as well.

    ok now for comments:
    I dont know that I would put customers on anything other than industry standard (read cisco) switching gear.

    Having said that I have 14 Servers on a 24 port version of that switch for inhouse traffic (which is most likely alot more utilization) without any issues, the problem you run into is Trunking, if you dont care about your trunk then this is a really good cost effective solution.
    Last edited by Dave W; 09-05-2006 at 02:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Cisco 3550, hands down. As Tony said, a Cisco plus a little time spent Googling is well worth it.

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tical
    Cisco 3550, hands down. As Tony said, a Cisco plus a little time spent Googling is well worth it.
    Make sure you the the EMI model of the 3550. That should get you the ability to route with BGP also.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by meridock
    Make sure you the the EMI model of the 3550. That should get you the ability to route with BGP also.
    I don't think the OP needs BGP; additionally, the 3550 is probably the very last device I would recommend for BGP...
    SDCServers.com
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  8. #8
    I probably should have been more specific. I am not talking "full internet" routes - more along the lines of the L3 handoffs like VzB does. something that allows the defualt origin, and health checks for uplinks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDC-Eric
    I don't think the OP needs BGP; additionally, the 3550 is probably the very last device I would recommend for BGP...
    You can hack some of the Linksys broadband routers to run BGP -- I think that wins my vote as the last device I would use.

    If you do end up going the Cisco route, I agree that EMI is not necessary at this point for you. It's a software upgrade, so you can always buy it later if you need it.

    A Cisco 3550 is really not that difficult to administer..
    Code:
    vlan 10
    name I_AM_VLAN10
    
    
    interface vlan10  
    description I am VLAN10's IP interface
    ip address <ip> <mask>
    no shut
    
    interface fastethernet0/<port#>  
    description I am a port in VLAN 10
    swtichport
    switchport mode access
    switchport access vlan 10
    no shut
    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Pretty straightforward...

    You should start with the switch vendor you plan to use long term. Configuration consistency and standardization will be most helpful in high-pressure situations. Personally, for anything up to a couple hundred megabit I'd save my money and go HP Procurve or something similar; that way buying 2 doesn't hurt your budget as much. (We RMA Cisco parts every week, their stuff does break. Sometimes rather spectacularly) Cisco makes decent stuff, but there's nothing magical about any particular vendor at that bandwidth level.

    Eric
    Eric Spaeth
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  10. #10
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    I am still wondering why you actually need an L3 switch, I imagine you are being charged for bandwidth with the current setup because your servers are in different vLan's allocated from the provider, but on the same switch, so effectively you are hitting their network to get back to your own switch? Am I right? If so there are ways around this that will save you buying a switch ...

    Honestly, if you're going to go this route you need something rock solid, the HP's are pretty decent as are Cisco's but you have to be prepared to use the CLI to do what you want. Web interfaces are not extensive on many switches.

    I would personally reccomend a 3550 / 3560, and these can be picked up for much less than your quoted price of $3500 each.

    Dan

  11. #11
    I have one lasty set of comments (maybe ) Talk to your provider, since you don't "know" any particular router, a quick conversation with the provider may point you in the right direction for the short and medium term since you have to interface with their tech support if you have an issue. And during the conversation ask about redundant handoffs, etc. this may drive you to one switch vendor or the next. Any of the higher end switches, ie Riverstone, Cisco, Foundry, etc are good, but some have a stronger support in the provider market (Cisco)

    Example:
    for the same basic feature set a one of the Riverstone matches the switching and L3 performance of the 3550, at have the cost, but who knows the "IOS" of the Riverstone so you are left trouble shooting this via the interweb.

    I still say, having access to the EMI can be good but as the above poster mentions; it can be added later if you went into a network design where basic BGP is needed for a better redundant uplink to the same provider. (I am thinking of the UUNET/WORLDCOM/MCI/Verizon centers in particular, but others like the edge to be L3 when you get a second uplink.)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridock
    Make sure you the the EMI model of the 3550. That should get you the ability to route with BGP also.
    I honestly don't see anything in the EMI that I would need, or why i would need to BGP route for my requirements...?
    George Donnelly / Systems Administrator
    High Speed Rails inc. / FOSS Hosting
    http://highspeedrails.com
    "Linux is Luke. FreeBSD is Yoda."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorBlue - Dan
    I am still wondering why you actually need an L3 switch, I imagine you are being charged for bandwidth with the current setup because your servers are in different vLan's allocated from the provider, but on the same switch, so effectively you are hitting their network to get back to your own switch? Am I right? If so there are ways around this that will save you buying a switch ...
    yes, that's right.
    George Donnelly / Systems Administrator
    High Speed Rails inc. / FOSS Hosting
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    "Linux is Luke. FreeBSD is Yoda."

  14. #14
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    thanks everyone for your recommendations.
    George Donnelly / Systems Administrator
    High Speed Rails inc. / FOSS Hosting
    http://highspeedrails.com
    "Linux is Luke. FreeBSD is Yoda."

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by HSRGeorge
    I honestly don't see anything in the EMI that I would need, or why i would need to BGP route for my requirements...?

    Do you still want me to answer this?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridock
    Example:
    for the same basic feature set a one of the Riverstone matches the switching and L3 performance of the 3550, at have the cost, but who knows the "IOS" of the Riverstone so you are left trouble shooting this via the interweb.
    If your interfaces are HRT, then yes. Otherwise a definite no. The jury is still out on route-maps using the Riverstone platform as well. They would seem to be far superior to the Cisco 3550 (if you can keep everything in hardware), but they have no way of showing you when it's done in hardware and when it's done by the RP (a la "hrt test acl-compatibility", but for route-maps).

    I wouldn't recommend that anyone try their hand at Riverstone these days. ROS is not that difficult to learn; it's very similar to IOS, but the behavior is anything but similar to Cisco. Their user support list (a la cisco-nsp) has been defunct for more than a year now. In short, stay away

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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tical
    If your interfaces are HRT, then yes. Otherwise a definite no. The jury is still out on route-maps using the Riverstone platform as well. They would seem to be far superior to the Cisco 3550 (if you can keep everything in hardware), but they have no way of showing you when it's done in hardware and when it's done by the RP (a la "hrt test acl-compatibility", but for route-maps).

    I wouldn't recommend that anyone try their hand at Riverstone these days. ROS is not that difficult to learn; it's very similar to IOS, but the behavior is anything but similar to Cisco. Their user support list (a la cisco-nsp) has been defunct for more than a year now. In short, stay away

    Riverstone was an example, but the info tical noted is consistent with other comments I have heard

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSRGeorge
    yes, that's right.
    In that case don't buy a switch. Just add routes to the servers to tell them where the other vLan is (on ethernet interface X), very simple and will save you a lot of money. For example on Linux machines:

    ip route add 192.168.0.0/24 eth0

    This will tell the server that the above netblock is accessible directly on eth0 without going through a router.

    Dan
    Last edited by dkitchen; 09-09-2006 at 05:01 PM.

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