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  1. #1
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    What's a decent 48port gigabit switch?

    I'm looking to get our first full rack at the end of this year/beginning of next, just wondering what switch people would reccomend?

    Most likely we'll end up with a single 1000mbit drop, and ~30 machines.

    Although Netgear isn't my personal preference, how would a Netgear Prosafe GS748T do?

    We are on a budget however I want something which is going to be bulletproof and not cause us any issues.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    we use prosafe switches in office environments, I dont think I would recommend it for a rack though. More likely an HP procurve as I think they are more tolerant to the temperature differences that can happen in a rack. Their backplane is also much higher than the prosafe ones.

  3. #3
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    You can pick up PowerConnect 5448's for very little if you bundle them with server orders and they seem to be pretty solid.

  4. #4
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    You could try an HP Procurve or a Cisco Catalyst depending on what "on a budget" means. AFAIK NetGear is a consumer brand, similar to linksys.

  5. #5
    We are using 48 port Gigabit switch from Netgear for one of our private networks - multiple terabytes of traffic goes through it for backup purposes and it works fine. It is very cost effective solution and I think it has a very nice web interface with good features.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PipeTen View Post
    You can pick up PowerConnect 5448's for very little if you bundle them with server orders and they seem to be pretty solid.
    Stay away from Dell Powerconnect. I used them a number of times for critical infrastructure and they puked under pressure.

    That's my experience. I stick to the HP Procurves or Cisco Catalyst myself -- usually the HP's since they have lifetime warranties and are super easy to use with intuitive web management. If the feature is advanced though, you have a full telnet/SSH CLI to configure the most advanced features just like a Cisco.

    --Chris
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObjectZone View Post
    If the feature is advanced though, you have a full telnet/SSH CLI to configure the most advanced features just like a Cisco.

    --Chris

    That is my main complaint with the standard image Catalysts, actually. You have to use rsh unless you buy a "crypt" image. When you're paying a couple grand is an SSH server so much to ask for?

  8. #8
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    If you are looking to pass full 1000mbit traffic i would suggest go for cisco 3750's or 4948 catalyst if your budget allows and if u r looking for reliability for long term. Otherwise dell powerconnects are also good options you can look for them on ebay and might get a good deal.
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  9. #9
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    A Cisco 3560 sounds like it may work for you.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tulix View Post
    We are using 48 port Gigabit switch from Netgear for one of our private networks - multiple terabytes of traffic goes through it for backup purposes and it works fine. It is very cost effective solution and I think it has a very nice web interface with good features.
    Thats strange. I asked once about Netgear and people basically screaming to my face to stay away for it. How old is it now and how much traffic is it pushing it exactly?

  11. #11
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    Hey there,

    Why not an HP 2848?

    You can ebay them for around $400 - $500 w/ free shipping these days.

    Thanks,

    Francisco
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PYDOT View Post
    Thats strange. I asked once about Netgear and people basically screaming to my face to stay away for it. How old is it now and how much traffic is it pushing it exactly?
    I think unmanaged ones are not good - we had several failures during last 5 years.

    The managed one - 48 Gigaswitch is pushing on daily bases several terabytes of backup data and once per week up to 20 terabytes of data and is OK for more than 1 year.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tulix View Post
    I think unmanaged ones are not good - we had several failures during last 5 years.

    The managed one - 48 Gigaswitch is pushing on daily bases several terabytes of backup data and once per week up to 20 terabytes of data and is OK for more than 1 year.
    Well I assumed we where always talking only about managed ones, I would not even use on a small office unmanaged ones, maybe just at home for connecting the Wii and the Wifi. There is always something that needs to be tweaked and for a DC managed is the only way.

    Well, I cannot assume they are great then if you only push backups, as its always the same traffic and almost the same size at the same times. I thought it was infront of public servers. Thanks for sharing.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PYDOT View Post
    Well I assumed we where always talking only about managed ones, I would not even use on a small office unmanaged ones, maybe just at home for connecting the Wii and the Wifi. There is always something that needs to be tweaked and for a DC managed is the only way.

    Well, I cannot assume they are great then if you only push backups, as its always the same traffic and almost the same size at the same times. I thought it was infront of public servers. Thanks for sharing.
    You're welcome. I did mention in my original post that this switch is used on one of our _private_ networks.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by tulix View Post
    You're welcome. I did mention in my original post that this switch is used on one of our _private_ networks.
    I missed that one. And what switch do you use for productions environments?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by PYDOT View Post
    I missed that one. And what switch do you use for productions environments?
    In our newest data center (third one) we are using Cisco 65xx (09 and 13) for access for our customers (cabinets only).
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  17. #17
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    Cisco Catalyst 3750G-48TS would be my vote.

  18. #18
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    Cheers for the suggestions guys.

    We've got a 1000mbit drop purley so we have a bit more bandwidth to work with in the event of DoS/DDoS, although actual usage is going to be 50mbit-100mbit

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by IRCCo Jeff View Post
    Cisco Catalyst 3750G-48TS would be my vote.
    They are bit to expensive for a rack setup. Maybe for a small DC

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by tulix View Post
    In our newest data center (third one) we are using Cisco 65xx (09 and 13) for access for our customers (cabinets only).
    You mean the ones you colo cages or the ones you builded from scratch?

  21. #21
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    If it was me I would say that from real worl expierence you might be better off getting a 48 port 100Mbit with 1Gbit uplink. This will mean if one user does decide to send outbound DDOS you aren't going to get setup with a huge bill. That said I would go for Dell Powerconnects myself as never had a major issue with them if coupled with an RPS

    Rus
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by rghf View Post
    If it was me I would say that from real worl expierence you might be better off getting a 48 port 100Mbit with 1Gbit uplink. This will mean if one user does decide to send outbound DDOS you aren't going to get setup with a huge bill. That said I would go for Dell Powerconnects myself as never had a major issue with them if coupled with an RPS

    Rus
    Thats a nice tip but how about server to server connections? They would also be limited to 100 Mbps only. You could limit the port per server if you need to on Gigabit switch for each client you don't trust. To be honest I dot see any benefits going today with a 100 port switch as we are entering the 10Gig era.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarrodsl View Post
    That is my main complaint with the standard image Catalysts, actually. You have to use rsh unless you buy a "crypt" image. When you're paying a couple grand is an SSH server so much to ask for?
    I wouldn't expose external connectivity to a switch, regardless of whether it was using a plain text or encrypted protocol.

    Keep network devices on private or non-advertised IP space; if you need external access, use an ACL on your edge routers and/or use a bastion server. Cisco IOS has had its fair share of security vulnerabilities over the years.
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  24. #24
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    The lowest end switch I would consider is HP2824. We used HP switches in production for a number of years when our network was relatively simple. We continue to use a pair of HP2848 for our internal / corporate network. Beyond that, you can look at:

    Cisco 2960G (layer 2)
    Cisco 3560G (layer 3)
    Cisco 3750G (layer 3)

    Note, that with HP, only use it for layer 2.

    Either way, you are looking at a few grand for a good quality 48 port gig switch. If you just want gig uplinks, look at Cisco 3550-48 (if you will not need to support IPv6) any non G version of 2960, 3560, 3750. Also note that Cisco 3560 and 3750 are basically the same switch, except 3750 is stackable, which is nice if you plan on adding an additional switch / uplink ... you can deploy a fairly redundant network layer to all of your servers, assuming they have dual NICs that can do teaming.

    If you need inter-vlan routing on the switch, you will have to look at Cisco. Do not except NetGear, Dell, HP, SMC, Linksys switches to be able to handle any sort of layer 3 routing effectively, particularly under a DDoS.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObjectZone View Post
    Stay away from Dell Powerconnect. I used them a number of times for critical infrastructure and they puked under pressure.
    How did the PowerConnects puke on you?

  26. #26
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    I've decided it's going to be overkill to have gigabit throughout, so going for a 48x port 100mbit with gigabit uplink.

    What do you think of a HP ProCurve 2510-48 ?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCS-Chris View Post
    I'm looking to get our first full rack at the end of this year/beginning of next, just wondering what switch people would reccomend?

    Most likely we'll end up with a single 1000mbit drop, and ~30 machines.

    Although Netgear isn't my personal preference, how would a Netgear Prosafe GS748T do?

    We are on a budget however I want something which is going to be bulletproof and not cause us any issues.

    Thanks
    You can find a new or almost-new 3Com 4200G 48-port gigabit switch (3CR17662-91) on eBay at times for much less than a Cisco, but still over $1000.

    Otherwise Dell, HP or Cisco SMB (Linksys) 48-port gigabit switches are all good choices when on a budget.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    I wouldn't expose external connectivity to a switch, regardless of whether it was using a plain text or encrypted protocol.

    Keep network devices on private or non-advertised IP space; if you need external access, use an ACL on your edge routers and/or use a bastion server. Cisco IOS has had its fair share of security vulnerabilities over the years.
    It's not about putting it on a public network. It's about the fact that even on my own private networks I like to encrypt as much traffic as possible; you never know who has somehow found a way to listen in.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObjectZone View Post
    Stay away from Dell Powerconnect. I used them a number of times for critical infrastructure and they puked under pressure.


    --Chris
    we have several dell 6248's pushing 4Gbps+ without a problem.

    For L2 Dell or HP are great. Juniper has a nice 48 port gig switch as well which can be had for around 2k if you can find a good rep/vender for it.

    L3 is a whole different animal.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudstr View Post
    we have several dell 6248's pushing 4Gbps+ without a problem.

    For L2 Dell or HP are great. Juniper has a nice 48 port gig switch as well which can be had for around 2k if you can find a good rep/vender for it.

    L3 is a whole different animal.
    Several years back, I was part owner in a company that rented networking equipment for LAN Parties. (For those without a clue, LAN Parties are events held in a large stadium type venue with power, network and food for upwards of 5,000 people who bring their own computers to hook into a LAN network for interactive gaming fun, and other network file sharing types of activities.) Events were usually for ~36-48 hours of continuous activity with people playing throughout the day and night and constant network bombardment.

    Our equipment complement supported around 350 gamers at the time we closed it down. Gamers on a LAN Party network need ulta low-latency and reliable packet delivery on 100 Megabit ports uplinked by Gigabit to have an enjoyable gaming experience. We started out with a core Dell Powerconnect 5012. This switch served us during our first few events where network traffic was light and there were fewer customers. While it seemed to handle the network load okay, we encountered not 1 but *2* of the ports being defective. We managed to get it swapped under warranty, but barely. We called Dell professional services support to tell them the ports were defective and the woman in their support department insisted that they would have replacement "ports" shipped to us immediately. We asked how they intended for us to replace defective ports on a fixed port switch (Do we saw off the circuit board and port and glue the replacement in place? ROFL.), she acted clueless and insisted on individual ports. We said - "No sweetie, we need this switch operating tip top before the week is out and that's not going to cut it." She finally admitted defeat and would have a manager get back to us. After the manager called back, he apologized for the ineptitude of the previous woman we spoke to - and gave us next day, first AM delivery on a replacement switch - the whole unit - as it should be. Customer saved - for now.

    After that event, we quickly needed to expand, so we went with the Powerconnect 5224 switch with 24 GigE ports. All ports worked fine on this one, thankfully. However, at each of our events, we consistently ran across bugs in the firmware. One such example was operating for ~20 hours or so, the switch would start to lose connectivity between sections of the room. Users from one side of the room could not connect with those in other sections, but those same two sections could connect with a third section - as if the cross-switch fabric was being broken down. Another bug was in handling of broadcast packets. LAN/Game clients locate their game servers by using network broadcasts. Knowing this already, we had completely disabled broadcast flood protection on all ports of the switch -- yet, when a client PC using one of several popular network game scannner programs which blasts the network with broadcasts to locate game servers, that table's switch uplink port went into paralysis causing all clients on that given table switch to completely lag out in their games. There was not a single event that we were not forced to at least once reboot the PowerConnect 5224 core switch. After about 3 events, and no resolution through firmware updates, or even anyone at Dell that was mildly clued into the issues, we dumped Dell.

    We bought an HP Procurve 2824 and it absolutely saved us. Gamers went from a 2-3 ms ping across the network, literally less than 1 ms. Some games even reported an error that they were not expecting latency to be so low between client and server. The Dell core switch was attempting to pump out anywhere from 500Mb-6Gb/sec of transfer across the fabric and failed repeatedly. The HP was moving upwards of 8Gb/sec of traffic without even breaking a sweat. This is *ALL* L2 traffic, no L3 routing involved - one giant VLAN.

    Sorry, but this type of workload should have been a cake-walk for a Dell Powerconnect fully managed switch. In the end, Dell is clueless about it, because they just slap their name on someone else's hardware. They can't fix a firmware bug. I'm convinced that if it was a real bug, they couldn't squash it with a fly swatter. HP on the other hand, owns and builds their own equipment.

    Dell 0 - HP 1. Game over.

    --Chris
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  31. #31
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    Oh, here's another coincidence that just occurred to me.

    Just last week, an associate of mine who was unable to service one of his client's offices immediately himself called me in a rush on Thursday of last week. He asked me if I had any spare Procurves available for sale -- a local office had a Dell Powerconnect 3024 with a bad power supply. He asked for Procurve this time -- he says "I'm never using Dell again. These switches are dropping as fast as I install them." I saved the day by dropping by his customer's office and replacing the Dell with Procurve 2524 switch same day. He's tickled to death with all of the Procurve hardware he's installed and isn't scared to buy used because they work "so good".

    --Chris
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObjectZone

    ]Several years back, I was part owner in a company that rented networking equipment for LAN Parties. (For those without a clue, LAN Parties are events held in a large stadium type venue with power, network and food for upwards of 5,000 people who bring their own computers to hook into a LAN network for interactive gaming fun, and other network file sharing types of activities.) Events were usually for ~36-48 hours of continuous activity with people playing throughout the day and night and constant network bombardment.

    Our equipment complement supported around 350 gamers at the time we closed it down. Gamers on a LAN Party network need ulta low-latency and reliable packet delivery on 100 Megabit ports uplinked by Gigabit to have an enjoyable gaming experience. We started out with a core Dell Powerconnect 5012. This switch served us during our first few events where network traffic was light and there were fewer customers. While it seemed to handle the network load okay, we encountered not 1 but *2* of the ports being defective. We managed to get it swapped under warranty, but barely. We called Dell professional services support to tell them the ports were defective and the woman in their support department insisted that they would have replacement "ports" shipped to us immediately. We asked how they intended for us to replace defective ports on a fixed port switch (Do we saw off the circuit board and port and glue the replacement in place? ROFL.), she acted clueless and insisted on individual ports. We said - "No sweetie, we need this switch operating tip top before the week is out and that's not going to cut it." She finally admitted defeat and would have a manager get back to us. After the manager called back, he apologized for the ineptitude of the previous woman we spoke to - and gave us next day, first AM delivery on a replacement switch - the whole unit - as it should be. Customer saved - for now.

    After that event, we quickly needed to expand, so we went with the Powerconnect 5224 switch with 24 GigE ports. All ports worked fine on this one, thankfully. However, at each of our events, we consistently ran across bugs in the firmware. One such example was operating for ~20 hours or so, the switch would start to lose connectivity between sections of the room. Users from one side of the room could not connect with those in other sections, but those same two sections could connect with a third section - as if the cross-switch fabric was being broken down. Another bug was in handling of broadcast packets. LAN/Game clients locate their game servers by using network broadcasts. Knowing this already, we had completely disabled broadcast flood protection on all ports of the switch -- yet, when a client PC using one of several popular network game scannner programs which blasts the network with broadcasts to locate game servers, that table's switch uplink port went into paralysis causing all clients on that given table switch to completely lag out in their games. There was not a single event that we were not forced to at least once reboot the PowerConnect 5224 core switch. After about 3 events, and no resolution through firmware updates, or even anyone at Dell that was mildly clued into the issues, we dumped Dell.

    We bought an HP Procurve 2824 and it absolutely saved us. Gamers went from a 2-3 ms ping across the network, literally less than 1 ms. Some games even reported an error that they were not expecting latency to be so low between client and server. The Dell core switch was attempting to pump out anywhere from 500Mb-6Gb/sec of transfer across the fabric and failed repeatedly. The HP was moving upwards of 8Gb/sec of traffic without even breaking a sweat. This is *ALL* L2 traffic, no L3 routing involved - one giant VLAN.

    Sorry, but this type of workload should have been a cake-walk for a Dell Powerconnect fully managed switch. In the end, Dell is clueless about it, because they just slap their name on someone else's hardware. They can't fix a firmware bug. I'm convinced that if it was a real bug, they couldn't squash it with a fly swatter. HP on the other hand, owns and builds their own equipment.

    Dell 0 - HP 1. Game over.

    --Chris
    dells only "good" series switch is their 6200 series.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaAnime View Post
    Hey there,

    Why not an HP 2848?

    You can ebay them for around $400 - $500 w/ free shipping these days.

    Thanks,

    Francisco
    Seconded. Lifetime warranty from HP too I've used these in production for ages and they've never let me down.

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