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Help with switch purchase...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have never needed a switch before; however, I do know a lot about them as I have taken a class or two in the OSI Network model... I don't have any experience in actually working on or working with any network switch in a network so I don't know what brand is reliable or what specs are just gimmick sales jargon and what specs are actually required specs for what I am looking to do... I have spent some time researching them and was wondering if any of these would be good to have in my intranet.

I need/want:
PoE
SNMP
QoS
SMB
LACP
VLAN
Jumbo Frames
Smart, Unmanaged, or Managed*
16 - 24 ports (Full Duplex 10/100/1000)
Layer 3 or Layer 4

*I support at least three apple devices, a couple Win7/8 boxes, two Arch Linux boxes, and one CentOS home server.. So if I get managed it will need to be cross-platformed and not Windows only management software...

I have at least two printers, three desktops, four laptops, a FreeNAS box, and a home server box... I have mostly just had one printer on WIFI and the other local to one machine which is a pain, also having to use wireless for most of my desktop/laptops at home which is okay when not next to plugs or outdoors, but I am sure it would be better to use Ethernet port while just sitting in my desk... I wanted to use a wired switch to enable better internal communication in my house... I am also thinking about getting a Roku 3 box.. and more Storage and hosting from a real server box instead of the crummy old desktop I use. So I have alot of systems that would be using a switch and thus the reason for using something future proof with 16+ RJ-45 ports.

So far I have been eyeing these: (I know these don't have all of the specs I want but I heard nothing but good things about Netgear switches and well they have a lot of what I want...)

This one only has 8 ports but good specs: Netgear GS110TP-100NAS

NetGear GS716T-200NAS

NetGear GS724T-300NAS

It really seems like I only see Netgear in the SOHO realm with anything good ... If any of you have anything else as recommendation like Juniper or Cisco or some other brand... I really could use the help. biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 22
How much are you err looking to spend?

(Also switches are layer 2/3 smile.gif )
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post #3 of 22
those are very cheap. i have used 3com, HP, Dell, and a lot of cisco switches. most newer ones have a web GUI once you set up the management IP address for the switch (through console port i assume). If they have good reviews and you are comfortable with it, get it.

for your application, i cannot see a reason you would need a layer 3 switch. layer 2 will work fine. the only benefit of a layer 3 switch is that switching between subnets and vlans can be done right from the device instead of going through a router.

make sure you can find documentation on the type of switch you get, it will help a lot. i have spent a lot of time in cisco (2 years now) and understand most commands, and have found that many other switches will be mostly similar (on the command line) but they will change some key things (for example port mirroring was not the same on the 3com (i think) as it was on cisco, but there was hundreds of walk throughs for doing it on a cisco switch, not on 3com)

when you said you needed a switch, i was expecting to see ones in the $400-$1000 range. so if those ones you picked out are any good and have a GUI, then they might actually be a pretty good find
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulquiorra View Post

How much are you err looking to spend?

(Also switches are layer 2/3 smile.gif )

there are also layer 4 switches. they use TCP/UDP port numbers to help with routing, but otherwise act like a layer 3 switch
in the OSI model, layer 2 is MAC address routing, layer 3 is IP address routing, and layer 4 is port numbers
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker22dallas View Post

there are also layer 4 switches. they use TCP/UDP port numbers to help with routing, but otherwise act like a layer 3 switch
in the OSI model, layer 2 is MAC address routing, layer 3 is IP address routing, and layer 4 is port numbers

Yea so after looking theoretically having a Layer 4 switch would be awesome but I am looking at like $2000+ for one of those... layer 4 is considered "hardware-based layer 3" switch which can manage traffic by port number from the transportation layer header to make decisions based on rules...

I am probably looking for Layer 3... from looking at the price... Would layer 2 be dictated by the router? Which would mean I wouldn't have to copy over most of my rules from my router right now? specool.gif


*OMG post #666!!! devil.gifdevil-smiley-019.gifdevil.gif
Edited by adramalech707 - 9/3/13 at 9:54am
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post #6 of 22
switches function completely different from a router. with a layer 2 switch, you set port associations and can control which vlan each computer is on, vlan 1 is default, and unless you specifically set a different one, any computer in vlan 1 can communicate. in order to route between vlans, traffic needs to be forwarded to a router. i assume you have an integrated router on your network, and not an actual router. Integrated wireless routers have an internet port (external or to the modem) then just an unmanaged layer 2 switch (usually 5 ports) and a wireless access point built in.

if you are looking for a plug and play solution, with some minor configurations, layer 2 will work fine.

at my work, for desk groups, we use these TreneNet green switches which are unmanaged and don't have POE, but you can use POE injectors (like this)

having a managed switch has a lot more configurations, but most people don't need such configurations in a home network.

another option, which we use in remote warehouses, is wireless bridges. where we can have one wireless access point in the middle of the warehouse, then any computers that need network access can have a box that connects to the wireless and has 5 network ports. I don't know the specific model we use, but i could look it up if needed

edit: changed bold word from routers because i'm clueless and can't write
Edited by rocker22dallas - 9/3/13 at 10:15am
post #7 of 22
You're probably going to be stuck in 'smart' switch land with 'gigabit' and 'poe' in the same sentence. Even 3560/3750G-PS switches go for over a grand used on eBay.

What do you plan on running off of PoE? If it's one or two devices I'd just suggest using injectors. If you have a bunch of phones/cameras/only-G-or-lower-APs or something, a 10/100 PoE switch would save you a chunk of change (you could even do your LACP lab with dual gigabit uplinks to the core-non-poe switch).
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker22dallas View Post

switches function completely different from a router. with a layer 2 switch, you set port associations and can control which vlan each computer is on, vlan 1 is default, and unless you specifically set a different one, any computer in vlan 1 can communicate. in order to route between vlans, traffic needs to be forwarded to a router. i assume you have an integrated router on your network, and not an actual router. Integrated wireless routers have an internet port (external or to the modem) then just an unmanaged layer 2 switch (usually 5 ports) and a wireless access point built in.

if you are looking for a plug and play solution, with some minor configurations, layer 2 will work fine.

at my work, for desk groups, we use these TreneNet green switches which are unmanaged and don't have POE, but you can use POE injectors (like this)

having a managed switch has a lot more configurations, but most people don't need such configurations in a home network.

another option, which we use in remote warehouses, is wireless bridges. where we can have one wireless access point in the middle of the warehouse, then any computers that need network access can have a box that connects to the wireless and has 5 network ports. I don't know the specific model we use, but i could look it up if needed

edit: changed bold word from routers because i'm clueless and can't write

I have an ASUS RT-AC66U (non-tomato stock firmware, doesn't have good 5GHz band firmware support yet) thumb.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

You're probably going to be stuck in 'smart' switch land with 'gigabit' and 'poe' in the same sentence. Even 3560/3750G-PS switches go for over a grand used on eBay.

What do you plan on running off of PoE? If it's one or two devices I'd just suggest using injectors. If you have a bunch of phones/cameras/only-G-or-lower-APs or something, a 10/100 PoE switch would save you a chunk of change (you could even do your LACP lab with dual gigabit uplinks to the core-non-poe switch).

I have solar panels that run off of PoE for the controller to send usage data to the electricity 3rd party leasing company so I can get flat rate electricity instead of getting raped in California... I might have more PoE devices add on in the future like IP Cams and range extenders etc...

Yea that is what I thought being stuck with "Smart". I don't mind "Smart" as long as the algorithms/heuristics used aren't crap. I might just have to get PoE injectors like Rocker22dallas has addressed in an earlier post... getting VLAN/ LACP management done auto-magically might be the best bet with the least amount of headache... lol


+Rep to both of you for the good help!
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post #9 of 22
How many devices and how much bandwidth do you expect to use simultaneously?
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post #10 of 22
your ASUS RT-AC66U cannot route between vlans. so having a managed switch is almost pointless. I assume you will still be using the router as the DHCP server? in order to use different vlans, you would need a router that could do inter-VLAN routing. it sounds to me like you only need something to segment your network a little bit more.

if you got something similar to the trendnet green switches i recommended, a box of cable (cat5e) some tools to put ends on, and a bag of ends (if you want to go through all that, you can also buy cable for cheap on newegg) you could make a mesh using these switches using POE injectors for your solar controllers. Keep in mind, that ethernet cannot be run over 100 Meters without signal degradation. so pace out the distance first. i generally try to keep cat5 runs below 80 meters, which can be paced out and leave a little room for error. (cat6 is solid core and can be pushed a little closer to 100 M comfortably, and also runs at a higher frequency)

using that router i cannot see a reason to go all out and get a managed switch

here is an example of the network you could make for your home network:


edit: notice the orange connections to some of the switches, and that is because the links are redundant. you only need one route, and all others will be turned off automagically by the switches.
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