Networking - ethernet switches

July 14, 2009 at 07:24:22
Specs: Windows XP
I have a blade server running on a network of 23 computers. I have one old 24 port dell powerconnect 2124 ethernet switch and a 20mbit broadband connection... all my ports are used up apart from one number 25... can I attach another ethernet switch using a crossover cable from this lone port 25 to say another but newer 24 port dell powerconnect 3524 to add more computers onto my network ? any help please ... gy dot barton at g mail dot com thanks

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#1
July 14, 2009 at 07:30:08
Yep, you can. You may even be able to use a straight through cable. Most newer switches automatically detect the cable type in use and adjust accordingly. Also, with most switches, there is no "uplink port" (as you would find on a hub), but some do have a higher speed port (such as gigabyte Ethernet or even fiber) to connect one switch to another.

-Ryan Adams
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Paid Tech Support: Black Diamond


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#2
July 14, 2009 at 08:04:50
Thanks for your help, I wanted to be 100% sure before I spend the boss's money on a £260 new ethernet switch.. only to find out it wont work.

ps. are you the ryan adams ? singer songwriter ?


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#3
July 14, 2009 at 08:31:42
No, I am not :(

The high-quality, high-price switches certainly have their place, but there is also something to be said about cheap, consumer grade switches. Depending on the needs of your organization, a $40 consumer grade switch from newegg/Frys/etc. might work just as well. How many additional computers do you plan on connection? What speed is your current network (100mbps)? Do you need a switch that allows advanced routing or other features?

-Ryan Adams
Free Computer Tips and more:http://RyanTAdams.com

Paid Tech Support: Black Diamond


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#4
July 14, 2009 at 08:47:47
well .. im a bit gutted ur not him actually, he is quite good lol

The network at the moment is running through the old ethernet switch dell powerconnect 2124, which I dont think is that fast nor has the advanced router web setup. So im a little torn as the boss wants the same router but as its a discontinued model is hard to get. Im a little reluctant to swap brands - dell allthough expensive, all the equipment has lasted with out faults or glitches.

At the moment I have had to use 2 ports off the router. We are having a new phone system installed within the next few weeks so ive set up a computer in ther server room to act as a dedicated machine to run the phone software on which is patched ( at the moment to the router - not the switch!)

I have to link the cctv system up plus a few of the machines in the factory. Its a growing company so Id definatley need a minimum of 24 ports. if at a later date and i need to I should be able to link another ethernet switch right ? ... like a daisy chain ?

Do you recommend a ethernet switch ?


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#5
July 14, 2009 at 09:31:35
Well your only options here are hubs or switches, and switches are definitely the way to go. You can in theory daisy chain switches together almost indefinitely.

The 2124 has 24 10/100 ports and 1 10/100/1000 port. The ideal way to set these up would be to have your router connect to a PowerCOnenct 2508 (which has 8 10/100/1000 ports), then connect the 10/100/1000 port on each of the 2124 switches you have to a port on the 2508. Also connect any servers with 10/100/1000 ports to the 2508. Then connect all your other devices (that max out at 100mbps) to the 2124 switches.

That is the ideal way. It's best to use the 1000mbps connection between all routers/switches/servers, but you can of course connect them in pretty much any way you want, and depending on your network, may not notice any performance decrease.

-Ryan Adams
Free Computer Tips and more:http://RyanTAdams.com

Paid Tech Support: Black Diamond


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#6
July 14, 2009 at 09:54:52
Your 2124 is plugged into the router...........correct?

If yes, then your new switch should also be plugged into the router and not daisy chained into the 2124. Daisy chaining causes an aggregation of bandwidth. Which is to say, the link from the 2124 will not only be carrying the load of it's own traffic, but also that of your new switch as well should you daisy chain it.

Whenever possible, one does not want to daisy chain switches.

When you say, "We are having a new phone system installed within the next few weeks..." I'm guessing you're talking about a VoIP system. If so, will it require VLAN tagging? If yes, then you'll need a managed switch. So make sure you understand fully what your new phone system will require. It would totally suck to buy an unmanaged switch and discover you need to be capable of VLAN tagging after spending the money.

Its a growing company so Id definatley need a minimum of 24 ports. if at a later date and i need to I should be able to link another ethernet switch right ? ... like a daisy chain ?

If it's a growing company, do yourself a favor and buy a high-density 48 port switch instead of a 24. This allows for a lot more expansion without having to buy more equipment in a year or two.

As for the whole daisy chainging theory, again, I can't stress enough how important it is to not daisy chain when you can avoid it. If you keep daisy chaining switches eventually you hit a saturation point where the one that actually has the uplink to the rest of your network can't support the bandwidth and all switches in the chain stop communicating.

Do you recommend a ethernet switch ?

That's pretty much the only option available. As far as I know, nobody even manufactures hubs anymore and even if they do....you don't want to use one. Hubs broadcast ALL traffic to ALL ports on the device. Whereas a switch intelligently transfers traffic using a mapping of MAC address to port number so the traffic only goes where it's supposed to....not to everybody plugged inot the device. With a hub you have all kinds of issues from too many collisions to broadcast storms.


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#7
July 15, 2009 at 01:39:43
Thank you for all your help. Yes the phones will be a VoIP system. So what your saying is that the current 2124 wont be able to deal with the new VoIP sytem ?

If that is tha case I can put forward a proposal to replace the existing 24 port 2124 for a 48 port ethernet managed switch.


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#8
July 15, 2009 at 03:47:18

Regarding the removal and installation of the Ethernet switch's;

Is it as simple as uplugging the old and plugging in the new.. ?

I mean... I dont have to configure the server or re-configure the networked computers do i ?


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#9
July 15, 2009 at 05:59:51
Thank you for all your help. Yes the phones will be a VoIP system. So what your saying is that the current 2124 wont be able to deal with the new VoIP sytem ?

That depends on the phones and their requirements. The Nortel VoIP phones we use at work require VLAN's. If yours do (it will say in the documentation) then you'll need a managed VLAN capable switch. If however, they do not require VLAN'ing, then your 2124 should be good enough. You'll want to carefully read through the requirements for the phones and phone system so you know exactly what is required to run them before you purchase/deploy any equipment.....including the phones themselves.


Regarding the removal and installation of the Ethernet switch's;

Is it as simple as uplugging the old and plugging in the new.. ?

I mean... I dont have to configure the server or re-configure the networked computers do i ?

In the case of an unmanaged switch, yes, it's that simple. A managed switch would be a little more work because you'd have to do configuration on it.


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#10
July 15, 2009 at 06:16:22

What do you mean id have to configure it ?

What part would I have to configure ?

When the new phones are ready to be installed ( this is not something i will be doing) I would have thought the phone company will sort all that out to get it up and running on the network.

I need to have the least amount of downtime for the network. Idealy I would like to purchase a 48port Ethernet switch that i can just plug in - in replace of the old one.

is that possible ?


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#11
July 15, 2009 at 07:56:15
What do you mean id have to configure it ?

A managed switch requires configuration. It has to be given an IP address, the VLAN's need to be configured and assigned to ports etc etc etc.

When the new phones are ready to be installed ( this is not something i will be doing) I would have thought the phone company will sort all that out to get it up and running on the network.

If you've contracted the phone company to do the actual install/setup then they're the ones that need to worry about whether or not the phones require VLAN's etc so you don't need to bother.

I need to have the least amount of downtime for the network. Idealy I would like to purchase a 48port Ethernet switch that i can just plug in - in replace of the old one.

is that possible ?

If you aren't trying to daisy chain the new switch to the old one you can do just that without issue.


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#12
July 15, 2009 at 09:27:45
ok right I see, so even if i purchased a new 48 port managed switch i can just unplug the old unmanaged switch, plug the new one in - and the network will work as before without the need to mess about with the setting and configurations ?

yeah the phone company will be installing it all, all they have asked me to do is make sure there is a computer free to run the dedicated software on and it should have a static ip address.


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#13
July 15, 2009 at 12:22:00
ok right I see, so even if i purchased a new 48 port managed switch i can just unplug the old unmanaged switch, plug the new one in - and the network will work as before without the need to mess about with the setting and configurations ?

Kinda sorta.........lol.

If you buy a managed switch, you will have to do some configuration on it before you put it into production.

You would of course want to test it to ensure it's working properly before moving connections from the old switch to the new.


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#14
July 16, 2009 at 01:37:57
ow ... well as you can tell ive been thrown in at the deep end, I havnt been at the company long and there isnt an IT manager or network admin. as I know a bit more about computers than the rest in the company its been left to me to deal with. I havnt any idea how to set up the managed switch when I buy the replacement. so looks like im up sh*ts creek without a padle.

Thanks for all your help though, I know that the old switch has got to be replaced by a larger managed switch. But a managed switch is no good as i wouldnt be able to set it up... lol


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#15
July 16, 2009 at 14:31:44
Most of the switches come with manuals and are pretty easy to figure out. You might just stay late one day, swap in the new managed switch and play around with it. If you can't get it working, put the old switch back in for the business day and then try again later.

-Ryan Adams
Free Computer Tips and more:http://RyanTAdams.com

Paid Tech Support: Black Diamond


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