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Time for a Managed Switch?

Last response: in Toms Network
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Do you think a managed / smart switch would be useful for your SOHO LAN?

Total: 32 votes (3 blank votes)

  • Yes
  • 56 %
  • No
  • 29 %
  • Not sure
  • 16 %
March 13, 2006 3:03:58 PM

Managed / smart switches are coming down in price. Does your small network need the features that they provide?

More about : time managed switch

March 14, 2006 10:50:38 AM

Hello,

First of all your article is great and gives a good view of what this switch is like. But, I must say that this type of switch is totally useless in a Home environment where you know the users (your family members) and you can find them and smack them in the back of the head if they use too much bandwidth :wink: , you can also put them on a hub instead of a switch...

I think that for a SMB this switch would be almost perfect since it's Cisco counterparts are still very far away in terms of pricing.
March 14, 2006 12:05:43 PM

Good point about the smack on the back of the head. But there are many users for which that option doesn't seem to work. :) 

I don't understand your comment about putting users on a hub vs. a switch to control bandwidth use. Can you explain?
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March 14, 2006 1:03:15 PM

Hello,

I "manage" the very small network at my house and I have 15Mbits DSL (Yes France is nice for that). I like to have a lot of bandwidth for my selfish self when downloading or playing games online.

I have a 5 port 100Mbits Router to which my PC is connected and I can plug into it a 10Mbits 4 port router which splits 10Mbits over the 4 ports. This make sure that the other computers can only have 10Mbits at max. This is not a strategy I would put forth in a SMB obviously but for my purpose it works rather well.

Also, this cheaper managed switch would be perfect for a LAN :D 
March 14, 2006 1:06:28 PM

Quote:
Hello,

I "manage" the very small network at my house and I have 15Mbits DSL (Yes France is nice for that). I like to have a lot of bandwidth for my selfish self when downloading or playing games online.

I have a 5 port 100Mbits Router to which my PC is connected and I can plug into it a 10Mbits 4 port router which splits 10Mbits over the 4 ports. This make sure that the other computers can only have 10Mbits at max. This is not a strategy I would put forth in a SMB obviously but for my purpose it works rather well.


Ha! Very creative solution for people fortunate enough to have such high download speed! :)  Thanks for sharing the info.
March 16, 2006 1:51:51 PM

It would be good to get covered and show what options are available for these switches.

Small offices have Accounting departments that might need extra security using VLANs or disabling ports not in use.

For example, my company, while it is large, each locations works as it's own company/office - Anywhere from 5 to 20 users per location.

Now, people come and go and we have network connections through-out the building that someone could bring in a laptop, hook up, and go unnoticed for hours.

With the managed switch, you could disable the port, limit the port, or change the functionality of certain ports.

Accounting might want their own VLAN, heavy internet users might need their own section, Autocad drafters in small offices might have a lot of network traffic, etc.

Finding a cheap and easily accessible managed switch would make an excellent review.

Even Checkpoint stuff is looking good since it's far easier to use than the standard Cisco IOS.

Definately looking forward to managed switch reviews and thoughts.
March 28, 2006 6:48:49 PM

I put myself in the no category.

Here is why. I actually bought a Cisco Catalyst 2900 series switch. I configured the VLANs for various rooms and considered putting it on the production network, then I considered why. The only reason I might want to do this is because I can. It would provide me with no real benefit. I have no applications that demand more bandwidth than I can afford to provide them and at under 20 computers, the broadcast domain is not overly crowded.

Now I mostly use it just to play around with the IOS and am sticking with my unmanaged switch for the main network.

The way I see it, with a network of around 15 computers at home and a gaming lan that sees near constant use, if I don't have a use for it at home, neither would the vast majority.

oh, by the way, hi, I tend to go on a bit.
June 23, 2006 5:08:23 PM

Instead of a managed switch, I prefer a PC-based approach: IPCop (or Smoothwall, etc), then add a QoS-based bandwidth shaper. Further protect the network with more open-source pkgs to include intrusion management (e.g. Snort), antivirus (e.g. ClamAV), and antispam (e.g. spamassassin). Also, IPCop (et al) is a lot easier to manage with their web-based managers, plus you can still drop to a cmdline for more direct control. You can also add an email gateway to relay to an IMAP-based email server on your LAN.

For a truly elegant solution, make the box a decently powerful one, intall VMWare Server (soon to be free), install IPCop and other "servers" as virtual servers, all on the same box. Even better, the new VMWare Server even runs on Linux, so your total cost is merely whatever PC you make. If you want just a managed switch alternative, however, a simple 486 box works quite well.
June 19, 2007 9:16:28 PM

I recently got a D-Link gigabit managed switch and set up MRTG to monitor every port on the switch.

Mostly it just showed me how disappointingly slow my NAS is.
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