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bigjohn888jb
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Best 24 port managed switches

Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:19 pm

I just lost two Netgear d5724T switches from a power surge coming through the network cables. This is the 2nd time this has happened. Are there heartier switches, or would have any failed? These are rack mounted and a third switch was OK. I thought of changing to Cisco, but have seen a lot of comments, that you are paying extra for the name, without gaining much in overall performance. I have used some Dlink dgs-1201-28's in another location and they seem pretty good.

So are there any managed switches that might give an overall performance boost (without breaking the bank)?

Also are there network cable surge protectors that might stop this from happening, but not interfere with the overall performance?

thanks,
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:29 pm

A fiber/ethernet transceiver would provide electrical isolation, but that's getting a bit pricey.
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blahsaysblah
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:39 pm

Seems bad idea to protect them. Next time they will take the next least path of resistance and fry something else. Solve the root issue.
 
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:51 pm

If the root issue is frequent nearby lightning strikes, there's not much you can do about that. Any wire of significant length is going to have an induced surge on it.
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bfg-9000
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:07 pm

Back in the early days of gigabit when it was expensive, I tried these network surge protectors from both APC and Tripp-Lite. I did think it was a good idea to short any surges to ground.

Well both of them fried in short order (no performance difference when they were working), and all of my gigabit switches have been running unprotected ever since just fine for more than 10 years. Yes they are early non-green models that must have been made from very large and robust chip technology as their chips take 3.3v or 2.5v, but switches shouldn't be that fragile and should at most lose only the one port. About the only thing wrong with them is they are so old that the managed ones have a horrendous added latency of 350microsecond = 0.35ms.

Netgear has had a lifetime warranty since 2007 so I would just get those (I assume they are GS724T) switches replaced for free. If you wanted improved performance you should look at 10/5/2.5 gigabit switches.
 
DragonDaddyBear
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:31 pm

I've been thinking of picking up a used enterprise 24-port switch off sleezbay. There is a Quanta model that sells cheap and a Dell, both with 2 10GbE ports. Are those any good? I'm guessing the quality is better than customer grade. But I'm no switch expert.

Edit: The quanta looks sketchy from reviews but the Dell power connect 5524 looks good. I'd love to hear other gerbils chime in.
 
Doctor Venture
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:42 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
A fiber/ethernet transceiver would provide electrical isolation, but that's getting a bit pricey.


Totally. Losing a fiber convertor to lightning wasn't cheap (we'd sometimes have lightning strikes hit the burial cable).

At one point, we tried used ethernet lightning surpressors, but they were worthless, so we started using some 3com NJ220 switches as sacrificial lambs. Those worked like a champ.
 
Doctor Venture
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:46 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
I've been thinking of picking up a used enterprise 24-port switch off sleezbay. There is a Quanta model that sells cheap and a Dell, both with 2 10GbE ports. Are those any good? I'm guessing the quality is better than customer grade. But I'm no switch expert.

Edit: The quanta looks sketchy from reviews but the Dell power connect 5524 looks good. I'd love to hear other gerbils chime in.


Quanta's aren't completely horrible. Just remember that they are the main OEM for whitebox switches, and tend to use really low end Broadcom ASICs, and cut a lot of corners. I've not used Dell Switches before (just 3com, Arista, Extreme, Juniper, and Cisco), so I can't comment on that. If you don't mind learning a new CLI, I want to say that I found some Summit switches from Extreme Networks for a good price on Ebay. Even the lowest end Arista switch (while still good), ain't cheap. A 3560 from Cisco is pretty decent too, as long as you don't pay too much. I've yet to find a juniper EX-series switch that was selling for a decent price. I think the cheapest I saw was $4K

EDIT: I've never used one (just their Routerboards that an OEM stuck in an outdoor NEMA4 enclosure to use as an AP/BR), but MikroTik sells managed L2/L3 switches. It's worth the 10 minutes to look at their website.
 
curtisb
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:55 pm

Big fan of Extreme Networks switches. They're stable and really easy to manage. They've made some bold moves the last few years in purchasing Enterasys Networks, Zebra Networks Wireless business (which was previously Motorola WiFi), and more recently Avaya's wired network business, and Brocades Datacenter business.

If you want to get into it cheap to check out the gear and the management tools, you can find anything from the X450 line pretty cheap on eBay. I bought a bunch of X450e-48p's on eBay for less than $150 each to keep in stock as backups. More recently we've been replacing our backbone cores with X460-G2 10GE4's.

If the Dell switches you're looking at are PowerConnect, I would consider them about on par with the Netgear switches you've been using. They may be a little better, but I don't know anyone using them to run their entire network.
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Doctor Venture
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:13 pm

curtisb wrote:
Big fan of Extreme Networks switches. They're stable and really easy to manage. They've made some bold moves the last few years in purchasing Enterasys Networks, Zebra Networks Wireless business (which was previously Motorola WiFi), and more recently Avaya's wired network business, and Brocades Datacenter business.

If you want to get into it cheap to check out the gear and the management tools, you can find anything from the X450 line pretty cheap on eBay. I bought a bunch of X450e-48p's on eBay for less than $150 each to keep in stock as backups. More recently we've been replacing our backbone cores with X460-G2 10GE4's.

If the Dell switches you're looking at are PowerConnect, I would consider them about on par with the Netgear switches you've been using. They may be a little better, but I don't know anyone using them to run their entire network.


I love Extreme's Summit switches (I haven't had a chance to play with their Black Diamond line, yet). If a user is accustomed to IOS, then Extreme's CLI can be a bit of a shock. One really nice thing, is that if you use EVE-NG or GNS3, Extreme has VMs available for free on one of their Github pages. You can experiment with their VMs (v22.2.1.5 is the the most recent right now), and their User Manual and Command Reference will walk you through everything you need to know. :D
 
curtisb
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:49 pm

Extreme has an xmod that you can load that they call "Legacy CLI". It brings in the IOS command structure for those already familiar with it. It's really not necessary though. You just have to flip your mind set to managing VLANs instead of ports. The XOS command structure is so easy to learn, too. If you know network basics and think about it logically, you can pretty much tab complete your way through a configuration command.
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bfg-9000
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:20 am

OP does not actually name any managed switches, only "Smart," mostly L2 ones that are in a different price range.

One of OP's questions was if managed switches can improve performance and the simple answer is no--gigabit is gigabit at wire speed. The more thorough answer is that managed switches, particularly if using any complex software features, are actually slower than unmanaged switches in latency. For example the GS724T is rated at 20microseconds with everything disabled, which is the same as an unmanaged switch from 2003 (the latest v4 one claims 4.5microseconds). This minor performance loss is the cost for those useful management features, which help to troubleshoot, monitor and manipulate networks (hey, at least it's better now than 350microseconds, which is enough time for data to travel >50km over a wire).

OP's other main question is if different switches may be more reliable in that environment. Well sure, build quality is all over the map. It may be that even another cheap switch like OP's mentioned D-Link would not have failed under the same circumstances, but nobody can really answer such a question with any certainty. My ancient Vitesse gigabit switches are still working after 14 years, and they are filled with terrible Jackcon caps that haven't failed yet.

Last point was on network surge protectors, which don't seem to last long enough to be too useful but are good for a troubleshooting adventure when they die. I suspect it's like OP's switches--replace them often enough under the warranty and you will start to get annoyed.
 
DragonDaddyBear
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:23 am

I mentioned the excess stuff on eBay because the OP is worried about finding a robust switch that won't die so easily. It is not my intent to hijack the thread. I just thought an option I have contemplated may be viable for the OP.
 
bfg-9000
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:05 am

Nothing wrong with enterprise quality equipment if you can get it at a good price. OP should know though that such equipment can be much more flexible and powerful than consumer equipment so may have many more settings to configure wrong, and that if it doesn't have a reset button even the procedure to change an unknown password and IP address can be surprisingly complicated on used equipment. Plus it can be difficult to get firmware updates without a service contract. You know, the obvious stuff.

Threads going off on wild tangents is tradition here on TR, I just wanted to make sure all of OP's questions were answered at some time before we got too far into commandline functions.
 
drsauced
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:23 am

Well, the ultimate managed switches are Meraki, but they aren't a cheap date by any means. The best mix of price and features to me have come from HP switches. The 1920's are good, and are clearly re-badged 3Com, but pretty solid.
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curtisb
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:25 am

bfg-9000 wrote:
OP does not actually name any managed switches, only "Smart," mostly L2 ones that are in a different price range.


A switch is either managed or unmanaged. "Smart switches" are just a marketing term. Yes, there are varying degrees of management, and obviously an L3/L4 managed switch will have more features than an L2 managed switch.

bfg-9000 wrote:
One of OP's questions was if managed switches can improve performance and the simple answer is no--gigabit is gigabit at wire speed. The more thorough answer is that managed switches, particularly if using any complex software features, are actually slower than unmanaged switches in latency. For example the GS724T is rated at 20microseconds with everything disabled, which is the same as an unmanaged switch from 2003 (the latest v4 one claims 4.5microseconds). This minor performance loss is the cost for those useful management features, which help to troubleshoot, monitor and manipulate networks (hey, at least it's better now than 350microseconds, which is enough time for data to travel >50km over a wire).


None of this takes into account the ASIC's of various switches. Yes, you can do line speed on a single port on any gigabit switch, but how does the switch handle it when multiple ports are in use? That's the more important metric. Lower-end switches are often oversubscribed. And you have to make sure you look at the aggregate bandwidth because gigabit ports are gigabit in both directions simultaneously. So, having put all of that together, fully managed switches are usually faster than unmanaged switches when every port is pushed. In other words, don't skimp out on your core switches.

bfg-9000 wrote:
OP's other main question is if different switches may be more reliable in that environment. Well sure, build quality is all over the map. It may be that even another cheap switch like OP's mentioned D-Link would not have failed under the same circumstances, but nobody can really answer such a question with any certainty. My ancient Vitesse gigabit switches are still working after 14 years, and they are filled with terrible Jackcon caps that haven't failed yet.


This I agree with. There is no fixing dirty power. The best you can do is stick a decent UPS on it and hope it does what it's supposed to do.




drsauced wrote:
The 1920's are good, and are clearly re-badged 3Com, but pretty solid.


Well, they're only rebadged in the sense that HP bought 3Com years ago. :)
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bfg-9000
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:53 am

curtisb wrote:
A switch is either managed or unmanaged. "Smart switches" are just a marketing term. Yes, there are varying degrees of management, and obviously an L3/L4 managed switch will have more features than an L2 managed switch.

Hey it's the switch manufacturers' own term for switches that have monitoring features but can't do actual routing. Netgear marketing even further differentiates their L2 Managed switches from OP's Smart switch because they can do remote management and ACLs.
curtisb wrote:
None of this takes into account the ASIC's of various switches. Yes, you can do line speed on a single port on any gigabit switch, but how does the switch handle it when multiple ports are in use? That's the more important metric. Lower-end switches are often oversubscribed. And you have to make sure you look at the aggregate bandwidth because gigabit ports are gigabit in both directions simultaneously. So, having put all of that together, fully managed switches are usually faster than unmanaged switches when every port is pushed. In other words, don't skimp out on your core switches.

Everything has gone to a single SoC with not only the MACs but even the PHYs integrated, and for more than a decade now fully non-blocking design has been standard with enough backplane switching fabric bandwidth to cover all the ports running at full duplex simultaneously. Can you give an example of an unmanaged switch that doesn't? It would make no sense to do anything else with a single chip because there are no expensive external interconnects required--everything inside the chip can be as wide as you'd like. I know the big names like to advertise performance numbers when using special features to justify their prices--but in the real world using CTF instead of store-and-forward means no backwards compatibility with 10/100, and Jumbo Frames works on a LAN but not the internet. It's just marketing mumbo-jumbo.

Now if traffic is heavy, managed switches can do QoS to decide what packets to drop and let you determine which ports may need upgrading to faster links, but high-end switches don't have more internal bandwidth. Some cheapo consumer grade switches (I have one that says "Cisco" on it but not Linksys) may be infamous for overheating if you push that much traffic through, but even they can switch at full speed until they do!
 
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Re: Best 24 port managed switches

Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:48 pm

I'm late to this thread, but IME the Netgear ProSafe line has degenerated significantly in the past 5-10 years. Their gigabit "smart" switches work well enough as a simple switch and the build quality is decent, but the firmware interface and "smart" management features are clunky. Several recent WiFi products have a deserved reputation for being buggy.

For a SOHO setup that doesn't have any severe latency or thoroughput requirements, Ubiquiti offers solutions that are miles better on the management side and only somewhat more expensive. For someone experimenting with entry-level enterprise, the Extreme Networks solutions are available at affordable prices on eBay, as already mentioned. Our company has at least a couple dozen Extreme PoE switches deployed at a half-dozen major offices and AFAIK the experience has been very good.
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