Ottawa Valley SAGE

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Aug 1, 2011 - 3 minute read - Comments

Switch upgrade (sort of)

I recently decided to upgrade the unmanaged 24 port gig switch I have been using to a managed switch - make that 2 managed switches. I saw a deal on ebay for a couple of Dell 2724 switches that can be placed in managed mode. The price was quite good and I wanted to be able to create a couple of VLANs, but I didn’t want the howl of the fans from the Cisco switch I have.

The two switches arrived several days ago and while working on the apparently never ending basement excavation, I figured I’d check them out. Both powered on and acted as expected in the default unmanaged mode and *shudder*, they only have a web interface when switched to managed mode. So much for a serial console or a ssh or even a tenet session. converting them to managed mode required pushing a recessed pin on the front panel and waiting a few minutes while the switches reconfigure and reboot.

They came up with the default configuration and after adding a virtual interface to my main desktop, I could access them and make configuration settings. The first thing I did was give them a static address on my internal LAN and re-point the web interface. First config step complete and happy. I looked at the switch information page and obtained the firmware version and went to check it out. There is a newer version of the firmware and the boot code. As they are not “production” yet, I decided to perform the upgrade which requires a tftp server and the images from Dell. The doenload is free and apparently fixes a number of items. Upgrade apparently went successfully. Of course, in order to use the new version, they require a reset. After reboot, no matter what I tried, no joy. Back to Google for some assistance. This seems to be a common problem.

After trying a number of things (cookies, restart browser, restart computer, etc.), the actual fix is to clear the browser cache. I have no idea why, but the frames/JavaScript/whatever seem to get a little confused. Clearing the cache fixed the problem (which I should have tried earlier). Both work, have some useful functionality and meet my needs at this time. While they are billed as managed switches, they are not enterprise grade by any stretch of the imagination. Real enterprise gera has the ability to configure from a CLI, save and restore the configs and do not require a paper clip to change modes. All said, I’m happy with them, but wish they had some “better” features. I have other Dell, HP, Cisco, etc. gear and I’ve been spoiled by the enterprise functionality. Time to learn how the other half[1] lives I guess.

The real test comes when I pull the old 24 port unmanaged switch and replace it with one of these, hopefully later tonight or tomorrow. The second test will be when I VLAN it and add some other machines on a different network. That may be a week or two out, as I’m not exactly full of free time right now. After that, I’ll see how far along I am with my multiple internet connections and DMZ servers.

[1]: As in Small Business, Home Office, Consumer Market

Obligatory Post-Meeting Post for July August Meeting

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