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  • #2149798

    Any recommendations for L3 switches on a tight budget?


    by puterfx ·

    What a loaded question! Of course, I’ll probably get Cisco as the recommended switch but I don’t think it will fit into the budget.

    I took over a real messy network and am trying to get it organized. I have about 65 workstations and 3 servers that were on various operating systems and computer systems. I now have HP servers (2 with 2003 server and 1 with 2000) and all the workstations are Dell Optiplexes running WinXP Pro except 5 that are on Mac Leopard. I could divide the computers into 2 groups, one with about 55 computers and about 10 in the other.

    Right now, I have a bonded-T1 running through a Cisco 2800 router, managed by our ISP, which goes to a Watchguard X500 Firebox. From there through one of 2 SMC 10/100 1024DT or a Linksys 4124 Etherfast switch. Then through a Lucent 1100PSE Power Sum Panel out to the network.

    Also, I have my DC on one of the HP’s and the 2nd is used, basically, as a file server for the Graphics dept. Initially, the Firebox was set up to handle the DHCP function but I think I will move that over to one of the servers, any thoughts?

    I have run some new cable to conform with Gigabit technology so my next step in preparation is to get gigabit switches and firewall. The existing switches are L2 unmanaged and have been been working okay but I can see where the L3 switches might have an advantage, although I’m not sure I want to go through the hassle, if I understand it correctly, to have to set up every port. I have seen a couple 24 port Linksys in the $500 to $700 price range that don’t seem to be too bad. Just wondering what I should be looking for.

    The other consideration is the firewall. I don’t want it to be a bottleneck in the network. The watchguard has worked well, and we get hammered constantly, mostly from China, Korea and the Netherlands. I just don’t like the interface … not enough options and I’m not sure it’s set up to allow for VPN. I’ve heard that Sonicwall has a better interface and is easier to set up but again, I’m looking for Gigabit capabilities.

    Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

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    • #2912240


      by puterfx ·

      In reply to Any recommendations for L3 switches on a tight budget?


    • #2911987


      by jellimonsta ·

      In reply to Any recommendations for L3 switches on a tight budget?

      Are you sure you need layer 3 switching capabilities with only 65 hosts and 3 servers? I would obviously recommend a managed switch, but I am not sure I would recommend layer3 for a small environment. Obviously, I would recommend Cisco, but if that is out of your budget, I hear the Compex managed switches are pretty good.
      You may be able to find some reviews with the help of Google.

      I know you say you do not like the interface of the Watchguard, but maybe you just need to be more familiar with it?
      I do not really see there being much point in getting a Gigabit capable firewall as your Internet connection is going to be your ingress/ egress bottleneck.

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