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Gigabit Network Switches

By mike ·
I need several new network switches. All my gigabit switches are Dell 5300 series. I have seen gigabit switches priced at a few hundred dollars to Dell switches at $1100 to Cisco switches priced higher yet.
The switches will be in my computer room. 50 ports will connect to servers, 40 ports to users, and 20 ports for downlinks. I want simple managed switches but cannot make use of any fancy reports or sophisticated management.
I have seen Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches but I am unsure exactly what this means.
Does anyone have a recommendation for the switches I should get or point me in a direction to continue my research?

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Gigabit Network Switches

I use quite a lot of Netgear stuff in the way of switches the following URL may be of some help to you.

Sorry I don't know how they compare in price to Dell or any of the others but I've had some very god service out of the ones that I've used.


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by jj2000 In reply to Gigabit Network Switches

Hi Mike,
I would say definitely stay away from the consumer-branded items for projects like this. 50 servers, 20 downlinks... you need a nice managed switch.

To answer the Layer 2/3 question.
In a really small nutshell, you need Layer 3 for routing. Some manufacturers offer Layer 2 products with some Layer 3 capabilities. Generally, these can route to internal VLANS (within that switch) and can have up to x number of static routes.

I'm biased- we're an HP Procurve Elite networking partner and I fully recommend and love their products. They come with lifetime warranty and lifetime firmware updates (no Smartnet).

If you want some simple stackables, look at their 2600 series for 10/100/1000 (also available in PoE). If a chassis solution suits you, go for the 4200 series for Layer 2 10/100/1000 or the 5300 or 5400 series for Layer 3 10/100/1000 (5400 is PoE also).

All the HP Procurve switches ship with HP's Procurve Manager Software (free) for easy management and reporting (should you want it later). The HPs have great support of switch & server port trunking, VLANS, etc. I think you'll like the pricing too.

Carolina Advanced Digital, Inc
HP Procurve Elite Networking Partner

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