Network Switches: Managed Vs. Unmanaged

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Thread: Network Switches: Managed Vs. Unmanaged

  1. #1
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    Network Switches: Managed Vs. Unmanaged

    I've read up on the differences between managed and un-managed switches, on several pages returned by a Google search, However, I'd like to know some opinions of people who work with such switches on a daily (or, weekly) basis...

    What are some of the benefits/drawbacks of each (including differences in price)?
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
    (The Lord Of The Rings)
    http://www.bytekill.net

  2. #2

    Use Cisco

    Working in a corporate environment, I have never used unmanaged switches. I can add a little info on managed switches. Unfortunately, the more you pay the better off you are. We implemented Lucent Cajun Switch/hubs to save money instead of Cisco Catalyst at numerous sites across the country and have had nothing but problems. Modules fail on a weekly basis. In a large network Catalyst 5500 nad 6500 switches are extremely reliable and easy to manage. You can do anything with them and a switch fabric is becoming the standard network design across the country due to the 80/20 rule becoming the 20/80 reality.
    Config_Terminal#

  3. #3
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    For a home network, do you even need a switch? IMO a hub will do just fine, and they come cheaper. I've seen 8 port hubs for 45, a similar switch is sold for 15 more. The extra packet collisions caused by a hub won't slow down a home network with few computers attached to it. But in a larger environment I do see the need for switches.

    As for the questions: I don't know the difference.
    ---
    proactive

  4. #4
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    I'd rather have a switch than a hub, purely because of the extra speed it offers... I've already got 8 computers and I plan on getting more soon, so there'll be a fair few attached to this network. I've decided on a switch rather than a hub after a post I made a while back about hubs & switches. The result was basically with switches so cheap, there's no point getting a hub at all.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
    (The Lord Of The Rings)
    http://www.bytekill.net

  5. #5
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    I've been holding off fully setting up my home network, because I wanted a switch rather than a hub, purely because I didn't want my other computers to be slowed down in their network access because I'm doing something with a few of the other computers.. such as watching Futurama episodes from my server, playing network games.. that sort of thing...

    This mean that I had to wait quite a while before I got a switch, as they costed more than a hub.. but .. I finally got myself one... a Cisco Catalyst 1924.... Oooh!!! BABY!!! *Note: This is definately excessive for a home network.. but eh, it only cost me $300AU...*
    -Matty_Cross
    \"Isn\'t sanity just a one trick pony anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick. Rational Thinking.
    But when you\'re good and crazy, hehe, the skies the limit!!\"

  6. #6
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    well depands on what you want to do .... if you want state of the art home networking i suggest switch so that you can use vpns to get remote network access ( and that is bad ass) but if you are just connecting 2 pc to play doom ... a cheap hub will suffice....
    managed switch when you use snmp and a ciscowork like program so that you can remotely access the switches without having to remember all the addresses very useful in huge networks...
    unnmanaged if there are 2 networks and 1 swithc ....
    but a swithc should always be configured, ie more than just expansive substitute for hubs but they provide also some really cool feeatures acl and others ...
    assembly.... digital dna ?

  7. #7
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Coming from someone who runs a GIG wire speed network, managed switches are the only way to go.

    BTW- Cisco's are shyte. Cisco makes a great router, but it can't make a switch to save it's life.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  8. #8
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    Cisco switches are in my opinion pretty damn good. I've used them alot and have not really had too many problems. Marconi/Fore Systems also make a few nice products.

    For a home network I would tend to think that an unmanaged switch would suffice. I would only get a managed switch if your network is incredibly large (or will grow large), if you need to create VLANS to segregate some traffic, or if you are going to switch to something other than ethernet (i.e. ATM, etc.). A managed switch won't have as many option to add blades or modules.

    Although,,, I think I saw a 4 port Linksys switch (unmanaged) at Office Max or somewhere for like $40. At that price you can't go wrong...

  9. #9
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    I am in the process of changing over our entire network. Up untill now, we were running 10baseT hubs. Yes, it really sucked bad. Anyway, we are now using 3com managed switches, and haven't had a single problem yet. Cicso is nice, but I think the price is quite high for a switch. It would have cost us about 3000 more to go with cisco instead of 3com.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  10. #10
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    When it's all up and running, an "average" network load will be:
    1 or more networked multiplayer games (2-4 computers, maybe more)
    1 or more FTP/HTTP/Proxy/Mail server accessed by up to 4 or 5 machines simultaneously (for internet, local web, device drivers & software(ftp))
    Plus network testing, firewall testing, stuff like that.
    I want a switch so that I can basically communicate at full speed between each comp. I do not want a hub, at all... No matter how cheap or how little I may really need a switch. I've decided on a switch, I just wondered whetehr to go for managed or unmanaged... and I think I'll go for unmanaged, for now.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
    (The Lord Of The Rings)
    http://www.bytekill.net

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