Setup - Advice on Swtiches

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by jameson, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. jameson

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    I have a small business with around 15+ users.
    There is a Lan 100 Mbs which is being transformed into a Gbs Lan.
    Each user has two Lan wall plugs.

    Question: Area there any dis/advantages (technical or otherwise) in buying 2 24 Port Gbs Switches (1 for Data and 1 for VoIP)
    rather than 1 48 Port Gbs Switch with Vlan options.
    [Excluding rack space and possible cost.]

    There should not be much traffic on the VoiP net, max 6 concurrent calls for the moment.
    The client does not have great financial means at present and I was thinking of a simple solution like the
    D-Link Switch Ethernet 48 porte 10/100/1000 MB DES-1252 or
    2 x D-LINK Switch Gigabit 24 porte 10/100/1000 MB DGS-1224T

    There is already a DSL line + ISDN.
    There should be, in the future, a new dedicated DSL line for VoIP.

    Any suggestions, comments or criticism on a reasonable setup would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. MajoR_Mess

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    You really need to supply more info, but as long as the company isn't into moving large amounts of data it should not really be an issue either way.

    eg. Are there and sofphones? What type of servers are on the network? Will there be any WAN clients? What type of data traffic is expected?
     
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  3. Halea

    Halea New Member

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    When it comes to infrastructure, try to go with the best you can afford. Best wires, best connectors, best termination, best network switch, best router, best Internet service provider with redundant lines - you get the picture. It will save you a lot over time.
    If you (or your customer) cannot afford a top name (like Cisco, or cisco, or still CiScO - did I mention CISCO?) 48 port switch with VLAN and QoS capability, then by all means separate your VOIP traffic from your other computer data traffic; go for two inexpensive, unmanaged gigabit network switches.
    I gave up on D-Link permanently many years ago. Their devices used to run very warm (sometimes melting hot) and fail within months of installation. That might have changed by now, but at best I would be neutral in terms of endorsing that brand. Cisco has low end, affordable, yet very reliable hardware nowadays.
    Good luck.
    Halea
    PS: To the best of my recallection DES-1252 has only gigabit for its uplinks; not every port is gigabit capable.
     
  4. jameson

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    Thanks for the followup.

    MajoR_Mess :
    >You really need to supply more info, but as long as the company isn't into moving large amounts of data it should not really be an issue either way.
    >eg. Are there and sofphones? What type of servers are on the network? Will there be any WAN clients? What type of data traffic is expected?

    For the moment there are only 2 servers on the net (2K, 2K3) 1 old Cisco Router, the traffic is basically limited to the management application.
    I was thinking of using VoIP phones on the reserve Net lines precisely for distinguishing between the traffic.
    Depending on the costs a certain amount of cellular traffic is expected.
    RAS is also expected but only occasionally.

    Halea:
    One of the plans is to invest in a new Cisco Router for VoIP and use Cisco phones
    You may be right about the DES-1252, in fact I pasted the wrong data from my notes.
    The D-Link Switch Ethernet Gigabit 48 porte 10/100/1000 MB DGS-1248T seems to be semi managed and
    supports full Vlans etc.

    I was not aware of particular heating problems with these however it is clear that if there are then a change is in order.
    Cisco switches were not contemplated, this was only due to the cost not lack of esteem

    Thank you for the support
     
  5. Halea

    Halea New Member

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    Jameson,

    Regarding the choice of the network switch, I'd like to add a couple of things that might help you to make your final determination.

    Amazingly, there are only a handful of chip manufacturers which have fully integrated 10/100/1000 Mbps components that lend themselves for the offering of inexpensive network switches (like within the range of $10 to $12 per port). Without those, we would still be paying in excess of $100 per port for gigabit networking.

    Then come into this picture, the finished product manufacturers, like D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, Belkin and the like. They all use, give or take, ready to use components from the above suppliers. None of them is big enough to have their design facility, let alone their foundry. When you see their own stamp on a component, don't be fooled, it's only proof of private labeling of common technology.

    Then comes the question of how well these components are made into end-user products. All electronic components have heat generation and dissipaton curves that need to be taken into account when you assemble them into a finished product.
    You can do an excellent job of sticking to the nominal values recommended by the OEM, in which case you would need radiators, or fans, etc. and as a result you will have longevity with your end product.
    Or you may very well say, "look, people throw away hardware like dirty socks, it's enough that this product last a couple of years (or three)", and drive the component closer to its upper limit conditions - by avoiding further cooling the component. In the process you save a few bucks on the product cost, in exchange for a reduced life span. If someone tells you differently, it's probably a lie or misinformation. The market is so competitive that for a given price point, all manufacturers provide the same feature set, quality and longevity. They are within one percent of each other's offering.
    Many people praise those cheap implementations because they are fanless, less noisy etc. Further, after running the switch for 10 minutes with no traffic, they observe that thereis no warming, let alone heating, and they come to the conclusion that nowadays electronics run very cool. Totally wrong, all these components are made by CMOS processes; they only dissipate heat when the junctions switch digital state (from 0 to 1 and vice versa). Run a good length hard drive backup from one disk drive on one computer to another on a different computer connected by gigabit networking and see how you could crack an egg and do an omlette on the poor network chip.
    As for the noise thing, the last time I checked, my 24 or 48 port network switch wasn't installed in my bedroom, or living room but in my telco closet!

    One final point. Some of the low end products of Cisco are now labeled as high end products at Linksys. And contrary to many sarcastic observations about how Linksys doesn't make the mark, etc., actually, these Linksys rebranded Cisco products are absolutely excellent. They perform well and they have longevity. Most importantly they are extremely reliable.

    Halea
     
  6. h2009

    h2009 Member

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    I completely agree with what Halea said. You right on the mark.
    There are only a few chip makers, and all manufactures use them, but its depends on how its used. I.e. look at from another point of view. When you buy a dell pc you expect to have some sort of problem at some time (normally at the two year mark), buy the a computer from Apple and see how long it will last.

    I've have every piece of 'consumer' hardware out on the market for switchs - and i can easily say that heat is a BIG issue.

    If you get a consumer piece of hardware, really consider modifying it with a fan, or larger heatsinks.
    Saying this, im currently using netgear hubs - and you really can fry an egg on them (only 4 pc's connected for internet access, in a 16 port hub - gigabyte version). Its very very hot, sometimes too hot to touch.

    I've actually got aftermarket heatsinks on the switch to keep it cool.
     
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  7. jameson

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    Halea

    Thanks again for the interesting follow up.
    The argument, I believe, is of general interest in fact since it raises the question of Performance
    not only of Switches but also of Network Cards and the most efficient ways of configuring a system
    for good throughput. This has been discussed on the web at times.
    Different cards have been mentioned as being more or less well adapted for the purpose.
    I would be very interested in hearing your opinion(s) on this.

    I quite agree that certain brands of Hardware are less likely to perform really well over time, at least
    compared to the more refined brands dedicated to more demanding setups.
    Your argument on the heat is of course very pertinent and heat should be avoided at all times if possible.
    I was not aware that the DGS-1248T heats up so much. That is useful to know.

    Regarding Linksys. I also was interested in the Brand some time ago but after a literally disastrous series
    of encounters with the so called Help Desk I was so 'disappointed' that I completely lost interest.
    [Found kiddies there who were incapable of talking about SNR and Receive Sensitivity etc]

    Also h2009 :
    Apart from the heat problem if you, any of the readers, have anything to relate about the performance
    issue I would be grateful in hearing your opinions.

    BTW. I suppose therefore you have no preference between 2 x 24 and 1 x 48 /2 Vlan ....
    as long as the Switches are Quality Switches.

    Thanks again
     
  8. h2009

    h2009 Member

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    Oh with regards to linksys their support level is very poor still, so if support your after stay clear of them.
     
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  9. Halea

    Halea New Member

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    Jameson,

    It's unfortunate, but support stinks everywhere! Not just at the brands mentioned in this exchange.
    The problem is that products are becoming more and more sophisticated, with an effective life span shorter and shorter, and nobody wants to pay for support.

    Look at the situation with VOIP! This is a relatively recent technology and requires the highest level of sophistication to make it work when you are in adverse conditions. I am not talking about being lucky and having things to work straight out of the box. When that happens, it's great. Vendors claim that 80-90% of the time it's going to be like that, so nobody needs to really go deeper into the product to make it work under adverse conditions. But of course that's not true, there is always something that will prove Murphy's law right (It's the one that says "anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong"). Period!

    I don't recall when was the last time I called the help desk of a manufacturer! Certainly not during the last decade! Websites, FAQs, forums, (human) networking is the only way to go. Even paid support stinks at most manufacturers as they try to use it purely for profit generation.
    Going back to our original exchange, I am not insinuating that D-Link is worse than its competitors. For the same price range, for similar products, in the same league, they are all equally good or bad, with the same stinking help desk. I know it sounds a bit cynical, but that's the reality out there.

    I personally favor Cisco's high end products when my project can afford. My fallback is the low end of Cisco (or high end of Linksys). And I never call anybody's help desk - life is too short for that. :lol:

    Halea
     
  10. h2009

    h2009 Member

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    Ah typical - here we are talking about switchs, and one of cisco ones has actually blowup!
     
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  11. mandev

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    There is nothing wrong with those D-links for small business, don't listen to a word of this.

    Seperate Voice from Data and the voice only needs Cat 5E and 10/100. Forget software QOS switches if you have two wires use them you will be so much better off.

    I have both D-link and Linksys and for what they cost I'd just get a new one if they broke. However they have been up for 2.5 years in a server cabinate. If you only had one then yes you would need managment or if you ever use IP security cameras they kill voip due to frame rates.

    Linksys support is really terrible.
     
  12. jameson

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    Hi Guys,

    Thank you all.

    1. Halea

    Of course one should not expect too much from certain Support Desks however as you can imagine it is really
    infuriating to be at a clients firm and have to call up a Help/Support Desk and then be tossed around through
    infinite press 1's and 2's to end up with cases like dropped calls, permanently occupied lines or numerous
    "I will pass to you another colleague" and "We do not have this information at present" etc ...
    and it can get far worse. You are right about other places as a source of knowledge.

    Cisco has at times in fact been admirably efficient and notably professional with me. A Class Service.
    However not all client's can pay for that. IMHO very few small/medium small businesses can.

    It seems we all agree about the situation with Help Desks (Linksys in particular ... at least in the last 15 months)

    mandev : Thanks for the comment on the IP SecCam.
    In fact this if ever would be on a data channel and would have to separated from the Firm's daily application
    data traffic, just as other broadcast streams and the such.

    Anyway returning to the original question.
    Regarding the basic setup It seems that the general opinion similar to part of my first post :
    separate networks with good switches.

    Concluding, what could any of you say about the following :

    One proposal I considered was in fact with a CISCO 2801-CCME/K9 + VIC2-2BRI-NT/TE and modules for voice channels.
    The switch question was not included then. The proposal was for a VoIP management system using VoIP telephones.
    However, as far as I understood, Cisco was stating that in this case their Call Management HW/SW would cover
    all the PBX necessities. Thus perhaps offering a solution which in itself would be nearly complete.

    I do not know if 3CX would be able to help here, nor how to integrate it with a Cisco system.
    If there is a series of diagrams of various interesting and typical setups/configs using 3CX, not necessarily with Cisco,
    could one of you leave me a link.

    The main request of the client, apart from the standard PBX functions (internal calls and extensions) is the use of DID's.
    ie. calling directly into the firm to an internal number/user.

    Thank you again for the exchange of opinions
     
  13. ijm51000

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    Have a look at Linksys switches, as they are now owned by Cisco there is (or was last time I checked) an upgrade path to Cisco switches, it's always best to offer a client an upgrade path IMHO. Have you looked at the possibility of using one 48 port switch and then two VLAN's?
     
  14. jameson

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    Hello ijm51000,

    Thank you for the comment however you might have noted in the thread that I had commented on
    the Vlan option right from the beginning.
    Regarding Linksys you may have noted that several forum members have commented on this brand.

    I was not aware of an advantageous upgrade from this Brand to Cisco.
    Here there would be no upgrade since the setup is still to be defined.

    Best wishes
     
  15. RobLloyd

    RobLloyd Member

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    I have within the past year installed several new switches - NetGear and Linksys. Both brands with PoE, both managed, and a couple of them being gigabit. The fan on the Linksys is loud! NetGear seems better in that regard but I have not had any issues with any of them at all.
    Being a reseller I do get right through to Linksys support and Netgear support. Netgear is better support wise, and they also have lifetime warranties on their Pro line of gear. Of course Cisco would be better but if price is a concern I'd feel safe using these in a business.
    For your size office almost any swtich will do.

    If you have 3CX, PSTN or ISP on one network, then I'd go with 2 switches - one for voice and one for data. VLANS would of course also work but this would be easier to implement and maintain.
     
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  16. jameson

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    RobLloyd

    Thanks for the contribution.
    It's true that in some cases in small offices one does not note any difference between using
    high level certain switches together with certain network cards and less costly configurations.

    However I have found that sometimes certain HW combinations work far more efficiently
    than others [regarding throughput ecc.] which was in part the reason I was interested in
    hearing about the opinions of members in this forum.

    There are of course cases where one needs customised setups, dedicated to the client's
    SW application but that's another story.

    Thanks again and best wishes
     
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