Brad's comments on the world of technology...

To 100base-T or not 100base-T?

I've been debating moving some servers over to 100base-T. The idea
is to put them behind a switch that will clean up the network
and aggregate high use servers on a high speed link.

Adapter cards are easy to find these days. It's getting hard to buy
a card from 3Com which does not support 100Base-T. Switches, however,
are a bit more confusing.

Why don't these switches do basic IP routing?

It seems like everyone and their mother make an IP switch these days. Trouble is, none of them make the right switch. All I want is a 8-16 port Ethernet switch with two 100base-t ports and basic IP routing in the switch. The basic switches don't have 100base-t and don't do VLAN. I would not waste my time with them. The mid-class switches do 100base-t and have small VLAN capabilities. Basically they will partition your net into 1-4 VLANs. This is pretty useless, however. Remember that a switch is functionally just a multi-port bridge.

(one might ask oneself why we are taking a giant step backwards to bridging when we just got done tossing all the bridges out in favor of routers, but that's a topic for next month)

All of the 1-4 VLAN switches claim you need a router also to route between the VLANs. What load of guano that is. It would no be that hard to put basic IP routing in the switch. It does not have to be wire speed (perhaps that's what holds the product marketing people back). Just basic routing. Still, none that I could find will route. None do DHCP either. Bogus.

My perfect switch

My perfect switch would have 16 10base-t ports, 2 x 100base-t posts, support 16 VLANS, DHCP and do basic IP routing between the VLANS at a rate equivalent to a cisco 2500 (i.e. 68030 class routing). It would also support RMON and RMON-2 as I need to know who's talking to who to make adjustments in the network after it's installed.

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