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Connecting 2 switches

Posted on 2005-04-26
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27

I have Planet 10/100 Mbs Ethernet Switch, model no. FNSW-2402, but all the ports are now full.

I would like to order another switch. Do it make sense to order the same brand, i.e. Planet? And how would I connect the two switches together? Does anyone know a good supplier for Planet in the UK?
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Question by:jpneal01
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 1400 total points
ID: 13866128
I've never heard of Planet.  if you have some kind of relationship with the seller, or vendor, then it might make sense to order two of the same.  Or if you like dealing with one vendor and have a homogenous network as far as infrastructure go.  On the other hand, all the standards are ... standardized, so unless Planet offers some proprietary mechanism you need, there's no real technical requirement to stick with the same.  Price is usually the determinate.

You would connect them with either an Ethernet crossover cable (or more than one) or Fiber (or more than one).  When I say more than one - this ONLY works if your switches have the capability to "bond" the two together into one logical connection so THERE IS NOT A LOOP.  If you connect two crossovers and don't "bond" them - this creates a SWITCHING LOOP which will crash your network ... unless you're running Spanning Tree and then one port should disable itself to prevent the loop.  Cisco calls this capability "fast ether channel".  Nortel calls it "multi link trunking".

If it's a small installation - like a home office, then you could simply run an Ethernet crossover cable from one port to another and - voila!  They're connected.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
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Nowadays, most switches have either an uplink port or a can autosense uplinks so crossover cables aren't important.  Otherwise, I agree with pseudocyber.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 13866535
Leew's idea about the uplink port might be indicated by something which says "MDI/MDIX" which I believe means "Media Dependent Interface and the X is crossover.  Older SOHO gear had a little button which could swap the two.  Newer stuff can do it automatically, as he said.  But I don't know what "Planet" gear is - SOHO or Pro?  Not a lot of Pro stuff I've seen has the autosensing uplink capability.
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by:rindi
ID: 13867092
Planet should be quite OK, they belong to the priceworthy switches and do their job like any other product does. Because of the price, I'd stay with planet, but I can't help you about resellers of the product in the UK.

As has been mentioned above, you can easily daisy-chain two switches, and your model probably does have a mdx button meant just for that.
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by:jpneal01
ID: 13867220
Thanks for the quick responses.

Is one crossover cable enough to connect the two switches together? Does this not cause high traffic over the one cable? Do I just connect the two switches with a cable and they will work? There's no configuration to be done or anything.

Is there any advantage at all in getting the same brand? Do the switches communicate with each other about looping / bonding or anything?



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by:pseudocyber
ID: 13867282
If you want to do a standard, quick connection, all you have to do is use the crossover.

If you're doing anything "funky" - like Fast Etherchannel, Multi-Link-Trunking, VLAN tagging, etc. then you have to do some configuration to get all this to work.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, then the crossover should work fine.

If you don't have any VLANs on your switches, the crossover should work without a problem.

Yes, all the traffic on switch 2 will be aggregated through 1 100Mb "backbone" connection towards switch1.  Therefore, it might be necessary to use multiple 100 Mb. connections "bonded" together using the mechanisms discussed.  Or, you could use a GigE Copper or Fiber - or multiple bonded together.  

It depends on how many users and what type of traffic you intend to pump through switch 2 as to how to link it to switch 1.

Is this a small office/home office, or a large corporate enterprise?
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rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 13867450
Also, for some switches you can get addon modules with Gigabit connections. The "02" in the 2402 would suggest the possibility to add 2 such modules to your switch (the other planet switches with a similar name have that choice, but I can't find your particular switch).

You can check the planet website for more info.

http://www.planet.com.tw

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by:jpneal01
ID: 13867477
It's a small office. I think there are two networks running. One with internet access and the other connected to the server.

The Planet switch has two blanking panels where the optional copper / fibre ports should be. Does this mean I can't link by fibre, or do I have to get hold of some modules to slot in or something before I can connect anything?

If there is anything to configure, is it straightforward? How would I log in to the switch? Can I log into the Planet switch to look at the configuration somehow?
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 13867552
Sounds like a standard crossover cable would work fine.  Optionally, for more throughput, you could use GigE if you have them.

For logging into and looking at the configuration, I would try to telnet to the IP address first.  If they're web enabled, put their IP address into a browser window.  As a last resort, they probably have a serial console connection and you could use Hyperterm.
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by:rindi
ID: 13867705
These are optional modules you can buy and add. There'll probably be a rs232 port connector at the back of the switch with which to connect it to terminal or PC. With a program like hyperterminal you should then be able to manage the switch.
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