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Speed issues

Posted on 2006-05-16
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
Probably a dumb question, but would like to have confirmation from someone.

Scenario: SUSE 9.3 home server with a D-Link gbit NIC, apartment cabled with CAT6, Edimax gbit switch.

The SUSE box is connected to the gbit switch, but not directly. Actually it's connected to a wall plug, which goes to a central "switch cabinet", continues from there to the living room's wall plug which leads to the switch. The switch cabinet has no hardware, so the link between the server and the switch consists of 5 separate CAT6 cables connected by plugs/sockets.

The problem is the server is only able to negotiate 10Mbit full duplex, if I try to force anything higher with ethtool the result is no link. I assume this is because of the retarded cabling? I've tried replacing cables, made sure theyre all operational etc, but can't get anything over 10Mbit out of it. Any ideas what else I could try, the ethtool tests don't seem to be supported by the NIC.

Second part of the question is what kind of switch can be placed inside the "switch cabinet" on my wall? It's a roughly 15" x 15" hole in the wall, maybe 5" deep. Theres a power socket in there, but absolutely no ventilation. The edimax switch I have is one of those cheap plastic desktop switches with an external power supply (http://www.edimax.com.tw/html/english/products/ES-5x00P.htm), it states 10-55'C as its operating temperature. Is it safe to place in a non-ventilated cabinet or will it overheat?
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Question by:CoccoBill
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by:
pablouruguay earned 600 total points
ID: 16690104
first part.... try to connect the server for a while (10 min) directly to the switch, if you have 10Mb too you have a problem in your NIC.   .... just a question . the patch coords are 1000 mbits??? many time people use patchcoords 10Mb...... check that please


2. non ventilated ??? i dont recommend to install any switch in here. But if you need this switch dont warm too much.
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Author Comment

by:CoccoBill
ID: 16690196
Thanks for your answer. All cables, both in-wall and others are CAT6 UTP. I'll try the direct connection.

Yeah the cabinet is not ventilated, pretty much like an in wall fuse box cabinet.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 16690568
Try setting the speed on the NIC AND the switch to 1000Full Duplex. If you force only one side it won't work. Both sides should allways have the same setting.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:CoccoBill
ID: 16690968
Theres nothing to set on the switch's end, it's a non-managed el cheapo desktop switch.
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Expert Comment

by:chedlin
ID: 16713714
I would definately try the computer plugged directly into the switch with a short cable.  Given the cable situation you described, you are lucky your moving data at all.  I would expect the link to drop every now and then.
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Author Comment

by:CoccoBill
ID: 16715440
Finally managed to play with it, direct connection to the switch gives a GigE full duplex link no problem, turns out one of the cables had a bad connection. Replaced the cable and now it works, duh.

Well there's still the other part of the question, that is, what kind (if any) of a switch would be safe to place in a small, closed nonventilated cabinet?
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Expert Comment

by:chedlin
ID: 16729546
I would go with the Netgear GS105.  It is a 5 port GigE switch with a metal enclosure.  It is fanless with an operating temerature of up to 50C, or 122F.  If this switch doesn't work, I don't think you will find one that will.  
http://www.netgear.com/products/details/GS105.php
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Assisted Solution

by:chedlin
chedlin earned 600 total points
ID: 16729571
I missed the specs on the Edimax.  If it is fanless I would go for it.  That plastic case doesn't look like it will allow too much heat to escape so the switch probably doesn't operate too warm.  55C is higher than any other switch.  

Now one concern for heating is going to be the power supply.  Does it ever get warm to the touch?  You will be better off with a switching type (typically smaller, and with an input range of 90-240V) than the older transformer types.
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Author Comment

by:CoccoBill
ID: 16729717
The edimax gets warm to the touch even in an open space and the power supply gets almost hot, I don't think there's any possibility to place it in the cabinet. I guess I'll have to think this through again and maybe use a 100mbit switch. Thanks for all of your answers.
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