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Surely the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 series handling of VLANs can't be this bad

Posted on 2006-05-17
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I have just been setting up a new VoIP system in a nice new office consisting of Cisco 7940 handsets connected to Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches. I have two VLANs setup; the default one (1) for data and 3 for voice. The Express insists on this being named Cisco-Voice before I can set the role of a port to Phone and Desktop. I also connected my server running Asterisk into the switch and fully expected to be able to tell the switch to only pass VLAN3 stuff to this port (not trunked since the linux server is not setup for VLANs). The Express will not let you select VLAN3 without the port role being set to Phone with Desktop. I finally had to order two used 3524 switches which have no problem configured this way. I can only asume that Cisco have tried to ensure that only Call Manager (Express) can be used to pickup the Cisco-Voice VLAN stuff by communicating directly with the switch using CDP etc. Any Cisco experts out there who know what limitations Cisco have put in the Express range?
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Question by:MSutherland25
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by:jfrady
ID: 16708621
Voice VLAN's generally look for the MAC addresses of the phones.  

Not very familiar with that switch but just looked at some of the docs on it.  Pretty strange switch.  No CLI, pseudo management etc.  I noticed some designations for Server ports in the suggested port setup area.  Have you tried the port to Asterisk as a server port?  It appears in the docs that PC and Phone, Server, etc. are really just for QOS and not VLAN's.  Is there another area in the management (under ports or bridging, etc) that will allow you to configure it as an untagged member of your Voice VLAN?  

I wouldn't be surprised if it only looks for Cisco gear.  I can understand if there are some pre-configured options for Cisco gear but you should be able to modify for any standards based.  It says it supports 802.1Q.

If you look at the ACLS's you should be able to see how it is auto assigning VLAN's and modify it.
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by:MSutherland25
ID: 16722048
I just downloaded the Cisco Network Assistant V4 which presents a very similar interface to the web software built into the Catalyst 500 Express series, and would you believe it, this software does allow a Server smartport to be assigned the Cisco-Voice VLAN. Clearly there is a serious bug in the software that came loaded on these switches and this has cost me a great deal of time and money and made me look stupid in front of my client. I suppose the moral of the story is to always update the software on any new switch before doing anything!
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by:MSutherland25
ID: 16740911
I upgraded the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 to the latest software and the bug is still present
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by:jfrady
ID: 16741825
Interesting.  Sometimes I do find that CLI has capabilities brfore a web interface but something as common as that should definitely not be left out across multiple releases.  Anyway, it seems the Server port fixed your problem.

Thanks!
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by:jfrady
ID: 16915087
The Server port designation I suggested was the fix for MSutherland25's issue.  I would think that deserves some points.  If however MSoutherland25 asked for a refund for some reason so be it.
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by:MSutherland25
ID: 16923887
I always did designate the port as a server role, it is just that the Catalyst Express web interface refuses to allow the Cisco-Voice VLAN to be assigned to the port. There is no CLI on these switches and thus no way to get round the web interface bug except by using Network Assistant software. If you later look at the VLAN assignments using the biult-in web interface then it is not possible to make any changes because it tells you that you can not assign the Cisco-Voice VLAN to a server role port. Thank you for your contributions, but I really think no points are due in this case
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by:jfrady
ID: 16924250
If that is how you feel that is fine.  I do notice however that your account has asked 10 questions and no points have ever been awarded.  I just answered another question from you so I guess we will see.

I believe the protocol is to request a question be closed if you fix the problem yourself and feel no help was attained.
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