Top of Rack Switches

Posted on 2006-05-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Can anyone give me some pros/cons of top of rack switches and possibly some recommendations while installing them.

We are considering implementing them and I am not that familiar with them

Question by:jculkincys
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    do you mean the "application" of a rack mounted switch or some (i didnt hear of) specialy designed rack switch?

    -Regards Chris
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    sorry I should have clarified better
    rack mounted switch
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution


    No accessive cabling to the rack adding to its mobility (if serverroom is designed for that)
    Quick overview if all the machines are linked (leds switch)
    Overall Management of the rack is concentrated on that rack (quick idea of its setup)
    Easy additional bandwith is added by simply replacing one switch or adding trunks to the backbone.
    If that switch fails it is reduced to that rack being unreachable.

    Downs and not the least.

    Single Point of Failure (if no failover is used).
    If the Uplink(s) get damaged it affects the whole rack
    Might get messy while connecting (allot of accesive cabling) in the rack.
    Losing 1U of space or more with Fail over configs.
    Usually the top of the rack collects allot of heat, usually this is also where the switch is mounted (light equipment)
    Distributed Patch Management. No limited to one place of "patching" wich adds quickly to the complexity of the infrastructure.

    Mounting advice.

    Make sure there is enough space for all the cables entering the switch sockets, seen many occations where doors strike cablebundles leading to the switch resulting sometimes in short loss of connection (cheap switch sockets). Might also be an indirect advice mounting it in the back with potential KDE switches etc. (see Dell racks, not much space in the front for cable bundling)

    Ow well, you`ll manage ;)


    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Err KVM switch that is btw :S (to bussy with linux at the moment lol)

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