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Aministering managed switches

Posted on 2007-11-19
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I administer a Windows 2003 server with 30 users running Windows XP Pro on a domain.  This network has 3 unmanaged switches which will soon be replaced by managed switches.  I have read a bit about managed switches.  I need to know more about how to administer them.  

I understand Active directory and basic networking, tcp/IP, etc.  

1.)  What books, articles, web sites have you found useful to learn more about administering a managed switch?

2.) The managed switches have a web interface which I understand will tell me info about the network.  What are the most important things you would note when administering a switch?

This is unknown territory for me so please be detailed in your answer.  I am assigning 500 points to encourage detailed answers.
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Question by:donpick
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6 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:RDAdams
ID: 20316562
What brand of switch are you purchasing?  

Ensure you change the default passwords on your switches and document the passwords.  Ensure you are not the only person he knows where to find the infomation on your network.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:RDAdams
ID: 20316573
Generally once you setup a switch there isn't a lot of necessary administrative things to do with it.  When something goes wrong then you need to know where to look and what to look for.
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Author Comment

by:donpick
ID: 20316930
RDAdams:
Our plan is to purchase Milan Technologies 48 port and 24 port switches.  These were recommended to me by the company who performed our network audit.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:brian_36526
ID: 20325700
Um, I am not sure how to put this so I will merely state my opinion .......  I wouldn't trust any company that recommends Milan Technology switches. You should get a switch that is proven and has tons of support such as HP or Cisco.
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

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wingatesl earned 2000 total points
ID: 20325911
Brian is right. You have to have support. Cisco and HP are going to be the easiest to support on your network because of the wealth of information. Try doing a search for Milan on here and you will see what I mean. As for the management of the switches;
 You want to put ip addresses on them and change the default passwords to prevent tampering.
 A managed switch really serves two main purposes on a network this size. VLANs and activity counters (snmp, etc) so after the setting of IP addresses it is pretty much plug them in and go.
 If you have to have VLANs then there are some additional configuration steps
 There really is not any ongoing management on a healthy network.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20328011
For 30 users do you really need managed switches? They are considerably more expensive!

Will you be doing VLANS, separating networks etc.

As a byline, I would put a vote in for 3Com. Been around  along time, reliable, lots of support, most have lifetime hardware warranties).

My advise; keep it simple.

John
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