Managed Switch Initial Setup

Our current small business network goes like this: internet to router to unmanaged 10/100 24-port switch, and 18 users.

We are looking to go gigabit and change out the switch, cabling (already purchsed), and NICs (already purchased: Intel Pro/1000).

From what I understand, I could get an unmanaged gigabit switch and the transition would be virtually 'plug-and-play.'  Correct?  
But I would like to have the monitoring (and other features for the future) of a managed switch for relatively little extra cost.  We're looking at SMC switches: managed (at $295) is only about $35 more than the unmanaged version:
SMC EZ Switch 10/100/1000 24-Port Gigabit Web Managed Smart Switch
http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1030729&ContractID=0

My real question is this: would a managed switch initially operate with no initial configuration?  What I would like to do is have a quick/clean change-out to have everyone up in a hurry, and go back later as I get time to look into monitoring, etc.  Or is there initial configuration to be done for the LAN to be working and everyone online?

Is it that simple to begin with or am I reading it totally wrong?  

I'm green when it comes to routers, switches, etc., so please don't hold back anything as I may need some good guidance.

Many thanks in advance!
rayhorn13Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

bfasonCommented:
yes, managed switches will work right out of the box. You would probably want to connect to it by console cable first and set up a Ip address for management purposes before you rack it just so it's easier later to setup.

Hope this helps
B
0
Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
i agree with bafson. it will work out of the box. but connectuing up to the consol port and giving it an ip address so you can log on to it over the network will save you a lot of time in the future... I would also give the switch a host name. as as you start to build up switches on your network its nice to be able to know which one you are logged on to..

but assuming you have a flat basic network then you will be fine..
0
rayhorn13Author Commented:
Console port/cable?  The one(s) I'm looking at only have the 24 ports + 2 fiber ones.  How does that work?
0
Redefining Cyber Security w/ AI & Machine Learning

The implications of AI and machine learning in cyber security are massive and constantly growing, creating both efficiencies and new challenges across the board. Join our webinar on Sept. 21st to learn more about leveraging AI and machine learning to protect your business.

Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
it is a port in that back of the switch usual.. not a network point. you generaly connect it to the coms port of a localy attached PC.  (some now use USB i belive)

becasue when you first boot up your switch it has no IP address assigened to it. so there would be no way to talk to the managemnt agent on it through the net work.

You can log on to the switch through the consol port to do the inistial set up... Also you can make it so you can only configure the switch through the consol port. you may do this for security so people cant access the switch through the net work and alter the settings.

But a managed switch will have one somewhere normaly. although some cheap switchs may not and will need a DHCP server or will come preprogramed with a static DHCP address (eg 192.168.0.1 is a common one)
however this can be a pain for a large orginasation where you may not have a 192.168.0.1 network. or you use a private ip address range for your switches that is not handed out by a DHCP server. Basicaly the consol port allows you to attach to the switch to manage it. with out going through the network, and going direct.
0
Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
oh the consol port is not normaly listed as a port in teh specs of the switch. as its only function is for switch managment. not for network activity..
0
rayhorn13Author Commented:
Ok - I guess I'm looking at some of the 'cheapies' (Linksys, SMC, D-Link) because they all come pre-configured for 192.168.0.1 (but can be changed) and they all have no serial/console port.

In any event, I should be able to plug it in and everything will work right out of the box, leaving me to login to the default IP address (and change it if necessary) any time after that.

I'm sorry if I keep repeating myself, but I'm really just wanting to confirm that there is no additional setup necessary at "plug-in" time - 'cuz I won't have the time then.

Thanks for being tolerant.
pic1.jpg
0
bfasonCommented:
That is correct, it will work out of the box but in order to change it at a future date you will need to change the ip address on your pc to the same subnet as the switch. You can then change the ip on the switch to match your network.

Hope this helps
B
0
Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
yep that no consol port :)

its not a problem until you start getting a really large network, and you may not waht to have to change you pc ip to the same net work as the switch.

and like i say you can in fact disable managemnt from the network, and only alow it through the consol. for security resons.

you may also want to be able to view settign through network and onyl make changes through teh consol..

and of course if your switch falls over and you can't connect to the network interface. you can shove a consiol cable in theback and see whats going on with out resetting the switch to bring it back up.. (so you might have bradcast storm on teh net work taht prevents you logging on over the network.) but you will still be able to view the managemnt interface through the consol port..

0
rayhorn13Author Commented:
Part of my confusion stems from the fact that the users manual for the switch references "Initial Configuration on page 2" when there is no page 2 in the manual.
SMC.jpg
0
Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
thats just a bad manual!!

Switchs will have one of two interfacesfor managment (in fact most have a third but you can learn about SNMP when you need to it applies more to multiply switchs being managed and monitored remotley)

the two main ones are WEB page access and Telnet access (also known as the console and is the only interface avalible through the consol port when avalible)..

to get web page, you simple make sure the switch and your pc are on teh same netwok address range. open up Internet explora and type in that default IP adress of the switch..

you will get a web page and you log in with a user name and password (found in the manuel ) and can set up the switch using a Graphic interface..

Telnet access you get using a telnet client. USualy the telnet/consol interface allows you access to more functions and finer control over the switch.
0
rayhorn13Author Commented:
Ok, the defaults settings for the switch for IP, Subnet & Gateway are 192.168.2.10, 255.255.255.0 and 0.0.0.0 respectively.
This is some output about our network:
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.71
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
        DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.2
        DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.2

The bad part is that one of our large-format plotters is already fixed at 192.168.2.10.  (I just realized this.  I have increased the points for this question because it's turning into a real mess.)

How do I get around the conflict?  I know I can change the IP of the switch after I get into the web access, but how do I do that with the conflict?  
What will happen when someone sends something to the plotter?  
0
Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
get a cross over cable and connect a pc that is not on the network to the switch using the same ip address (no conflict if there not on the network ;) )

once you have given it a good ip. then plug it in to the main net work and all will be good :)
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
rayhorn13Author Commented:
Sweet.  I had not thought of that.  Obviously, right?
You mention a crossover cable, but any patch cable will work, right?
0
Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
depends on the switch.

but actly yes.. pc to switch needs a stright through cable!! sorry

pc to pc or some times switch to switch will need a cross over!

many new switchs can sue either and will detect wht kind it is and adapt to match..

but in thsi case it is stright through you will need.
0
rayhorn13Author Commented:
Thanks - very well done.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Switches / Hubs

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.