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How to configure Cisco 2950 for simple layer 2 operation

Posted on 2009-05-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I purchased a used Cisco Catalyst 2950 to go with a Pix 506e firewall in a small office.  I was told it's a "hub" but the 600 page manual clearly tells me it's a lot more.

I'd like to configure this 2950 to be a simple layer 2 device that will provide ethernet connectivity between the Pix 506e and a handful of PCs.  I'm hoping to use this thing like a "power strip" for ethernet.

The 2950 is running version 12.1(12c)EA1 software.

Can someone tell me how to use the CLI to accomplish this?
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Question by:sevzas
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KevinCovert earned 500 total points
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The Cisco default settings should allow you to use the device a simple switch.  Have you tried to simply plug in a couple hosts to test connectivity?

I will say though, if you don't need all the power that Cisco brings you could likely reduce your infrastructure costs by going with netgear or 3com.
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by:sevzas
ID: 24369906
I simply powered it up today to make sure it's alive.  Tomorrow I will try the default config at the customer's location.  Will let you know.

In retrospect I should have gone to BestBuy and purchased a Linksys, but the price on this Cisco was better.
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by:jjmartineziii
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KevinCovert is correct. The default config on a 2950 should let you work it "out of the box" like an unmanaged switch.
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by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 500 total points
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As previously stated, in it's default config, the 2950 will behave like a switch. However, you got this used which means it may have a config (and password). Hopefully, whoever sold it to you has erased any configuration.

If not, I suspect we will find out soon enough. ;-)
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by:sevzas
ID: 24375203
There is no specific "upstream" port to connect to the Pix 501.  Should I just use the first port or is it auto-detect?
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by:jjmartineziii
jjmartineziii earned 1000 total points
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Any port should be fine.
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by:KevinCovert
ID: 24377232
Sevzas,

While I am a very frugal individual, I don't know if you are aware or not, but the PIX series are approaching end of life.  If it is not in production yet, I would recommend an alternative.

"It is important to note that Cisco will continue to support Cisco PIX Security Appliance customers through July 27, 2013"

Also, the trouble and aggravation might be worth getting a more SOHO product.

What size is the environment that this item is going in and what are their needs.  Do they need point to point VPN, are they hosting any services, do they need a DMZ?
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by:sevzas
ID: 24378205
It did work out of the box as you explained.  At first it did not work and I was really frustrated, but the issue was caused by a faulty ethernet cable between the Pix and the 2950.

KevinCovert, we tried a SOHO box from NetGear but we were disappointed when we could not get an IPSec VPN working with a Cisco router.  So we figured we didn't want to deal with this possibility ever again so we started using Pix boxes.
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by:KevinCovert
ID: 24378299
I totally agree, I wouldn't put a NetGear in where I wanted a constant site to site VPN up.  While I do like SonicWall for the 'mid range'.

I am glad that the Catalyst is working out for you, they are rock solid!

KMC
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