Want to win a PS4? Go Premium and enter to win our High-Tech Treats giveaway. Enter to Win


Is it a bad idea to mix brands of switches?

Posted on 2010-11-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We plan to install a couple fiber links from  2 lower level floors that have HP Procurve 2324 switches using  j4131b transceivers to a Dell Powerconnect 2724  gigabit switch in our 2nd floor server room.  Would this be a mistake mixing brands?  We already have the equipment, but have to buy the fiber transceivers for them.  I was thinking it might be better to try and get a HP Procurve 2810-24G off E-bay to use instead of the Dell switch.   Also, should I be concerned with mixing the mini-GBIC and regular transceivers like the J4131b, as long as they are the same gigabit SX type?  Any input would be helpful.
Question by:cheryl23
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Accepted Solution

sandipshah earned 668 total points
ID: 34148641
Usually, it is a bad idea to mix the switches - IF you are doing that with fiber transceivers.

One does not know if the communication between switches (of the same type) follows standards, or is a vendor specific thing.

If you can, try to avoid mixing the switches.

You can mix them on the network - since everything is 10/100/1000 Mbps on cable, following 802 standards ... but with fiber, it may not be worth risking it.

Unless you have spare equipment lying around that you want to test out.


Assisted Solution

dacasey earned 668 total points
ID: 34148738
I have a mix of HP, Dell and Cisco connected by fiber.  It all works but you may bump into terminology differences when configuring.  Things like QOS and VLAN tagging may not be supported.

It may take some extra effort...
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Ken Boone
ID: 34148755
Well here is why people mix switches:

#1)  they already have brand X and they need more switches and they shop on price.  hence different brands
#2)  they need to replace switches but don't have money for all and they buy brand X and plan on going to brand X completely but it takes time to get there.

The majority of the time its folks who want the cheapest price.  Also, this is also the type of company that typically just throws the switch into the network and doesn't fool around with any optimization and best practice configurations.

The main reason not to mix switches is because now you have to learn all of the nuances of brands X, Y, and Z.  Even though you are comfortable with brand X, you have a problem with a brand Y switch and you just aren't as familiar troubleshooting on brand Y so it takes more time for problem resolution.

Hope that helps.

Author Comment

ID: 34148862
Thanks for all the feedback.  Our senerio is that we already have the equipment.  The only 24 port gigabit switch we have is the Dell, which I have all the servers, routers and uplinks from other floors plugged in to, all unmanaged modes.  We are a non-profit agency with limited funds, and while we were having some new cabling installed,  I got approval to install fiber links from the 2 other floors which currently use Cat5.  So, now while pricing transceivers and looking at the additional investment in the project, the question of continuing to use the Dell with the HP's came up.  I would hate to purchase the transceivers for the Dell and find that I get poor performance or other problems due to mixing brands.  That's the scoop.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:Ken Boone
Ken Boone earned 664 total points
ID: 34148874
You should be able to connect the fiber without problem as long as you use the same type of transceiver modules.  i.e.  shorthaul sfp or longhaul sfp.

Featured Post

Veeam Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure

Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure is a FREE solution designed to simplify and automate the setup of a DR site in Microsoft Azure using lightweight software-defined networking. It reduces the complexity of VPN deployments and is designed for businesses of ALL sizes.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

AWS has developed and created its highly available global infrastructure allowing users to deploy and manage their estates all across the world through the use of the following geographical components   RegionsAvailability ZonesEdge Locations  Wh…
In the world of WAN, QoS is a pretty important topic for most, if not all, networks. Some WAN technologies have QoS mechanisms built in, but others, such as some L2 WAN's, don't have QoS control in the provider cloud.
After creating this article (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/23699/Setup-Mikrotik-routers-with-OSPF.html), I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
After creating this article (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/23699/Setup-Mikrotik-routers-with-OSPF.html), I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…

610 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question