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adding a new switch

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I know this isn't a "teach me IT" site.  But I am a novice and need to know how to setup a new switch on my network.  I have a HP procurve 2650 switch and it is having trouble.  I want to change it out.  We are using WIndows SBS 2003 for our serve software.  The Procurve is configured with an ip address.  If I get a new switch can I just configure it exactly like the old one?  Are there any settings on the server side that need to be done?
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Question by:mkramer777
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11 Comments
 
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by:pony10us
ID: 36489171
The first question is what type of issue is the existing switch having?  Is it with the configuration? If it is not with the configuration then you could do the following:

1. Obtain the exact same swtich (make/model)
2. Back up the config from the existing switch
3. Restore the config to the new switch (after the initial setup)
4. Swap out the old for the new during off hours

That would be the easy answer.
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 36489337
Seems like there is something going on with my network or switches.  I have a 3com NBX100 phone system that starts to slow down every day at different times during the day.  When I reboot the phone system it fixes it.  Here is why I think it is the switch or network and not the phone system.  When the calls begin to slow down I take a phone and use a cross over cable to connect the phone directly to the phone system (NBX) When I do this all calls I make are perfectly fine.   No problems when I am bypassing the switch.  Here is the other thing.  I have 2 procurve switches.  Sometimes when the calls start to slow down and get all garbled I unplug the phone system cable from one switch and plug it into the other switch.  Many times this immediatley speeds up the system though later it will begin to slow again.   When it does I plug into the other switch again and most of the time it fixes the problem. If not I reboot. Every time it has slowed down and I have tried the phone directly into the phone system all calls are fine.
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LVL 26

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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36489358
... and have the same firmware version on both.

You shouldn't have to change the server settings.

A couple of things:

If the switch has VLANs implemented then you need to configure it as pony10us mentions - AND including where the cables plug in as the ports become specific.  Back up the old configuration and load it into the new (identical) switch.

Are you running SNMP?  Then configuration matters.

Are there NO configuration things like:
- more than one LAN/VLAN?
- SNMP
- port monitoring
- routing capabilities in use

If the switch is nothing more than a plain vanilla, off-the-shelf configuration then you should just be able to plug in a new one ... i.e. a "dumb" switch.  But don't do that if there are special ports on the switch defined in the config.
I have found "managed" switches in production that weren't managed at all.  So they were no more than an unmanaged/dumb switch.  Often that does the job just fine.  A lot depends on how fancy you want to get with switch capabilities.  It sounds like maybe you aren't doing anything like that?

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pony10us earned 500 total points
ID: 36489425
@fmarshall:  As I stated in my original post it was the easy answer. You have provided good additional information.

@mkramer777: Your new information now makes me believe that it is not the switch as much as the network itself.

"Sometimes when the calls start to slow down and get all garbled I unplug the phone system cable from one switch and plug it into the other switch.  Many times this immediatley speeds up the system though later it will begin to slow again."

That would indicate that the issue "follows" the phone system from switch to switch. By unplugging it you essentially break connection to the network briefly each time. I would consider looking at the NIC in the phone system and/or the cable connections between the phone system and the switches.
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 36489492
I did use the cross over cable I had purchased to test the phone to phone system link and it seems to have helped the overall problem.  I was gone on Friday and the users experienced no slowdown.  This has though happened in the past and then the problem arises again.  Do you think it could have been the cable?
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Expert Comment

by:pony10us
ID: 36489576
I suppose it could be possible as there is a distinct difference between a crossover and a passthrough cable. However, usually only one will work for it's intended purpose. In other words you can't use a crossover where a passthrough is needed and vice versa.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36493098
Decent switches today use Ethernet MDI/MDIX Auto Cross so you wouldn't have to worry about crossover or straight.

I should have mentioned that if a switch has an IP address for management then another switch connected at the same time would have to have a different IP address.  Just to be complete.

If the switches have QoS implemented (or NOT), I can imagine having problems as the traffic levels vary.  I believe that voice typically gets very high priority.  Is that the case here?
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 36495341
Voice does get priority.  The phone system slowed down again this morning and I unplugged the cable from the phone system to the switch and plugged it into the other switch and everything sped up again.  So does this mean it isn't a switch problem and it has something to do with the phone system?  Why does unplugging help?
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by:pony10us
ID: 36495994
This sounds like there may be a specific phone that is having an issue. When you "unplug" the cable you effectively break the phones connection. I would advise looking to see if one of the ports on the switch is showing abnormaly high traffic when this happens.
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Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36496395
What happens if you unplug the cable, wait 20 seconds, then plug it right back in again to the same switch?
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 36496455
I will try that.  I think that probably would take care of the problem as well.  Can't remember if I tried that before.  That might eliminate the switch being the problem.
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