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Affordable gigabit POE switch?

Posted on 2011-10-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Can anyone recommend an affordable gigabit 24 or 48 port POE switch? We currently have an SGE2000P. We are looking at going Brocade for our switches now, but their 48 port POE switch costs close to $6000 with a 3 year support contract, vs $1800 with 1 yr contract on the SGE. We are probably looking at the 48 port models, but features and reliability should be same as 24 port one. Of course the Cisco regular POE switches are even more expensive. Basically we just want the phones on a different subnet than the workstations that are daisy chained to them. We want, if possible to stack them for easier management. They will be connected to Layer 3 Switches, so no real routing needed.
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Question by:MrVault
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grblades earned 2000 total points
ID: 36984530
Have you considered something like :-
http://www2.microsemi.com/PowerDsine/Products/Midspan/PD_3500G.asp

The midspan then just handles injecting the power and you use whatever switch behind it that you want.
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by:MrVault
ID: 36986279
with 40 cubicles and offices, and workstations daisy chained off the phones, how does this work? plug the cubicle line that goes to the closet into this and then connect this to the switch?
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by:grblades
ID: 36986300
The midspan has RJ45 ports at the front and back of the switch. All you do is connect the back ports via short cables to the ports on your existing switch(s).
It basically just sits inline and adds the POE facility to your existing switches. So as far as wiring the phones is concerned its exactly the same as if you got a dedicated POE switch.
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Author Comment

by:MrVault
ID: 36986338
Thanks. And the fact that we daisy chain the workstations won't matter? I'd need to see the cost of the 24 or 48 port switches plus see if it's gigabit speed.
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by:grblades
ID: 36986423
No that doesnt matter at all. All VLAN configuration works fine and you just configure the switch sitting behind the midspan as you normally would.
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by:MrVault
ID: 36986479
how do I determine if I need 200W or 400W?
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by:grblades
grblades earned 2000 total points
ID: 36986537
That depends on which phones you will be using and how many phones you will have.
Most phones are class 2 so require 7W each so if you go for a 200W unit it will power 28 ports. If you are using some of the more power hungry phones which are class 3 and take 15.4W then with 200W you can only have 12 phones even if its a 24 port midspan. In this case if you wanted more than 12 phones you would go for the 400W model instead.

What phones do you intend to use?
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Author Comment

by:MrVault
ID: 36986700
Thanks. For the $200 more, I'd just buy the biggest one they have. We have all sorts of phones.

So here's my conundrum: I can buy 2, 48 port, Brocade stackable switches for roughly $6K. Non-POE. I can then add in the gigabit, 24 port switch from Microsemi for $777 each. I'd buy 3. 2 for use, one for redundancy. Add that up and it's close to $8300.

Or I can buy 2 48 port POE switches, non-stackable for $12K from Brocade

Or I can just buy 3 of the SGE2000P Cisco POE switches for $900 each. This is a far less expensive way and less hardware than the options above. I'm trying to convince myself why it's worth it. Obviously the Brocade switches are more enterprise class and have better support, but is that worth $5K? What else am I getting from these?
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by:grblades
grblades earned 2000 total points
ID: 36987286
I am not sure exactly what extras the Brocade will give you as I am not familiar with their products. Normally its a lot of layer3 stuff and more diagnostics and finer control over the configuration.

The Cisco which should really be called the Linksys as its not a real Cisco switch in that it doesnt run their IOS software will do what you want. It supports POE, Vlans, QOS, spanning tree and SNMP monitoring which is pretty much the main feature list for an edge switch.

Do you use Brocade elsewhere? How do you find their reliability?
I only know them from the LINX peering point in the UK where they had a number of problems towards the end of last year. They are currently in the process of replacing all of them with Juniper.
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Author Comment

by:MrVault
ID: 37007883
We use Brocade everywhere else. Problem is they're 3 times the cost and I just don't see the benefit. I think we're going to stick with the SGE2000P switches for now. We're not doing anything Layer3.
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Author Closing Comment

by:MrVault
ID: 37007916
Sticking with Cisco/Linksys for this deployment. No real benefit to us at this stage in the game to go with Brocade for 3x the cost. Thanks for the help though.
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