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Managed Switches and Degraded Ethernet Cable.

Posted on 2012-09-13
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Is it true that managed Ethernet switches such as the DLink DGS-1210-24 are much more sensitive to damaged Ethernet cables than an un-managed switch would be?

I have an Ethernet network, Mostly Cat5E cabling, some Cat5 from 1997. This network works find when using 10/100 un-managed switches. I replaced the two existing Dell PowerConnect 2324 switches with two DLink DGS-1210-24 100/1000 switches. The switches have failed multiple times with broadcast storms, in one case causing a PC NIC on the LAN to fail.

Has anyone seen a similar scenario, where 10/100 switches will work fine but Gigabit Switches will fail?
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Question by:dosmanix
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by:Robert Sutton Jr
ID: 38396793
Can you post the errors from any of the ports in question? Spanning Tree prot? Cat5 will not cause "BROADcast storms" but port errors for simplexing mismatch or physical layer errors which is why I ask about "Spanning Tree".  Let us know.
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by:mat1458
ID: 38396829
The only thing that comes to my mind is that older cables only were made with 4 cables instead of the 8 that fit into an RJ45 plug. That's not sufficient for gigabit, but this never leads to the symptoms you describe. Broadcast storms rather happen through misconfiguration or incorrect cabling in terms of building loops. See that you have Spanning-Tree or Rapid Spannin-Tree enabled to help to avoid switching loops.
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by:Robert Sutton Jr
ID: 38397344
FWIW: I somewhat disagree with Mat from above in that any Cat5 rated or above will ALWAYS have 4pairs of wires equaling 8 individual wires that fit into any RJ-45 connector. The only difference may be the TIA standard of 568A or 568B. However, most devices now' a days have an auto-sensing feature on each port so this shouldn't be an issue but something to keep in mind if you have an aged or legacy device. Just wanted to add clarification to that from above reply. Furthermore, the Spanning Tree statement in my original reply is typically directly proportionate to broadcast storming.

Hope this helps.
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by:dosmanix
ID: 38400388
All good thoughts, and I appreciate the comments. I'm pretty sure the issue is caused by a degraded cable and at some point I will test all the cables and verify. I'd like to direct us back to my original question though...

Is it true that managed Ethernet switches such as the DLink DGS-1210-24 are much more sensitive to damaged Ethernet cables than an un-managed switch would be?

Has anyone seen a similar scenario, where 10/100 switches will work fine but Gigabit Switches will fail?

The network runs fine when using 10/100 switches.
My DLink DGS-1210-24 switches fail in a broadcast storm, likely caused by a loop of some sort. I'm not trying to isolate the cause of the broadcast storm in this post though.

thanks - DosMannix
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mat1458 earned 750 total points
ID: 38401456
>Is it true that managed Ethernet switches such as the DLink DGS-1210-24 are much more sensitive to damaged Ethernet cables than an un-managed switch would be?

No, it's not true. Managed and unmanaged only has to do with services that are available on the switch or not.

>Has anyone seen a similar scenario, where 10/100 switches will work fine but Gigabit Switches will fail?

I have not seen any scenario like this and I have seen the transition of 100eds of switches from 100 Mb to Gig (not all by the same manufacturers)
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by:TimotiSt
TimotiSt earned 750 total points
ID: 38403655
Managed/unmanaged is not an issue, but 10/100 versus Gig can be. Gig is more sensitive to bad cable and/or interference. You should use Cat5E for Gigabit.

While Cat5/5E/6/whatever cable has 4 pairs, some cabling contractors take the liberty to wire 2 wall jacks with 1 cable, to keep costs low... Although it's not a frequent thing, and can be spotted easily, especially on the patch panel side.

Tamas
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