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Recommendations for Small Business Switch

Posted on 2013-12-05
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Experts,
I'm looking to see if anyone has any recommendations for a switch for a small business.

The business is
About 30 users, moving up to 50 within a year.
The main use case is desktop PC's connecting to a windows server used for file/print and also a SQL server (app on the desktop connects to SQL).
Email and web surfing are over the Internet, but its only a 3M bandwidth
Rack-mountable

I'm looking for something that I can expand (so I'm thinking stackable), and will also handle the traffic.

Right now there are 2, 24 port netgear prosafe Gig switches...They do not stack, so they are just daisy chained through one port.

I have looked at the NETGEAR ProSAFE 48-port Gigabit Smart Switch with 4 SFP Ports  as an option, its about $900, plus stackable..but

any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Question by:ChiIT
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by:Nick Rhode
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I like the Cisco SG300.  You can get a 52port switch for about $800 - $900.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps10898/data_sheet_c78-610061.html
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by:ChiIT
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Thank you NRHode, I just took a look and it looks like a good option. The one thing I couldn't tell however is if its stackable, so if I grow beyond the 52 ports, is there the ability to connect more than one together?

Other switches I've seen say how many can be stacked, and a backplane speed, etc...
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by:Nick Rhode
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Sorry I thought it was stackable because I noticed the option in the firmware.  I contacted cisco to confirm this and it is possible in the future and not yet available and no timeframe for when it would be available.  They then stated the SG500 series is a stackable switch but the cost is quite a bit higher ranging from $1,450 - $1600.

My Bad :(
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by:ChiIT
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No problem. I like the switch, I'll take a look at the 500 as well.
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by:pgm554
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Go with Netgear or HP.

Free firmware updates and lifetime warranty/tech support with either brand.

Cisco is way too "lock you in" and no updates or support without a contract B$.

FYI ,I doubt if you'll use all the switch bandwidth you have now.
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by:ChiIT
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Thanks for the input. I think your right about not using the bandwidth on the switch I have now, but, half of the people are connected to the second switch, which is connected via one of the ports on each switch. The users on the second switch ( which coincidentally is also the one the server is not on) definitely experience some slowness, which is why I was thinking of an upgrade.
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by:pgm554
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My advice is to make sure all the firmware on the switches is up to date.

I have a couple and the firmware after two or three years was way out of date.

Took an hour with Netgear tech support to reflash the switches as a lot of the upgrades require a step approach as you just can 't go from a 1.x to a 5.x in one step.
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by:ChiIT
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I would have to check to see if these even are firmware upgradable. They are unmanaged switches.
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pgm554 earned 250 total points
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I'm a Netgear dealer ,they are.

For the money,Netgear makes some of the  best SMB switches on the market.

There's an arrogance at Cisco ,after having worked with their products at many large facilities,that leaves me cold.

I was at Interop one time and one of the lectures was the $50K Cisco phone.

A marketing company need to add an additional handset for their Cisco VOIP  PBX.

The handset had been discontinued and to use the new handset ,switches needed replacing and firmware needed upgrading.

Since they didn't have a service contract ,the upgrades were about$50K.

Not a fan of Cisco.
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by:ChiIT
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I was just re-looking at Netgear, and am narrowing in on this one.

NETGEAR 48 Port Stackable Gigabit Smart Switch + 4 10GE SFP+ ports - Lifetime Warranty (GS752TXS)

Right now, the network topology is flat. Basically all users, 2 servers and internet all on one segment. The users however are split between the two 24 port prosafe gig switches. The switches are connected together via one of the ports...so the users on the second switch need to all talk through that one port to get access to the server and internet.

Do you think there will be a performance lift for the users on the second switch by moving to the GS752TXS?
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by:pgm554
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Do you think there will be a performance lift for the users on the second switch by moving to the GS752TXS?

Couldn't hurt,but slowness comes with a lot of causes.

I could name you 2 or 3 unrelated to the switches themselves.

1.SQL depending upon the OS and version (Server 2003 and SQL 2003 have issues with partition alignment).

2.RAM and fast disks are another.
How is the SQL server set up (caching controller ,RAID level,write through ,write back).

3.Disk fragmentation.

As for the switches themselves ,are the duplex settings all set to auto only?
Same thing goes for all the network cards in the servers and workstation ,auto only.

Anything set to manual will kill performance.

You can also set up jumbo frames,which can give you a 15 or 20% performance boost in throughput.

Lot's of tweaks that are not related to a switch bottleneck.
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by:ChiIT
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#1,2 and 3 I'm looking at also, 2008R2 for both O/S and SQL. We've done a recent SQL database defrag and some tuning so I'm confident that is not a factor. Server memory usage is low. SQL Server and the Database are installed on the same physical (separate logical) disk as the O/S, so that's something I want to change and may be a contributing factor. That means that all O/S related activity runs off the same physical disk as the database.

NIC's are all set to auto. The switch itself, unless I'm missing something, there is no management of this switch that I can see. There is no management console port, unless there is a config manager that I'm not aware of?
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by:pgm554
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What's the model of the switch?

Most every Netgear Smartswitch I have used,has a utility that allows for configuration and upgrades called Smartwizard discovery .

http://downloadcenter.netgear.com/

Plus you should be able to manage through a web interface.
netgear-figure-a-031813.png
nCapture.PNG
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by:ChiIT
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I'll check the exact model tomorrow. I know its a prosafe 24 port gig, but I'll get the exact model..I don't think its a smart switch though...
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by:pgm554
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Even the unmanaged Netgear switches have a lot of utilities that are found in a lot of higher end managed switches.

Port mirroring ,vlan,jumbo frame setup,and troubleshooting utilities.

These aren't just dumb switches.

Same with HP.

Here's an HP unmanaged switch utility capture.
hpCapture.PNG
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by:ChiIT
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Hi, apologies for the delay, the Netgear model is JGS524
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by:ChiIT
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Hi all, I've gone ahead and ordered a new switch, but I'd still be interested if there is an admin/management console for the JGS524. I can't find anything that says there is, but maybe I'm missing something.
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