[mythtv-users] Gigabit switch - Recomendation

dave johnson DJ4904 at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 5 15:47:55 UTC 2006

gawd, i wish i could say that the Netgear stuff was as high a quality as all of your experiences, but in real "enterprise" work, all i've seen fall flat, but this is in real heavy usage such as the netgear 24-port gig-E swtiches being used as the backbone in a 3DStudioMax rendering farm... talk about beating a dead horse.  after setting up 3 monitoring nodes with netxray (oldy but goody) and showing the owner of the company the packet loss graphs, they were too convinced.   $3500 HP ProCurve later and "all there problems were gone".

I'm certainly not advocating everyone run out and toss down cash on this stuff, but do note that the only way to get enterprise quality out of consumer-ish equipment, is by trial and error.   take small  gigabit switches for instance...  i've seen those old Netgear 5 and 8-port Gig-E switches wreak havoc on everything they were connected to as soon as bandwidth across them gets above 1 or 2 gigabit or so (these are the "blue box" ones).  However, the newer Netgear in the plastic "flying saucer" cases, seem to be decent and can sustain a good 3-5 gigabit across them before gracefully ramping up packet loss.  It's just by guess and by God when you pick up any consumer product out there whether it'll be true to it's claims.

back to the topic at hand, the SMC EZ Switch SMC8508T and SMC8505T (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AKA95/102-0185409-4434568?v=glance&n=172282) are much better than even the saucer Netgear's in that they seem to be capable of around 6+ gigabit throughput while having enough buffer space and a capable enough store-and-forward engine to handle jumbo frames up to 9k.  The Netgear saucers only added 9kB jumbo support lately, and with no hardware change, so their throuput actually lowers at9kB frame size for any high-latency networks or if you're connecting any 100Mbit connections into the mix.   Yeah, as for "consumer" gig-E switches, the 5 and 8 port SMC EZ-Switch models are the enterprise find in the consumer crap at this point in time.

Someone mentioned the Linksys WRT54G(and GS).  Same deal... the versions 1x-2.2 and 4.0-4.1 are true enterprise gems when coupled with a decent 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT or original Alchemy 1.0 (if your model supports it).  The versions 3.x and 5.x are not so juicy since they are each cripped in their own way.   Even the WRT54GL, which Linksys released specifically for the aftermarket G/GS firmware crowd has it's own smaller issues, so again... it all depends on the product.

the days of being able to make blanket recomendations like "oh, if you want product X, just go with manufacturer Y" are long gone.  Now it's "if you want product W at this point in time, go with version X, of product Y, from company Z.  although this may change tomorrow." :(


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Daniel Kristjansson" <danielk at cuymedia.net>
To: "Discussion about mythtv" <mythtv-users at mythtv.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 5:53 AM
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Gigabit switch

On Fri, 2006-08-04 at 12:58 -0400, John Drescher wrote:
> On 8/4/06, Michael MacLeod <mikemacleod at gmail.com> wrote:
> > And what would you recommend for home use? in the 8-10 port variety?
> NETGEAR GS108 10/100/1000Mbps Copper Gigabit Switch 8 X RJ-45 Ports 8K
> MAC Address Table 32 Kbytes per port Buffer

I have that at home also with no problems so far. I considered
some of the more consumerish gear from netgear and others,
since they had larger buffers and more features. But this
stylistically fits better with the rest of the networking
equipment, and I knew it wouldn't get in the way of my router
or my internet gateway or my other switches or my dhcp server
(they are on different segments and some "home networking"
stuff wants everything to be plugged into it directly).

I'm planning to install a larger (24-48 port) 1000 Base-T
switch in my basement in a few months so I can have a simpler
network and to provide gratis internet service to the tenants.
Anyway, I'm seriously considering netgear (I also have 4 port
switches throughout my home which have given years of trouble
free service). Although I do understand the larger switches
address an entirely different market, netgear does have a good
reputation with me, unlike say Cisco (reboot daily, try new
firmware in vain hope crap; which you eventually throw away
in frustration or break apart for parts).

AFAIC I've never had to reboot metal cased netgear or
smc equipment at home or work. My guess is they don't
try to save 0.5 cents on capacitors when they can mark
the switch up $5 just for the 50 cent metal case alone.

-- Daniel

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