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2199 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 29, 2011 4:31 AM by Paul Stewart - CCIE Security, CCSI RSS

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Choosing Managed Switches

Aug 26, 2011 5:07 AM

Kalpesh Devmurari 24 posts since
Apr 13, 2011

Why should I go for unmanaged switches in setting up a LAN? Unmanaged switches are very cheaper comapred to managed ones, and also doesn't require administration. What exaclty are the differences in functioning of managed and unmanaged switches? Do they differ in how they respond to Collisions?

 

Please help me to understand it. This is the question which most of the customers asked to presales/sales guys.

  • Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE 8,398 posts since
    Oct 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 26, 2011 5:59 AM (in response to Kalpesh Devmurari)
    Re: Choosing Managed Switches

    The concepts of collisions and basic switching functionality will be identical among the switch types.

     

    You'll have a DEFAULT behavior in an unmanaged switch, and that's where you'll need to look at the technical details of that particular device to see what is used.  Can it do trunking?  Likely not PAgP (Cisco proprietary) but LACP. So if you connect it to a managed switch, you'll need to know to do LACP.

     

    But basically, you can either edit settings or you can't.  Most switches have management to some extent.  Like a web page to even just be able to assign vlans is still technically management.  But how much management it's capable of is up to the swtich itself.

     

    HTH,

     

    Scott

  • Paul Stewart  -  CCIE Security, CCSI 6,986 posts since
    Jul 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 29, 2011 4:31 AM (in response to Kalpesh Devmurari)
    Re: Choosing Managed Switches

    If by collision control, you mean CSMA/CD then yes.  It will do collision detection when in half duplex.  An unmanaged switch is no different than a managed switch in this function.  However, a managed switch will allow you to do things like set a port to full duplex or 100Mb.  With an unmanaged switch, you basically get the default configuration of a managed switch and have no ability to change it.  So with an unmanaged switch, you can't tweak Spanning-tree (or easily verify it), change port settings (other than allowing them to automagically negotiate), enable event logging, chart port usage or create vlans, .  You also can't really do QoS stuff.  Anything that requires management is lost when you switch to an unmanaged switch.

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