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Cisco 2940 switch set up help needed


savvypaul
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19 hours ago, lindsayt said:

And anyway, the switch that Paul bought was NOS. And cost him £20. That was a very good deal. Buying a new budget consumer grade switch makes no sense.

The 100 mbps speed of the 2940 is fine for the vast majority of home users.

128kpbs MP3s are also fine for the vast majority of home users.

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Used fanless Cisco business gigabit (1000 mbps  speed) switches cost about £65. The price might come down a few months after lockdown ends - as some organisations start doing Switch refreshes again, resulting in more switches coming on to the market. As well as all the decommissioned switches from business that have gone bankrupt...

Netgear switches are nowhere near the same level of engineering as Cisco and HP Procurve business switches.

Compare the brand new retail prices of them. Open them up and look at the power supplies. Run them in adverse conditions such as boiler rooms in roofspaces for years on end and see how they got on for reliability.

Do you also run your hifi in your boiler room?  Thought not.  Honestly, when was the last time you heard of someone's home switch dying?  Yes they *can* go faulty but so can Cisco kit, especially as it ages. And at £19 a pop you could buy three of those Netgears for the price of that gigabit Cisco, and keep two spare.

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Furthermore the CLI of Cisco and HP Procurve switches are FANTASTIC for configuring them quickly. Way better  - quicker and less effort and less error prone - to configure than some poxy switch with a stupidly obstructive graphical user interface.

You must be smoking something if you think using the Cisco CLI is easier than plugging a cable into an unmanaged switch.

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That's assuming you know what you're doing or have someone that knows what he's doing showing you what to do.

As an aside, I've been thinking of bringing my laptop and console cables to the next Kegworth show, with the offer of me configuring any Cisco business switches that anyone brings along. With the proviso that I accept no liability for any switches that stop working as a result of this process. As there's about a 1 in 5000 chance that a switch will stop working - due to a coincidental hardware fault - when it is powered off and on and off and on again.

Or you could just buy a new unmanaged switch from Amazon, for buttons, with a warranty.  Plug it in and enjoy the music. There's zero in a million chance that anyone with a console cable at Kegworth can mess that up :)

Edited by jamster
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20 hours ago, PeteT59 said:


Certainly, unless you're Cisco qualified, you'd be a fool to think about configuring a switch for home use... Yes there are some very clever things you can do... but... easy to cock it up and probably for very little real world gain.

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If you are not Cisco qualified. but have installed hundreds of Cisco and HP Procurve switches and have upgraded, diagnosed, decommissioned hundreds of switches and are studying for the CCNA exam - would that be good enough for you?

Also, if you were given a config  text file for your switch and then talked through the process of pasting this onto the switch, would that be good enough for you?

And in the event of a config resulting in a business switch or a port on the switch not working properly, it's very quick and easy to revert back to factory settings - even if you don't know the passwords that have been set on the switch.

I do agree that for a home network there's not a huge amount to be gained by configuring a switch.

However given - what appears to be - a lot of the "superstitious" type recommendations that I've seen for getting the best sound out of a hi-fi that's attached to a home network, putting a decent basic config on a switch seems to be worthwhile in case it results in a perceived improvement to sound quality.

For example there's just as much chance that configuring a switch would result in sonic improvements as the practise of daisy chaining your user device switch off a switch that sits between it and the router.

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8 hours ago, jamster said:

128kpbs MP3s are also fine for the vast majority of home users.

Do you also run your hifi in your boiler room?  Thought not.  Honestly, when was the last time you heard of someone's home switch dying?  Yes they *can* go faulty but so can Cisco kit, especially as it ages. And at £19 a pop you could buy three of those Netgears for the price of that gigabit Cisco, and keep two spare.

You must be smoking something if you think using the Cisco CLI is easier than plugging a cable into an unmanaged switch.

Or you could just buy a new unmanaged switch from Amazon, for buttons, with a warranty.  Plug it in and enjoy the music. There's zero in a million chance that anyone with a console cable at Kegworth can mess that up :)

"128kpbs MP3s are also fine for the vast majority of home users."

This is a non sequitor.

If you were to have 2 different switches - in the vast marjority of home networks. One a 100mbps switch. The other a 1000 mbps switch. And you were to randomly swap them, the users would not be able to tell which was running at any particular time.

MP3's represent a data quality issues. Switch speeds represent a data quantity per second issue.

What do you make of this £2600 audiophile switch that runs at 100 mbps?

https://www.audiologica.co.uk/product/innuos-phoenixnet/

I have a very open mind as to how a hi-fi system would sound with that switch compared to other networking solutions that could be had for far less money, including a fibre optic network.

"Honestly, when was the last time you heard of someone's home switch dying?  Yes they *can* go faulty but so can Cisco kit, especially as it ages. And at £19 a pop you could buy three of those Netgears for the price of that gigabit Cisco, and keep two spare."

I had a Netgear switch that failed a year or two after I bought it.

Are you really arguing about spending £19 instead of £6 on a switch in the context of someone with an audio system that cost over £1000?

There are reports that business grade Cisco switches result in better sound quality from a streaming hi-fi than consumer grade switches such as Netgear.

There's also the fact that people like myself have a preference for filling our houses and our lives with good engineering. EG EMT turntables instead of Rega Planar 1. Volvo or BMW or Mercedes family sized car instead of a small Dacia or Renault hatchback. Cisco business switch instead of Netgear. In the case of switches, where the price difference is £6 to £20 or £60, it's a no brainer.

"You must be smoking something if you think using the Cisco CLI is easier than plugging a cable into an unmanaged switch."

You haven't seen me working have you? When I've been doing switch roll-outs or refreshes. You haven't seen how many switches I can properly configure in a morning.

It takes me longer to get the switch out of the box and screw the brackets on than it does to adjust the config for the individual switch and to configure the switch.

And of course it's quicker to plug a patch cable into a switch port than it is to configure a switch via a CLI.

But, it's a lot quicker and more reliable to configure a switch via CLI than it is to configure a switch via a GUI. And it's for this reason that the CLI on business switches is FANTASTIC.

And just because a switch is unmanaged, that doesn't mean to say that you can't or you shouldn't configure it in order to get it working as well as possible.

In the same way that just because a managed business switch will work OK from a passing network traffic point of view with factory default settings, that you shouldn't configure it to get it working as well as possible.

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3 hours ago, lindsayt said:

"128kpbs MP3s are also fine for the vast majority of home users."

This is a non sequitor.

If you were to have 2 different switches - in the vast marjority of home networks. One a 100mbps switch. The other a 1000 mbps switch. And you were to randomly swap them, the users would not be able to tell which was running at any particular time.

MP3's represent a data quality issues. Switch speeds represent a data quantity per second issue.

You are taking my point too literally. I am comparing quality.  Your argument seems to be that the CISCO device is higher 'quality' and so is better for home users, even though it wasn't designed for them.  

My experience of the cheap netgear vs. low end CISCO kit is that build quality is similar.  Metal chassis. Price-conscious but reliable internal componentry. I take your point about power supplies (albeit with the wall wart style SMPS with the netgear, you are free to swap out if you want to).  

Let's compare the two equivalently priced (£20) switches:

New Netgear GS308
Line speed = 1gbps
Forwarding rate = 1.4mpps

"Refurb" End-of-Life Cisco 2960-8TC-S
Line speed = 100mbps
Forwarding rate = 2.7mpps

So, the total switching capacity of the CISCO is almost double, but at a 10th of the speed across each port.  

Ergo, it is designed for a busy corporate network where each port is well utilised (7 access + 1 trunk).

How many home networks fit this requirement?

Better to max out line speed across a smaller number of devices - this will help future proof as broadband speeds of > 100mbps become more common. (1gbps already available to 14% + of the country).

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What do you make of this £2600 audiophile switch that runs at 100 mbps?

https://www.audiologica.co.uk/product/innuos-phoenixnet/

I have a very open mind as to how a hi-fi system would sound with that switch compared to other networking solutions that could be had for far less money, including a fibre optic network.

"Honestly, when was the last time you heard of someone's home switch dying?  Yes they *can* go faulty but so can Cisco kit, especially as it ages. And at £19 a pop you could buy three of those Netgears for the price of that gigabit Cisco, and keep two spare."

I had a Netgear switch that failed a year or two after I bought it.

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Are you really arguing about spending £19 instead of £6 on a switch in the context of someone with an audio system that cost over £1000?

There are reports that business grade Cisco switches result in better sound quality from a streaming hi-fi than consumer grade switches such as Netgear.

There's also the fact that people like myself have a preference for filling our houses and our lives with good engineering. EG EMT turntables instead of Rega Planar 1. Volvo or BMW or Mercedes family sized car instead of a small Dacia or Renault hatchback. Cisco business switch instead of Netgear. In the case of switches, where the price difference is £6 to £20 or £60, it's a no brainer.

No it isn't.  You make my point below.  A fully managed ethernet switch generally benefits from some configuration.  You are adding complexity where none is needed.

When two pieces of equipment provide absolutely same level of performance, the only difference is price, and when swapping them out is a 2 minute job with no other adverse consequences, any economic theory points to buying the cheaper.

The real argument for buying old CISCO kit is to possibly to save it from becoming e-waste, but you then also need to factor in the higher power draw of the CISCO vs the Netgear.  (12w vs 3w at load; 11w vs 0.6w at idle).

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"You must be smoking something if you think using the Cisco CLI is easier than plugging a cable into an unmanaged switch."

You haven't seen me working have you? When I've been doing switch roll-outs or refreshes. You haven't seen how many switches I can properly configure in a morning.

It takes me longer to get the switch out of the box and screw the brackets on than it does to adjust the config for the individual switch and to configure the switch.

And of course it's quicker to plug a patch cable into a switch port than it is to configure a switch via a CLI.

Exactly, even the 'Rain Man' of switch refreshes must admit that the plug and play nature of an unmanaged switch is easier to configure than a CLI or even web-gui. And what about for the 99.9% of us who are not training for the CCNA? 

It's like an experienced helicopter pilot saying "Well, it's much easier to get Wales via helicopter... I don't know why you all don't do it".

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But, it's a lot quicker and more reliable to configure a switch via CLI than it is to configure a switch via a GUI. And it's for this reason that the CLI on business switches is FANTASTIC.

The problem here is that you are applying your knowledge of Cisco IOS as if it were Maslow's hammer.  

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And just because a switch is unmanaged, that doesn't mean to say that you can't or you shouldn't configure it in order to get it working as well as possible.

With an unmanaged switch, there is nothing to configure.  Unmanaged = no end user configuration at all.  

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In the same way that just because a managed business switch will work OK from a passing network traffic point of view with factory default settings, that you shouldn't configure it to get it working as well as possible.

Exactly my point.  Adding management to the switch just adds complexity for most home users, for no benefit.  

The main advantage of a switch is to extend ethernet and avoid the need to use Wifi, which is harder to set up reliably.   Buy a cheap Netgear or other jobby off Amazon, plug it in, enjoy music.  Leave managed switches to the geeks like us (I have three).

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4 minutes ago, jamster said:

The main advantage of a switch is to extend ethernet and avoid the need to use Wifi, which is harder to set up reliably. 

I'd disagree with that. In my home LAN, I use Gig Ethernet as a backbone network (to all rooms of the house) so I can then very easily deploy WiFi access points to give good, uniform coverage in all areas of the house.

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Just now, Tony_J said:

I'd disagree with that. In my home LAN, I use Gig Ethernet as a backbone network (to all rooms of the house) so I can then very easily deploy WiFi access points to give good, uniform coverage in all areas of the house.

Yes indeed - you are using ethernet backhaul to avoid the need to use wifi extenders. 

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2 minutes ago, jamster said:

Yes indeed - you are using ethernet backhaul to avoid the need to use wifi extenders. 

Absolutely. WiFi extenders (and their close cousins, Mesh devices) are the spawn of the devil, very easy to deploy badly and very hard to deploy well.

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On 13/03/2021 at 08:00, lindsayt said:

There are reports that business grade Cisco switches result in better sound quality from a streaming hi-fi than consumer grade switches such as Netgear.

Having bought one of the Cisco switches mentioned elsewhere from the ebay seller, just for giggles because I was bored, I concur with the above. Of course, YMMV.

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On 13/03/2021 at 12:14, ACS said:
On 13/03/2021 at 08:00, lindsayt said:

There are reports that business grade Cisco switches result in better sound quality from a streaming hi-fi than consumer grade switches such as Netgear.

Having bought one of the Cisco switches mentioned elsewhere from the ebay seller, just for giggles because I was bored, I concur with the above. Of course, YMMV.

Can we see the reports? Are they double blind testing? Have we ruled out the very prevalent effects of confirmation bias?

P.s. I am not against owning 2nd hand CISCO kit if it floats your boat, but I worry that there are some questionable practices by people who stand to gain.  Where do you think all those switches that get swapped out go?  And what better to drive up demand than creating an audiophile lore...  

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35 minutes ago, jamster said:

Can we see the reports? Are they double blind testing? Have we ruled out the very prevalent effects of confirmation bias?

P.s. I am not against owning 2nd hand CISCO kit if it floats your boat, but I worry that there are some questionable practices by people who stand to gain.  Where do you think all those switches that get swapped out go?  And what better to drive up demand than creating an audiophile lore...  

My report is underneath the sentence written by Lindsayt.

The switch was not second hand. It was new old stock. Cisco WS-C2940-8TF-S 8-Port Fast Ethernet 10/100 Switch BRAND NEW SEALED QUIET | eBay

It works for me. Like I said, YMMV.

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21 hours ago, jamster said:

P.s. I am not against owning 2nd hand CISCO kit if it floats your boat, but I worry that there are some questionable practices by people who stand to gain.  Where do you think all those switches that get swapped out go?  And what better to drive up demand than creating an audiophile lore...

At £19 a go for NOS? They're not trying hard enough...

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4 hours ago, savvypaul said:

At £19 a go for NOS? They're not trying hard enough...

This is the switch you're talking about, right? ;):D

IBM_700_logic_module.thumb.jpg.7b3aa222ba1d4b20365c4b6a1a1534a3.jpg

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Super Wammer
13 hours ago, jamster said:

This is the switch you're talking about, right? ;):D

IBM_700_logic_module.thumb.jpg.7b3aa222ba1d4b20365c4b6a1a1534a3.jpg

And you can buy that for £19 as an NOS item ? No thought not so in answer to your question no this is not the switch you are looking for .:ph34r:

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Super Wammer
On 14/03/2021 at 22:57, jamster said:

Can we see the reports? Are they double blind testing? Have we ruled out the very prevalent effects of confirmation bias?

P.s. I am not against owning 2nd hand CISCO kit if it floats your boat, but I worry that there are some questionable practices by people who stand to gain.  Where do you think all those switches that get swapped out go?  And what better to drive up demand than creating an audiophile lore...  

Pah! Humbug.

Well I am against owning a second hand Cisco switch and one will not be entertained in my house!

So I have bought two of the new ones off eBay which were delivered next day by DHL.

I worry that there are questionable practices by those who seek to dissuade us from trying routes to better sound quality. :D

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Perhaps ASR can measure the £19 switch and pronounce it as good as anything up to £1 million.

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