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Networks Enterprise Network Switching

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by LordLuciendar, 13 Aug 2010.

  1. LordLuciendar

    LordLuciendar meh.

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    What are peoples thoughts and opinions on enterprise networking hardware manufacturers? Who do you prefer or who do you think is best?

    A bit of background on the question:
    I own and run a mid size IT firm and I specialize in high end hardware and configuration. In other words, I build high performance workstations (i7 through Xeon 5600) for computationally intensive applications like graphics and CAD and a variety of other applications and the server infrastructure that supports them including clusters and high performance computing. Due to the intense nature of the systems I build maximum network and storage (iSCSI) speed is necessary. I tend to implement MikroTik RouterBoard hardware for routing due to their low comparative cost to Cisco and other solutions and their performance and reliability. I dislike Cisco hardware, and I don't like to sell HP solutions as they are HP branded leading to questions like "So you sell HP?" but I need an enterprise solution for switching. In short I need a brand/ manufacturer of networking equipment which provides switching solutions from 100Mbps to 10Gbps, managed, and at least some L3 switches, but doesn't kill you on licensing like Cisco/Juniper. Any thoughts?
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    HP & Cisco for me.
    Reliable & do the job well.
    Although I prefer FC to iSCSI, even on 10GB SAN networks iSCSI isn't great for heavier situations
     
  3. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    For the kind of throughput you're intimating you need, SAN-wise etc, it sounds like you need Juniper/Cisco switches. The good thing about SAN is its all layer 2, so you just need a reliable backbone with decent enough throughput. The new Cisco 2960S provides 24 or 48 gigabit ports, they are stackable into a single logical switch, have ten-gigE options available, and have a non-blocking backplane. Just bought a few of these for our new iSCSI SAN at work.

    For your desktop level connectivity you might get away with Dell 5424 and 5448s, which have more than enough of the basic features for L3 switching, at a good price, although you lose the flexibility you get with your big players.
     
  4. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Worth checking out Brocade's new FCoE parts too, good middle ground between FC and iSCSI.

    I've never used their Ethernet switches (being a storage guy myself), but would never use anyone else for FC given the choice.
     
  5. LordLuciendar

    LordLuciendar meh.

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    I've heard good things about Brocade... I've also seen stuff on Extreme Networks, anyone with any experience?

    Also, the implementation of this type of hardware isn't just storage, but also backbone and data center networking.
     
  6. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Keep your storage and data channels seperate.
    Brocade for SAN, HP Procurves for data.
    Brocades aren't cheap (last 2 I bought were £12k each) but are the best I've found.
     
  7. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Another +1 for keeping storage and data networks seperate. Some big companies would have you think convergence is great, shove it all over the same switch, but IMO it adds complexity and - especially at the scale I'm working on currently - its easier to plan continuity and capacity if they have their own seperate switches.

    PS Brocade for FC - the only way to do it IMO.
     

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