VLAN Troubles

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Tue Mar 6 17:33:01 CST 2012


> I can confirm similar issues between our older Dell Poweredge 1655 and a 
> Cisco 3550.  Took me a while to figure this one out, considering the 
> aggro trunks weren't working right either.  Switching it to etherchannel 
> solved the trunking issue, but I still had some major issues with VLANs 
> even after that.
> 
> I have yet to move the 1655 (since we still use it for lab purposes) to 
> the 6503.
> 
> I hate to put it this way, but I'd love to know what crack Dell was 
> doing when they decided to use the software/hardware switch stuff they did.

I don't think the 1655 and the 5324 share ancestry.

Dell does what lots of companies do: they outsourced.  The Dell 5_2_24
was a catastrophic device that was based on the same hardware platform
as the Foundry Edgeiron 24G and the SMC 8624T, 3Com's 3824 ...  the
only difference in many cases being paint and firmware.  All of these
were actually made by Accton, who sold it as the ES4624, and the early
revisions had a catastrophic failure mode that would result in the two
halves of the switch losing communications with each other, or something
like that, hopefully I'll be forgiven for the technical handwaving, and
eventually firmware workarounds "fixed" the switch, but (I think?)
Foundry led the pack on that, and so you'd come across Dell gear with
Foundry firmware or stuff like that, done by people desperate to stop
their switches from going wonky every few weeks.

I don't think I ever did identify the source of the 5324 fully, I think
I concluded that it was somewhat unique to Dell.  It lacked most of the
other quirks common to cheap switches like the Accton (broadcast domain
issues, anyone?) and was, at the time, probably one of the best deals in
managed switching.  It only had a few goofs that I could complain about,
including the lack of 64-bit interface counters and the Ciscoesque-but-
not-quite syntax.  For the most part, I've heard that their newer
products are pretty good too, though usually there are tradeoffs.

obDisclosure: We run a bunch of 5324's, and don't seem to have any 
issues with them.

... JG
-- 
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.



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