Network Hub selection help needed

From: Pete Turnbull <>
Date: Mon Apr 22 02:28:00 2002

On Apr 22, 1:21, Chad Fernandez wrote:

> By commercial grade I just meant that I wanted to avoid the home grade
> stuff that may not have features, or only a few connections. The type
> of thing that Best Buy, Staples, or another cunsumer oriented store may
> carry for your average Windows user.

Ah, well there aren't all that many features to distinguish a dumb hub (or
switch) from another dumb hub (or switch). Number of ports, whether it
supports autosensing 10/100, internal or external PSU, noise level (ones
with internal PSUs often have a fan), colour of the box, and that's about
it. Some low-end devices are more reliable than others, of course.

> > If you see a decent modern 3Com hub or switch, that's fine but most of
> > second-hand stuff I've seen is 10baseT only. I wouldn't bother looking
> > IBM. Baystack, 3Com, HP, Cisco are the ones you're likely to see. And
> > Netgear, which is almost entirely unmanaged kit, but quite good
> >
> What's the difference between managed and unmanaged?

Unmanaged means a dumb device that has no configuration settings, provides
no stats, and has no address of its own. A managed hub or switch will have
it's own IP (and/or IPX address, rarely DECnet or Appletalk) and will
usually support SNMP (the Simple Network Management Protocol) and/or some
kind of web interface. That will allow remote configuration of things like
IP address, spanning tree settings (if it's a switch), port settings
(enabled or not, half/full/auto/duplex, 10/100/auto, etc), VLANs (if it's a
modern switch), and monitoring and interrogation of internal data
(byte/packet/collision/error counts on ports, port state, MAC address(es)
last seen on each port). The management costs a lot extra.

Pete						Peter Turnbull
						Network Manager
						University of York
Received on Mon Apr 22 2002 - 02:28:00 BST

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