A bit of network engineering - Jay Maynard

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Tuesday, 16 May 2006

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1601 - A bit of network engineering

Ever since we've lived in this house, we've had 100BaseT networking everywhere. We've also had some weirdnesses, mainly in that we had reduced speed going from the office to the machine room (but not vice versa) and from the office to the basement (and vice versa).

I finally got tired of it, as well as the multiple switches in the machine room. I got new 8-port switches for the basement and attic, and a new 32-port switch for the machine room. They came in today.

Once I got the switches set up in the attic and basement, everything started running at full 100 megabit speed throughout the house. Whee!

I haven't cabled up the new switch in the machine room; that'll probably happen this evening. I'll retire the old 16-port 10BaseT hub in the machine room; the existing 100BaseT switch in there will become a backup and expansion box. While I was getting ready to do that, though, I did rearrange the center Ivar rack to let me put the serial device server and KVM switch, as well as the new Ethernet switch, in much more convenient locations. There's also room for another serial device server when I come up needing one of those.

Getting all that accomplished was a good feeling...kinda like what I'd been doing professionally for years.

current mood: [mood icon] accomplished
current music: Led Zeppelin - Kashmir

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


Date: - 0000
I've been interested in setting up some sort of serial device server. What do you use?
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Date: - 0000
I had been using the products of my former employer, and I still have some of that on loan from them (I've got more datacenter than they do, and I let them use it), but I'm slowly moving to my own stuff to not depend on them should they decide they want it back.

I use a Perle/Chase Research IOLAN+ Rack 16 box, which provides 16 RS-232 ports that I can telnet into and get to various serial consoles. It uses standard straight-through RJ-45 Cat 5 Ethernet cable, and a series of adapters to connect to various serial ports' wiring. Its RJ-45 wiring standard is not the same as the one Cisco uses, but it is the same as the one my former employer uses, so I can just plug it in in place of the other stuff.

The 16-port version tends to go for about $120 on eBay; there's also an 8-port version that goes for about $70. There's also a breakout box that appears from time to time on eBay, which I know nothing about. Check carefully.

They also have later versions (the IOLAN+ 102/104, and the SDS series); those are more expensive, but will do SSH as well as telnet. They'll also work as terminal servers.
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Date: - 0000
We've been in the process of swapping out a lot of network equipment at work lately. Fortunately, there's a network initiative at the office (Secure Networks) which requires the newer hardware. It is also helping getting a lot of the older 10/100 gear out of the closets.

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