I have a small network with about 200 network devices,20 users and 10 printers. The network is spreed out over a large building. I have central networking rack with about 150 ports and three remote closets connect by fiber with switches to attach to device in the area. The switches where setup back in 2000 when the number of networked devices was half of what it is now.
The switches are getting old and need replaced. The switches are also not stacked properly. They are stack by interconnecting the switches through the regular ports. This may have been fine back in the day but with the network growth we seen it needs to be better.
I am not really interested in gigabit ethernet, 10/100M is fine. I am looking at the Powerconnect 3500 or 5500 series switches. I am also looking to stack them correctly and setting up VLANs for performance and security.
Does any one have any suggestions or recommendations? Can you span switches with VLANs?
Yes they can. You will need a trunk set on the ports connecting the physical switches together. The VLANs will communicate at Layer 2 of the OSI model.
This overview should help with defining what a "stacked" switch is:
PowerConnect 3524/P and PowerConnect 3548/P stacking provides multiple switch management through a single point as if all stack members are a single unit. All stack members are accessed through a single IP address through which the stack is managed.
The stack is managed from a:
• Web-based interface
• SNMP Management Station
• Command Line Interface (CLI)
PowerConnect 3524/P and PowerConnect 3548/P devices support stacking up to eight units per stack,
or can operate as stand-alone units.
During the Stacking setup, one switch is selected as the Stack Master and another stacking member can be
selected as the Backup Master. All other devices are selected as stack members, and assigned a unique
Switch software is downloaded separately for each stack members. However, all units in the stack must be
running the same software version.
Switch stacking and configuration is maintained by the Stack Master. The Stack Master detects and
reconfigures the ports with minimal operational impact in the event of:
• Unit Failure
• Inter-unit Stacking Link Failure
• Unit Insertion
• Removal of a Stacking Unit
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I pulled this overview from the User Guide for the 35xx series (link below). Yes it is VLAN capable and you can span multiple switches with a VLAN as long as they are not separated by a Router.
Dell™ PowerConnect™ 3524/3548 and PowerConnect 3524P/3548P are stackable, advanced
multi-layer devices. PowerConnect units can function either as stand-alone, multi-layer, switching
devices or stackable devices with up to eight stacking members.
This User Guide contains the information needed for installing, configuring, and maintaining
PowerConnect 3524/3548 and PowerConnect 3524P/3548P combine versatility with minimal
management. The PowerConnect 3524 and 3548 series include the following device types:
• PowerConnect 3524
• PowerConnect 3524P
• PowerConnect 3548
• PowerConnect 3548P
The PowerConnect 3524 provides 24 10/100Mbps ports plus two SFP ports, and two Copper ports
which can be used to forward traffic in a stand-alone device, or as stacking ports when the device is
stacked. The device also provides one RS-232 console port. The PowerConnect 3524 is a stackable
device, but also operates as a stand-alone device.
Here are a list of the Features found on the 55xx model also found in the User Guide (link below)
This section describes the features of the PowerConnect 5524/P and 5548/P
For a complete list of all updated device features, see the latest software
version Release Notes.
This section contains the following topics:
• IP Version 6 (IPv6) Support
• Stack Support
• Power over Ethernet
• Green Ethernet
• Head of Line Blocking Prevention
• Flow Control Support (IEEE 802.3X)
• Back Pressure Support
• Virtual Cable Testing (VCT)
• MDI/MDIX Support
• MAC Address Supported Features
• Layer 2 Features
• IGMP Snooping
• Port Mirroring
• Broadcast Storm Control
• VLAN Supported Features
• Spanning Tree Protocol Features
• Link Aggregation
• Quality of Service Features
• Device Management Features
• Security Features
• DHCP Server
• Protected Ports
• iSCSI Optimization
• Proprietary Protocol Filtering
Hope this helps
Let us know if you have further specific questions
What does the P stand for in 3524/48 and 3524/48P?
The P represents a switch with the Power-Over-Ethernet feature used with ethernet powered devices like a VOIP phone.
Do you know if a VLAN can span physical switches? Stack and un-stacked?
Most desktops now come with gigabit network ports. If you are putting money (and effort) into new switches, why would you not want to go ahead and make yourself capable of gigabit to the desktop? Just curious?
That said, if you do have power over Ethernet requirements, gigabit POE is much more expensive than 10/100 POE and very few POE devices (VOIP phones, for example) are gigabit. So I have 10/100 switches for my POE needs, sitting beside gigabit switches for desktop needs.