Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Experience with Dell PowerConnect Switches

We just brought in some new stackable Dell PowerConnect 6248 switches, which compete against the Cisco Catalyst 3750 series. The Dell switches cost slightly under half of what Cisco 3750 switches would normally cost.

I ran through the console and noticed that the CLI was unwittingly similar to Cisco IOS. Most of the basic L2 and L3 switch commands (e.g. switchport, spanning tree, ip route etc) are there, except VRF-lite which I used it extensively to separate the different routing domains for management and security purposes.

Another noticeable difference is that Dell doesn't allow you to perform routing on the management vlan interface, which is defaulted to vlan 1. If you intend to route on vlan 1, you would need to create a new vlan & assign it as the management vlan.

1) Creating a new vlan

DellPowerConnect(config)#vlan database
DellPowerConnect(config-vlan)#vlan 4093
Warning: The use of large numbers of VLANs or interfaces may cause significant
delays in applying the configuration.
DellPowerConnect(config-vlan)#exit


2) Assign new management vlan

DellPowerConnect(config)#ip address ?

bootp Set the protocol to bootp.
dhcp Set the protocol to dhcp.
none Set the protocol to none.
vlan Configure the Management VLAN ID of the switch.
Specify an IP address in A.B.C.D format.
DellPowerConnect(config)#ip address vlan 4093

The default subnet for Management VLAN is 192.168.2.0/24. If it overlaps with your other VLANs, you would have to change the subnet as well.

2 comments:

  1. When I see the cost difference in any product then I always fear of compromising in terms of quality but with your analysis I am sure I will opt for dell.Thanks

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  2. Awesome!
    thanks for the info, I am in the middle of moving from a dying 6024g switch we are using for Hosted VoIP and was dreading of having to change the straight up routing to a bunch of Vlan routing beacause you could not have the default vlan 1 as a route!
    Whew!
    cheers!

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