Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Managed GbE for $15/port

At dinner on Monday, we were bemoaning the disappearance of Ethernet "hubs". It used to be that if you went out and bought a cheap 5-port Ethernet device from Fry's, it would provide a physical interconnect but no L2 switching. As a result, you could use it to observe traffic going by on the network, which is useful for debugging and testing.

Today the low end of the market is all switches. There's not a whole lot of room below $20 to sell something with less functionality. But we thought that the price point for a switch that would do the "right" thing (port mirroring) was too high. (Port mirroring explicitly copies traffic from one port onto another so that you can observe it. And it's your only option if the link is GbE.)

However, Per found a Linksys product with an incredible feature set. The 5-port model (SLM2005) is just $100, and the 24-port model (SLM2024) runs around $350-$400. For $15-20/port you get port mirroring, link aggregation, VLAN support, and a bunch of other features. Very cool to see these features making it into low-end devices.
Tags: geek, hardware, networking
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