Over the past few years I have received multiple requests for temporary computer labs in conference rooms. Sometimes I receive a request for a switch to be placed in a conference room for a major systems change and the requester want all of the support staff to be in the same room hardwired specific subnet. An IP phone is always on the request.
I usually struggle to find an extra POE switch that is available, I usually find a 48 port Cisco 3560. Then I place it on top of the conference table so all of the computers can easily reach it. Sometimes I am stuck with a Cisco 2950, no POE, then struggle to find a power brick for the IP Phone and have to make a crossover cable for the uplink.
I was excited to hear about the Compact Switches that do not have fans. I started looking at different vendors with compact switches. I wanted to get a 10/100/1000 switch with 10-12 ports. Out of the compact switches that I looked at, the Brocade ICX-6430-12C was the only one I found with 12 ports of gigabit ethernet. I have used Brocade FastIrons and NetIrons in the data center so I took a close look at the ICX-6430-C12.
Here are the requirements I had for my compact switch to fulfill this need.
– 10 to 12 Gigabit ports
– Fully Managed, SSH, SNMP etc..
– Layer 2 only, Just pass the VLANs through
– Mark QOS via ACL (Mark DSCP Value), Trust DSCP on the uplink
– Provide PoE (for an IP phone and maybe an Access Point)
– No fan, low to no noise
– SFP port (a like to have)
The ICX-6430-C12 has 12 10/100/1000 ports with two Gigabit uplink ports and 2 available SFP ports. Brocade states it is a 12 port switch, but it is really a 16 port switch. The switch can power up to 4 802.3AF devices OR 2 802.3AT devices and 2 802.3AF devices. The switch doesn’t make any noise, no humm or Buzz. The configuration is very simple. TACACS+ works with my Cisco ACS server for authentication.
The switch has a few different mounting kits available. There is a 19 inch rack mount kit, rubber feet and my favorite, the magnet. You can read more about them in the FastIron_08001_ICX6430-C_InstallGuide. I was surprised to see the magnet mounting kit. It would work great if there was a steel wall close. It’s easy to use and no tools are needed to mount it to the wall. Unfortunately, very few of the locations I would use this have steel walls to mount it on.
I was easily able to power my 6900 and 7900 Series Cisco IP Phones with this swtich. I was able to power a Cisco 1252 and 3500 series wireless access points. The Cisco 1252 access point requires PoE+.
QOS marking and queuing worked well. I had very good voice quality while the switch was under heavy load.
Overall, I’m very happy with this product and I do highly recommend the switch to you. The gigabit port density for the cost was a very good value for me.
Have you used any of the compact switches?
If so, how are you using it?
Please share your experiences with the switch or what you would like to see different?
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