Updated 1/13/2011: Rate Limiting and Voice VLAN
|At a Glance|
|Product||LG-Ericsson Layer 2 Smart Switch (ES-2026)|
|Summary||24 10/100Base -TX & 2 Gigabit combo uplink port smart switch|
|Pros||• 802.1q support for up to 128 VLANs
• Intuitive GUI
• Passively cooled = quiet
|Cons||• Relatively expensive
• Rate limiting isn't accurate
• Voice VLAN automatic function didn't work
LG-Ericsson is a new networking brand in the United States, launched in August, according to this press release. The company is the result of a flurry of spinoff, joint venture and merger activity among SMC Networks, Accton, Edgecore Networks, LG-Nortel and Ericsson. The new LG-Ericsson offers IP PBX systems, VoIP devices, multimedia terminals, and “a host of smart, fully-managed and unmanaged switches”.
Toward that end, LG-Ericsson announced its switching products in November. Two of the three announced switch lines are available now—the ES-2000 series and ES-3000 series. The ES-2000 series are a line of Layer 2 "smart" switches, while the ES-3000 series is a line of more advanced Layer 2 fully-managed switches.
Smart switches fall between unmanaged switches and fully managed switches. Unmanaged switches have no configurable options (like these we reviewed awhile back), while fully-managed switches have more features than "smart" models and are more suited for large enterprise networks.
LG-Ericsson shipped an ES-2026 for review, which has (24) 100Mbps ports and (2) 1000Mbps ports. But its feature set applies to the entire ES-200 line that includes the ES-2026P (ES-2026 with PoE), and fully-Gigabit ES-2024G and ES-2024GP (without and with PoE).
Under The Covers
Physically, the ES-2026 is pretty basic. All the ports are on the front and the AC power cable connects to the back. It is passively cooled, so it is completely silent, which is nice. Figure 1 shows the front of the device with 24 10/100 ports, and next to them two combination Gigabit Ethernet / SFP ports.
Figure 1: ES-2026 Front panel
Figure 2 shows the rear of the device. Nothing to see other than a standard power cable connector and a reset port. There is no power switch.
Figure 2: ES-2026 rear panel
The CPU and Ethernet chips are all Marvell. There are three Marvell 88E3083 8 port Ethernet controllers for the 100 Mbps ports and one Marvell 88E1322 for the 1000 Mbps ports. In addition, the switch has 16 MB of flash storage, plus 128 MB of SDRAM.
Figure 3: ES-2026 board
The ES-2026 is a highly customizable layer 2 switch. There are ten menus, each with up to nine sub-menus for displaying status and configuring the device (Table 1).
Table 1: Menu tree
LG includes a detailed manual on the disk with the switch. There are many configuration options, but the web-based menus are intuitive and I didn't have to consult the manual very often as I changed configurations.
One thing I found out the hard way is that configuration changes are active once applied, but they're not saved to flash memory and will be lost on a power cycle if you don't perform an explicit configuration save. For those of you familiar with Cisco IOS, this is similar to a copy run start operation. Figure 4 is a screen shot showing a configureation save. I wish I had done this before I power cycled the switch!
Figure 4: Don't forget to save changes
The ES-2026 supports simple port-based VLANs, but it also supports 802.1q VLAN tagging. Up to 128 different VLANs can be statically defined on the switch.
To test VLANs, I set up two VLANs and a VLAN trunk between the the ES-2026 and the NETGEAR GS108T. I assigned several ports on the ES-2026 to VLAN1 and several others to VLAN2. I like that the ES-2026 allows you to assign a range of ports to a VLAN, speeding up the configuration process as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: VLAN port range assignment
VLAN1 on the ES-2026 was connected to a DHCP server providing IP addresses in the 192.168.1.0/24 network, and VLAN 2 on the ES2026 was connected to a DHCP server providing IP addresses in the 192.168.2.0/24 network.
Connecting my PC to any of the ports in VLAN1, I got an IP in the 192.168.1.0/24 network. Connecting my PC to any of the ports in VLAN2, I got an IP in the 192.168.2.0/24 network, verifying simple VLAN capability.
I also verified VLAN tagging over a trunk between the ES-2026 and the NETGEAR. Frames passed between the two switches were appropriately tagged with the correct VLAN ID.
The ES-2026 has an easy method to display port configuration and VLAN membership for all 26 ports. The Edit Member by VLAN menu was a useful and quick tool to examine my configurations. As you can see in Figure 6, ports 1-6 are all set up as access ports, have a PVID of 1, and are untagged members of VLAN1. Ports 7-10 are also access ports, have a PVID of 2, and are not members of VLAN2.