The GS510TP is a Layer 2 switch with a solid list of supported protocols and features. Here is a summary of the more significant features.
- 802.1q VLANs
- STP, RSTP, MSTP
- LAG: manual and LACP (802.3ad)
- LLDP, LLDP-MED
- QoS: 802.1p CoS, DSCP, DiffServ, port-based queues, port-based ingress and egress rate limiting
- VoIP: Voice VLAN and Auto-VoIP
- Security - DHCP Filtering, DoS protection, Port based, IP and MAC ACLs, storm control, 802.1x
- RADIUS and TACACS+
- SNMP v1, v2c, v3
- IGMP snooping
- 8 Ports PoE, 802.3af and 802.3at
- Link down power saving mode
- Port Mirroring
You can grab the data sheet to see the full set. Suffice it to say that NETGEAR has all the basic smart switch features covered including mirroring, VLAN, QoS, rate limiting, link aggregation, etc. I'll go into more detail on some of these features next.
The GS510TP supports up to 64 VLANs, with three VLANs already defined. VLAN 1 is the default VLAN and VLAN 2 and 3 are pre-defined for voice and video, respectively.
Configuring the GS510TP for VLANs is the same as on the GS108T. Instead of defining trunks or access ports, all you do is define whether a port is a tagged or untagged member of one or more VLANs. To create a trunk, you make that port an untagged member of the VLAN you wish to be the native VLAN, and a tagged member of all the rest of the VLANs you wish it to carry. To create an access port, you simply make that port an untagged member of the desired VLAN and remove it from all other VLANs.
I added three screenshots below, showing the output from the GS510TP as I created a VLAN trunk for VLANs 1-3 on port 1. I also created a VLAN 2 access port on port 7 and a VLAN 3 access port on port 8. In the figure below, you can see ports 1-6 are all untagged members of VLAN 1. Ports 7-8 are not members of VLAN 1.
VLAN 1 configuration example
Next, you can see port 1 is a tagged member and port 7 is an untagged member of VLAN 2.
VLAN 2 configuration example
Finally, you can see port 1 is a tagged member and port 8 is an untagged member of VLAN 3.
VLAN 3 configuration example
I tested the NETGEAR's ability to trunk and separate traffic by VLAN with a Cisco SG500-28P switch. I set up a trunk on the Cisco with the same VLAN assignments and connected it to the NETGEAR trunk port. I also created access ports on the Cisco switch in the same VLANs as on the NETGEAR. My tests were successful. I was able to successfully ping between devices within VLAN 2 and 3 from the NETGEAR to the Cisco switch, validating 802.1q tagging functionality.
Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is an important technology, even in a single switch network. For example, let's say an end user plugs in an unmanaged switch into their network port so they can have more ports at their desk. Let's say that end user then inadvertently connects two ports on that unmanaged switch together. The resulting loop can paralyze portions of a network until it is discovered and removed. (I'm not making this up, I've seen it happen!)
The GS510TP supports basic STP, as well as Rapid STP (RSTP) and Multiple STP (MST). STP is disabled by default on the GS510TP, so you have to enable the desired protocol globally, as well as enable it on each port.
I ran a simple test on the switch with STP disabled. I created a loop by connecting a single Ethernet cable to ports 5 and 6 on the switch. Without STP enabled, all the lights on the switch flickered rapidly and I was unable to access the Internet or get through the switch. (This is where end users say “The Internet is down!”)
I then enabled RSTP globally and on all ports. With RSTP enabled, the switch detected the loop and put port 6 is in a backup role, as shown in the screenshot below. This means the port is not forwarding packets due to a possible loop detected. The network remained up and unaffected by this loop.
RSTP loop detection in action
Link aggregation, or LAG, is the ability to configure multiple ports to perform as a single link. Up to four ports can be combined into a single LAG, and up to four LAGs can be defined on the GS510TP. LAG groups on the GS510TP can be set up statically or via Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP).
I set up a static LAG between the GS510TP (using ports 1,8) and my Cisco SG500-28P. As you can see in the screenshot below, LAG1 on the GS510TP is in a Link Up state.
Link Aggregation enabled
Jumbo frame configuration is in the Switching >Ports > Port Configuration menu, and is set by port instead of globally. Each port can be set to support frame sizes of 1518 to 9216 bytes. A nice touch is you don't have to reboot for the configuration to be active! With jumbo frames enabled, I was able to pass 4046 bytes frames (4046 = my PC's limit) through the GS510TP.
Link Layer Discovery Protocol is a nice tool for network discovery. Unlike Cisco's proprietary Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), LLDP works on many different brands of devices. LLDP allows two directly-connected devices to discover information about each other, which helps network topology mapping and troubleshooting.
I enabled LLDP on the GS510TP and on a Cisco SG500-28P. As you can see in the screenshot below, the GS510TP detected another connected device. LLDP has determined that port g1 on the GS510TP is connected to port gi19 on the Cisco switch. This is useful information when you're trying to remotely map out a network or troubleshoot.