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LAN & WAN Reviews

LAG

For redundancy and/or increased LAN bandwidth, you can configure two or more ports on the EdgeSwitch 8-150W in a Link Aggregation Group (LAG) to connect to another switch. I configured two ports on the switch in a LAG with Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) enabled and connected them to similarly-configured ports on a Cisco SG200 switch. Below you can see the active LAG on the EdgeSwitch 8-150W.

Link Aggregation Group

Link Aggregation Group

As mentioned earlier, the configurations on the EdgeSwitch 8-150W seem similar to that of a Cisco switch. Terminology is also similar. Cisco refers to a LAG as a "Port Channel" as does the EdgeSwitch.

ACL

Access Control Lists (ACLs) are a useful tool to match traffic for configuring policies, as well as for controlling traffic flows. I struggled with the EdgeSwitch 8-150W's ACL GUI menu, so I resorted to the CLI to configure a test ACL. As mentioned previously, the EdgeSwitch 8-150W CLI is very similar to Cisco's IOS configurations, so I created my ACL in the CLI using the same commands I would on a Cisco device, shown below.

ip access-list test
deny ip host 192.168.5.3 host 192.168.4.1
permit ip any any


I then applied the ACL to VLAN 5 with the following command.

ip access-group test VLAN 5 in 1

The EdgeSwitch 8-150W GUI then came in handy for viewing my access list, as shown below.

Access Control List

Access Control List

This basic rule blocks traffic from 192.168.5.3 to 192.168.4.1. My PC is the device with IP address 192.168.5.3 and the switch has 192.168.4.1 assigned to it. Without the rule in place, I could ping from my PC at 192.168.5.3 to the switch at 192.168.4.1. With the rule applied, the same ping attempt failed, validating the rule works. More advanced rules can be created to filter source and destination traffic based on Protocol, IP, Layer 4 port, as well as DSCP and IP Precedence values.

QoS

The EdgeSwitch 8-150W has multiple tools to manage Quality of Service. QoS configurations are useful to ensure bandwidth availability on networks that may experience congestion. The EdgeSwitch admin guide provides an example config for using DSCP with VoIP, but there are many other options for configuring QoS.

As an overview of the QoS configurations, with the EdgeSwitch 8-150W's Class of Service (CoS) sub-menu, you can map CoS values to Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) values, apply shaping rates to interfaces, and apply minimum bandwidth percentage by interface using Weighted or Strict queuing.

With the DSCP sub-menu you create a DSCP Class and configure it to match specific values such as CoS value, VLAN, MAC, IP, Layer 4 port, DSCP value, Precedence value, or Protocol. You then create a Policy to apply the to inbound or outbound traffic. Last, you associate your Policy to the Class you create and apply Marking or Policing rules to control traffic flow, then apply the Policy to an interface.

Policing and shaping provide advanced options to control traffic flows. But you can also use them to do simple rate limiting on a port. I set up a policing rule using the GUI to match all traffic coming in the EdgeSwitch's interface connected to the router. Without the rule, my Internet bandwidth (according to speedtest.net) was 70 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. I then applied my rule (shown below) that was configured to limit inbound traffic to 1 Mbps. With this rule in place, my Internet bandwidth was .93 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up, validating the rule's effectiveness.

Policing Rule

Policing Rule

As simple as that may be for advanced users, network novices may wish the EdgeSwitch had simple ingress / egress rate limiting for each port. But it doesn't.

Closing Thoughts

The EdgeSwitch 8-150W is a powerful small network Layer 2/3 switch supporting PoE+ on all eight RJ45 ports and available for $200 on Amazon. To get the most of it, though, you may still have to resort to CLI configurations. Although I found the EdgeSwitch 8-150W's GUI more intuitive than the EdgeRouter Lite, I had to to resort to the CLI to configure features such as Layer 3 functionality and access control lists.

So why would you pay $200 for the EdgeSwitch 8-150W, when there are less expensive 8 port PoE switches? For example, the ZyXEL GS1200-8HP an 8 port managed switch with 4 PoE ports providing up to 60 W runs around 80 bucks. And ZyXEL's GS1900-8HP is another managed 8 port PoE switch providing up to 70 W of PoE power on all eight ports for about $100. In my mind, the key differentiators for the Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 8-150W are its greater amount of PoE power (150W), passive PoE compatibility with Ubiquiti Access Points, dual SFP ports, and of course, Layer 3 switching capabilty.

As with the EdgeRouter Lite, I think the EdgeSwitch 8-150W is a pretty powerful device with impressive features. But I have to give it the same "not for networking newbies" caveat we gave the EdgeRouter Lite.

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