by September 2, 2004 0 comments

T5 is a high performance modular routing switch meant for organizations having multiple cabling mediums such as 10/100/1000 Mbps fiber and copper interface . These organizations need to use a converter to switch between fiber and copper, which the switch does. The switch also provides wire-speed layer 2 switching and layer 3 routing capabilities. It is a policy-based switch that includes traffic shaping and QoS for all enterprise applications. The unit is flexible enough to provide mixture of LAN services on a single platform, from Gigabit Ethernet (fiber or copper) to copper-based fast Ethernet 10/100BaseT. It also has WAN gateway functionality with E1/T1 MLPPP modules for Ethernet over TDM applications.

Being a modular switch, it has eight hot swappable plug-in slots, which can take different modules (fiber or copper). The switch can accommodate up to 64 fast Ethernet-10/100 ports, eight Gigabit ports and 32 E1/T1 MLPPP ports. The switch has a large number of features such as VLAN, port trunking, bandwidth reservation, spanning tree algorithm, flow control and backpressure, and

Its VLAN feature supports IEEE 802.1q standard, which helps to create multiple logical network segments within the IEEE 802.1q compliant switches in an organization network. This improves the bandwidth. The port trunking feature allows administrator to divide the bandwidth between different switches. The bandwidth reservation feature reserves vital bandwidth for specific applications such as VoIP and video conferencing.

On the security front, it includes port-based restrictions that allow the network administrator to restrict port access to user defined MAC address and also supports radius authentication. You can even configure ACL (Access Control List) at the IP address (layer 3) level. The switch has layer 3 routing capabilities, which helps in improving network operations. The T5 switch has the capability of doing CRC checks, MAC resolution, and TTL updates on a packet-by-packet basis at wire speed. Packets are forwarded to the destination using special protocols such as RIP (Routing Information Protocol), OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) and BGP4 (Border Gateway Protocol 4).

On the management front, the switch can be managed using SNMP network management tools. The switch can be configured through a command line interface by connecting the switch to a computer using a console cable. Web-based management is possible only by using Java embedded on the device. 

Coming to its performance, we tested the switch on a Gigabit Ethernet and fast Ethernet 10/100BaseT network. We used IxChariot to evaluate the performance of this switch. We ran a combination of tests, which included DB, SQL query, streaming audio/video and file transactions. In all the tests, it gave a total throughput of up to 100 Mbps without any data loss, which is a very good. 

The bottom line: This is a product worth buying for organizations running multiple cabling mediums. 

Sanjay Majumder

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