Using Linksys' terminology, the SRW2008 8-port 10/100/1000 Managed Gigabit Switch is the only "fully-managed" switch in our roundup. While the reluctance to use the term "smart" switch might be viewed as a form of marketing one-upsmanship, the Linksys product is a bit of a different animal. As shown in the features table, this switch has far more configuration options than any of the other switches reviewed. This is a switch that will appeal to a network engineer and has enough configuration options that it could easily fit into an enterprise environment.
The SRW2008 is an eight port switch, and, like the D-Link switch, shares two of its ports for optional SFP GBIC fiber modules.
Figure 4: Linksys SRW2008 front view
Though not in the standard 19" rack mount form factor, the SRW2008 is supplied with extended brackets so that you can mount it in a standard 1U rack space.
A glance of the front panel reveals that Linksys chose to use LED indicators that are integrated into the individual Ethernet ports. The green LEDs show link/port activity and the yellow indicate gigabit connection. The port numbers are printed on the case below the Ethernet ports.
Figure 5: SRW2008 LEDs
The SWR2008 also has a console port on the front panela feature often found on managed switches. The switch is supplied with a console cable so that you can do basic configuration from the serial port of your notebookif your notebook even has a serial port. Default port settings are 38400, N, 8, 1.
The Linksys switch did not include a printed quick start guide or a setup/discovery utility. The 125 page user's guide was included on a CD. The switch has a built-in DHCP client, which by default, like the D-Link, is disabled. The default IP address is 192.168.0.254. You can change your address to this subnet and connect with the web browser interface.
Alternatively, you connect the console cable to your serial port and either enable the DHCP client, or configure a static IP address in the range of your network's subnet. The CLI (command line interface), also available via telnet or ssh, has only a subset of the robust configuration features available through the web browser-based interface (Figure 6).
Figure 6: SRW2008 Admin interface
The web browser interface has a familiar Linksys look and feel. The home page shows port status at a glance along with summary information. Across the top of the screen, there's a horizontal menu. As you click on each menu tab, a submenu of configuration options appears below the tab.
Of all of the switches in this round up, Linksys did the best job of providing on-screen, context sensitive help. The help, which appears in a window to the right of the configuration screen, summarizes the purpose of each screen, and then describes each of the options on that screen.