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LAN & WAN Reviews

Linksys SRW2008 - more

The SRW2008 is would appeal to the IT manager or network engineer who wants the maximum amount of control over a switch. For example, all of the smart switches in this roundup give you some control over individual ports. But the SRW2008 lets you name individual ports so that it is easy to identify the attached clients. You can enable or disable auto negotiation, force any port to any speed or duplex setting, enable/disable back pressure and flow control and even set each port for MDI/MDIX or Auto connection.

Each configuration tab has multiple submenus that provide extensive configuration options. For example, under the QoS tab, there are six tabs. Under CoS (Class of service, you can define each COs (range 0-7) to one of the four QoS queues. You can also set the default CoS for each port or LAG (link aggregation group).

The second tab lets you select queue settings. You can select either strict priority or WRR (weighted round robin). The SRW2008 also supports DSCP (differentiated service code point) and you can map each of the 64 values to one of the four queues.

Under bandwidth control, you can define the Ingress Rate Limit status, Egress shaping rate, Committed information rate and Committed Burst Size for each port or LAG. Trust mode lets you decide, per port or LAG, whether CoS or DSCP takes precedence if a packet's tags are mapped to different queues.

Other advanced features on the SRW2008 include Spanning Tree Protocol, Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol, full RMON and SMNP V3 support and GVRP (group VLAN registration protocol). Security features include both MAC and IP based ACLs, and support for 802.1x and TACACS+. You can also enable broadcast storm thresholds for each port or LAG.

I've used a lot of networking acronyms in the last two paragraphs, in part, to demonstrate the richness of the SRW2008's feature set. If you're interesting in exploring more of these features in depth, you can download the user's guide at the SRW2008 product page.

Construction details

SRW2008 Interior
Click to enlarge image

Figure 7: SRW2008 Interior

The SRW2008 is the only product in this roundup to not have an internal power supply. Instead, you'll need to deal with a largish external power brick. Like the D-Link switch, it uses a Marvell 88E6218 Gateway multi port QoS switch chip. I was unable to determine the type of chip under the heatsinks, and Linksys doesn't release component vendor names.

Worthy of special note, the SRW2008 doesn't have a fan, so it's no surprise that it was the quietest of our roundup. On the side of the case, Linksys also includes a slot for a cable lock.

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