Do I need a smart / managed switch?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by pprior, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #1
    My current network has a cable modem feeding an AEBS which then feeds 2 x 8 port dlink DGS-2208 8-PORT 10/100/1000 DESKTOP SWITCH. I have all ports full, mostly with low bandwidth use, and I have 2-3 wireless devices running through a wireless network of 2 AEBS and 1 Airport unit extending.

    My main problem: I am trying to do off-site backup via mozy, frequently 5-10GB at a time, which can take days to upload. When that is running I don't really have any major problems with computer use (somewhat slow, but tolerable), but my son's Xbox360 will not perform at all online (I guess mozy is killing latency for upload). Therefore I have to run up and shut down mozy i he/we want to play.

    What I'm looking to do is give "priority" to certain ports - i.e. the xbox would get top priority and then the other computers and last the machine running mozy. I would like at least a 16 port switch and maybe 24, although I guess I could feed from the managed one to one of my current 8 port switches.

    I need something relatively easy to manage, and I would like to spend no more than $300-400.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #2
    My AEBS is lent out. and I can't remember if it's possible, but I wonder how much it would help to set up a DMZ and put the off-site backup device on it?
     
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #3
    QoS is what you're after, and I don't believe the AEBS does that. I was running OpenWRT on my old Linksys WRT54GL and it had QoS ability. This device usually costs around $60.
     
  4. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I don't think DMZ will fix my problem - I need to reduce bandwidth use to my backup machine when the xbox needs it. DMZ as I understand it can't do that.

    Sounds like QoS is what I need - I'll try to find a switch that will do this - seems like going from a 8 port up to 16 or 24 gets real expensive, not sure why.
     
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #5
    You are correct, the DMZ function doesn't do what you need. You can probably get a router cheaper than a switch with QoS.
     
  6. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #6
    QoS does sound like the function you need, but I'm not familiar with the efficacy of consumer market devices. I'd be interested in what you find.
     
  7. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I think I'm looking at the Netgear GS724AT model. Having trouble finding one as some places (apple) say "discontinued" and list the GS724T instead, but on netgear's site it lists the AT model as the latest....

    They open 8 am PST - going to call and see what I can find out.

    My other option is to save some money and just get an 8 port version and link dumb switches downstream, but I kinda figure that having everything going through one switch will be better.
     
  8. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #8
    If you get a WRT54GL, you can run OpenWRT on it and I know it has QoS functions in it.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #9
    Probably not noticeably better, and possibly not even measurably better. I routinely run local connections thru several switches, and there is no noticeable latency or bandwidth difference. I see a much more noticeable (and measurable) difference between ping latency on a new Mac vs. an old one, the old one being slower. They can all still max out a 100baseT with ease, though.

    Also, I thought the Mozy software had a "limit bandwidth" preference, so you could tell it not to hog everything. Maybe I'm thinking of some other backup app.
     
  10. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #10
    I used to work for NETGEAR Tech Support and if you can afford the previously mentioned switch, it's a good one. Solid with a long warranty. Unless you want to replace your AEBS, I would recommend a switch for fewer headaches.

    That said, I have a router with ddwrt (as others have mentioned) that cost about $50 and will do QOS if you have the time and knowledge for that type of setup.

    EDIT: Shop around if you're going to buy that switch. $300 is too much. eBay may be a good option, but you'll lose any warranty.
     
  11. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Well the switch I mentioned apparently is 3-4 week backorder. I don't want to switch my router - happy with ease of use with the Apple airport extreme and I've used 3rd party routers before, it was too much hassle.

    I'll check ebay - didn't think of that.

    The reason I would rather have a switch managing priority vs. throttling back mozy (which it will do, as you note) is that it already takes weeks to backup after a large photo shoot, and I think if I throttle it back all the time he -might- be using the xbox, it'll never get backed up.

    My goal is to put the xbox higher on the traffic priority, so that if it's running, it will get "1st dibs" on internet, and if it's not, then mozy will still run full speed.

    I hope this system will accomplish that.

    I've thought of getting a smaller 8 port managed switch like the GS108T which was well reviewed, and then hanging off my unmanaged switches below that, but I'd really like to just have one unit managing it all since I have a home run system already in place.
     
  12. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #12
    If you need to save the money, the GS108T is a good choice. You could just daisy chain the switches and put all the stuff that doesn't need to be managed on the old switch and the stuff that does need to be managed on the GS108T. If you have the cash for that larger switch, then more power to ya :)

    btw I noticed the NV+ in your sig, I did support for the ReadyNAS units specifically. Good little boxes.

    EDIT: Newegg has the GS724T in stock (new), for $50 less than retail, free shipping, with a free HD camera
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122138
     
  13. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Hey I appreciate the advice - I saw that switch but don't really understand the difference between it and the GS724AT. On the web, it looked as though the plain "t" model didn't do QOS, but it's over my head.

    Worth the difference in cost? I did find the AT on ebay - will run around $400 shipped.

    (and p.s. my NV+ has been bulletproof, only c/o is fan is too loud, but it's in the basement so it doesn't bother me)
     
  14. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #14
    If you look at the specs on that Newegg page I linked it says the switch has QOS. The AT model must have come out after I left. I'm not sure what the difference is.
     
  15. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #15
    I just noticed this detail.

    Just buy a random 5-or-8-port 10/100 switch and hang all your low-bandwidth devices on that. You should prioritize your local bandwidth usage in the same way you're prioritizing your remote bandwidth. Anything that doesn't absolutely need gigabit bandwidth should be a candidate for 10/100.
     
  16. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #16
    He's looking for WAN QOS. Local bandwidth is not an issue in this case.
     
  17. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #17
    Frankly for that kind of money you could just build an extremely cheap PC (it does not need to that powerful at all) stuff as many ethernet cards in it as possible and then install OpenBSD on it. That way you would have a huge amount of flexibility (far more than any of the options mentioned in this thread) an enterprise level firewall with deep packet inspection, QoS, http proxy for caching content, file server if you wanted it and numerous other things.

    The only downside would be the learning curve.
     
  18. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #18
    If a $50 dd-wrt router is out of the question for complexity reasons, then I assume this would be as well. Although I personally have considered the option before; seems like a fun project.
     
  19. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Absolutely! My time and frustration level is worth the investment for a product that will just work. That's the reason I went into Mac computers about 4 years ago :)

    I'm sure that would give me way more capability, but too much hassle factor.
     
  20. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    just bought the GS724AT off ebay. Will report back once I get it (and my new mini server) installed. Thanks so much for everyones advice.
     
  21. lostngone macrumors demi-god

    lostngone

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    #21
    I think you are going to need to looking into rule based traffic shaping or policing and not QOS. QOS over the internet is pretty much useless because once a QOS tagged packet leaves your router every other router that the packet passes through will ignore the tag.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_shaping

    I just googled this and I found the following, it looks like you can do some basic policing inside of OSX with ipfw. It looks pretty cool.

    http://www.macgeekery.com/hacks/software/traffic_shaping_in_mac_os_x
     
  22. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #22
    It doesn't matter what the external routers do with the packet. If he configures his router to prioritize the Xbox traffic, thereby slowing the Mozy traffic, it will work as planned.

    QoS = traffic shaping. They are the same.
     
  23. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #23
    +1
     
  24. pprior thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Just a follow-up. I ended up bidding and completing 2 different ebay auctions for the 24 port dlink unit - apparently they are not shipping and both sellers backed out on me.

    In frustration I ended up buying the 8 port version, and then just hanging my other two 8 port switches off it. It's not as flexible that way, and a bit more messy, but it was actually cheaper and most importantly it works great!

    I'm able to keep my computer running mozy backup 24x7 as needed, and the other computers are not being affected like they were before. Setup was easy, though i don't understand 1/2 of the options and I'm not doing everything this swtich can do I'm sure.

    Xbox360 (even 2) now runs without any problems, and I don't notice any difference on my machine, even though it's set to lower priority as their traffic is not bandwidth intensive, but is latency intensive.

    Thanks so much to everyone who made suggestions - I really appreciate it.
     
  25. NiMiK macrumors newbie

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    Dec 13, 2009
    #25
    If it's a managed switch, you can shape the bandwidth per port (egress/ingress). Depending on the switch, you might have to enable port based VLAN. You can also configure QoS on the router as mentioned by others too but that might too much of a load for the router if it's a cheapy one.

    BTW, which switch did you end up getting? I might be able to help you out with the config.
     

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