Pro and Cons of adding more Ethernet ports to router or using Switch

Unanswered Question
Jun 11th, 2007


I have 8 , 2600 routers in the lab enviroment. I want to connect them together in different topologies, but they only have two ethernet port and no serial one.

I wanted to ask if I should buy new ethernet or serial cards or use a switch to get more ports. What are the pros and cons.


I have this problem too.
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royalblues Mon, 06/11/2007 - 10:54

It would depend on what toplogy you are trying to simulate in the lab.

If you plan to run all the routers in one LAN then switch is desirable.

You can always configure VLANS on the switch and connect these router ports to different vlans and simulating them to be connected in different broadcast domains.

I would suggest you go for a switch and some wan cards so that you can simualte both P2P and broadcast networks.

Also you can go for a ether switch module like the NM-16EW which will serve the purpose of the switch

HTH, rate if it does


tprendergast Mon, 06/11/2007 - 10:59

You really will need to buy a switch. You would need to buy a pile of ethernet modules and build a hierarchy of routers to get them all interconnected. With a switch, you can affordably and easily connect all the routers and still even have room for expansion with the right model. If you put in a layer 2 switch with vlan support, you could also enhance your environment by vlanning off many devices and using your routers to route between the vlans.

Your switch choices are obviously 8 port, 16 port, 24 port, or 48 port. I would recommend a 24 port switch, which will allow you to add servers or further network devices to your lab at a later date.

If this helps, please rate.


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