Flashing lights are not in short supply on the 3Com switch. Another striking aspect of its appearance is its weight, attributable to its metal chassis. Indicators are provided for link status and packet present for each port, and there are power and management indicators for the whole unit. The ports are in two banks of 12, with the connectors arranged back to back so that the top row is in effect upside down. The sockets are an all-in-one unit and not a particularly well made one at that. A new RJ45 took a bit of effort to get back out of its socket. This sort of thing leads to wear and tear to both plugs and sockets.
The LinkSwitch comes with a good manual to help in the setting up of a switched network. It contains network configuration examples, which are handy for those new to switching. It covers most sizes of network, from workgroups to multiserver Lans, and is illustrated with clear and well laid out diagrams. Installation is well covered and information on maximum network span lengths is provided.
Management can be performed through the serial port on the unit, which is not especially well situated around the back. Once again, this unit does not allow for ease of use for rack-mounted systems. It can also be configured through Telnet or SNMP. The MIB for SNMP management has to be downloaded from 3Com's bulletin board. The LinkSwitch has broadcast storm control, which is a boon to the network manager. The threshold percentage of broadcast traffic to trigger and reset control is user-definable. Another management feature is the ability to add permanent MAC addresses into the database. This information will improve the performance of the switch as it will not have to relearn addresses following periods of inactivity.
3Com LinkSwitch 1000
End user price for the configuration supplied: #3,600
Distribution channels: Indirect only
Distributors: Frontline, Ingram, Persona, CHS, Azlan
Number of resellers supplied direct: 10 systems integrators
Volume discount available: Through distributors
Co-operative marketing available: Through distributors
Other vendor promotional activity: Ads, direct mail, seminars
Accreditation required/available: Available
Var support line: Yes
Customer support line: Yes
Contact for sales enquiries: Joe Frost 01628 897000
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