The AdvanceStack Lan Switch 16 has three rows of indicators to the left of the front panel to show link status - green for half duplex, yellow for full duplex and two rows of LEDs for receive and transmit. The manual that comes with it has a great deal of information on how to set the switch up, but little information regarding network topology.
There are two expansion slots above the ports but only 100VG Anylan cards are available at present. The management interface, the network probe ports reset and system request buttons and the duplex DIP switches are all on the back of the unit, which is fine unless you want a rack-mounted setup in which case access might present a problem.
The HP switch has an identical interface to the IBM one. We were unable to check whether the same circuit board is used in both, but the same manufacturer - Kalpana, a Cisco subsidiary - is responsible for the two. Comparing the two products raises other questions. Why does the HP product have 16 ports compared with IBM's eight, and why is the HP only offered with 100VG uplinks when its manufacturer makes at least one other type - to protect 100VG's market share? When FDDI or ATM links are available from IBM, will they follow? After all, 100VG is not suitable for a campus backbone. A small oddity ought to be raised at this point. The switch's 'fault' light came on when the unit was powered up, and went off for no apparent reason later.
Hewlett Packard AdvanceStack Lan Switch 16
End user price for the configuration supplied: #5,200
Distribution channels: Indirect only
Distributors: DTN, Qudis, Northamber, Ingram, CHS, West Coast, Merisel
Number of resellers supplied direct: 'About 12 corporate resellers'
Volume discount available: Through distributors
Co-operative marketing available: Through distributors
Other vendor promotional activity: Various, with distributors
Accreditation required/available: Required
Var support line: Yes
Customer support line: Yes
Contact for sales enquiries: John Saw 01344 361424.
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