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Networking Layout for Foundry RX32 Switch

The Switch

The Foundry Networks switch RX32 (BigIron RX Series Switches[6]) has 32 slots, which can be equipped with either a 24port 10/100/1000 RJ45 or a 48port 10/100/1000 mRJ21. Since we aim for the maximum number of ports, we definitely want the 48port version.


In principle there are several solutions possible:

Without patch panel

For this we would use specially crafted cable with one mRJ21 connector on one side and 6 RJ45 connectors on the other side. No patch panels are involved.

Cables used: mRJ21 connector (wither straight or angled) to 6 RJ45 connectors

Length: Variable length, depending where racks are

Price (roughly): €86/5m, €110/15m

Pro: Relatively simple layout, only 192 cables leaving switch

Con: Need many different cable lengths, expensive cables, RJ45 cable end quite rigid and short (30cm each)

With nearby patch panel

Here we would place patch panels either in the same rack or an adjacent rack. Using short special cables and long standard Cat6 cables.

Cables used: mRJ21 connector (straight/angled) to mRJ21 & standard Cat6 cables

Length: short mRJ21 cables (~1-3m) and long Cat6 cables (5-50m)

Price (roughly): €50 mRJ21 cables (estimate), €60 for 6 Cat6 cables (15m), €265 for 48port panel (i.e. €44 per 6 ports assuming 36 out of 48 ports will be used)

Pro: Need only small amount of special cables

Con: Patch panel, messy area near switch with LOTS of cables, more expensive then previous solution

With remote patch panel

This is probably the cleanest and most versatile solution. Each rack gets a 48p patch panel.

Cables used: mRJ21 on mRJ21 (angled to straight), standard Cat6 patch cables within racks

Length: long mRJ21 cables (depending on position of rack), short patch cables in rack (<2m)

Price (roughly): €110/15m mRJ21 (estimate), €15 for 6 Cat6 patch cables (2m), again €44/6 ports for panel)

Pro: Relatively simple layout, only 192 cables leaving switch, great flexibility within each rack

Con: Most expensive, Patch panel

your choice?


There seems to be an Issue with the e1000 module (Intel 1000). The Kernel Dokumentation says (''/Dokumentation/networking/e100.txt""):
 Jumbo Frames on Foundry BigIron 8000 switch
 There is a known issue using Jumbo frames when connected to a Foundry
 BigIron 8000 switch.  This is a 3rd party limitation.  If you experience
 loss of packets, lower the MTU size.
Topic revision: r1 - 18 Sep 2007, MatthiasLInden
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