Did you know you could get a very good Cisco switch less than $1000? You can with the Cisco Small Business 500 series switches. A rack mountable and stackable managed switch. A Catalyst 2960 can costs around $2000!
*Prices quoted from CDW at the post’s published date.
There’s no catch here. It’s a feature-rich switch. Comparable to a Cisco Catalyst 2960 – the next step up from the 500 series – the biggest differences I see are:
- CLI – TextView
- Not quite IOS but the commands are very much the same.
- Marvell silicon
- Not the Cisco manufactured silicon.
For a small and medium business, the Cisco 500 series switches are great. It’s a stackable up to 8 switches and is capable of doing 10 Gigabit. Those are features required for a growing SMB. But in this post I will be focusing on getting it up and running.
To get the Cisco SMB 500 switch online, you can either begin configuring the device through a serial console cable or allow the switch to acquire a DHCP address.
I’ll start the configuration at the command line. First thing to notice is, the switch doesn’t use IOS. It uses a very similar command line called TextView. The commands are almost identical, maybe even the same.
The default username and password of the Cisco 500 switch is cisco / cisco.
Here’s my initial configuration to enable network connectivity:
switchad0a6e#conf t switchad0a6e(config)#vlan 101 switchad0a6e(config)#int vlan 101 switchad0a6e(config-if)#ip address 172.21.101.254 255.255.255.0 Please ensure that the port through which the device is managed has the proper settings and is a member of the new management interface. Would you like to apply this new configuration? (Y/N)[N] Y
SW-A(config)#interface fe1/2/1 SW-A(config-if)#switchport mode trunk SW-A(config-if)#switchport trunk native vlan 101 SW-A(config-if)#ip default-gateway 172.21.101.1
SW-A(config-if)#do sh int status Flow Link Back Mdix Port Type Duplex Speed Neg ctrl State Pressure Mode -------- ------------ ------ ----- -------- ---- ----------- -------- ------- fa1/2/1 100M-Copper Full 100 Enabled Off Up Disabled On fa1/2/2 100M-Copper -- -- -- -- Down -- -- fa1/2/3 100M-Copper -- -- -- -- Down -- -- fa1/2/4 100M-Copper -- -- -- -- Down -- --