Wasting switch ports

net_nomadnet_nomad Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□

i've got a design related question.

I've recently took over a network and im no design expert but something about it bothers me, specifically:

we are using 4 x 24 port switches that have 2 fiber ports on each. The only port being used are the fiber ports to connect to a fiber patch panel and copper to connect to the core network

all four are connected to the same network and they are basically being used as media converters. there is no redundancy between or any other reason except to act as a media converter, which seems like a waste to me.

I suggested to the senior network guy that we use media converters and utilize the copper ports on a single switch, he always says "media converters are unreliable" and he has basically convinced this fact to the manager.

I've tried arguing:
Lets buy reliable media converters, they cannot be more expensive than 4 poe switches. but i keep getting shut down.

I would like to present some hard data to management e.g media converter XYZ has a MTTF (Mean time to failure) of X amount of time or it has this many 9s of reliability.

what would you advise ?


  • stuh84stuh84 Member Posts: 503
    Unfortunately I agree with him. Media converters have been the bane of my existence many a time. At least if there is a manageable entity which can be troubleshooted, rather than a random "black box" in the middle which all you can do when it breaks is buy another and hope it doesn't go bad, you can get some idea as to what the problem is.

    It's like adding another cable in, how do you know which cable has gone bad if you have 10 in a row all connected together?
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Member Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I would let it go. It's not really worth putting up a fight over something like that. I do understand feeling OCD about things like that though.icon_wink.gif
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Got to back these guys up here. I hate media converters.. they usually make the network rack seem so un-organized.

    Media Converters offer another point of failure.. They are typically little boxes that require another power outlet.

    Maybe you could ask for some 2955's, smaller port densities and have 2 build multiple or simple mode connectors.

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  • net_nomadnet_nomad Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    thanks for your feedback guys.

    now on to my second battle , to atleast inter-connect these 'media converters' for redundancy in case of link/port failure because they are already PVST.

    as veritas_libertas it is probably an OCD thing .. it just bothers me to see the unused ports when we are being squeezed for budget.
  • APAAPA Member Posts: 959
    Cisco have little ME series switches which are built to be essentially media converters....

    2 x SFP interface
    1 x Console

    Mainly used as handoffs between providers for circuits (Broadband Aggregation, Managed Circuits) etc..

    Not sure on price.... but would definitely be cheaper than 24 Port PoE switches....

    Provide the data...... if you're willing to go that far..... you don't want to be seen as undermining your Senior Engineer though.... thus I would actually present my findings to him\her first.

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
  • stuh84stuh84 Member Posts: 503
    The only issue I'd see with the ME ones is if they are console only, and are to be in disparate locations, you'd need some form of terminal server for each to access them remotely. I guess if these are all in the same location, or even in the location where they are easily accessible by the OP and his company, then they would certainly solve the problem.
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  • APAAPA Member Posts: 959
    I missed out that it has 2 x dual-purpose port as well.... my bad...

    so what you have is...

    2 x SFP uplink ports
    2 x dual-purpose 10/100/1000 + SFP
    1 x Console

    Thus definitely not console only.....

    But even with only 2 x SFP... if your trunking links between switches with them, nothing is stopping you from having a management IP on a SVI... giving you remote access...

    Just like any device in a remote location, you want OoB access to cover you in situations where you lose IP access via in-band methods.

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