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Saturday August 19th 2017

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Please don’t daisy chain switches

There are many times that I would walk into a business to help troubleshoot a problem, to find that someone didn’t take the proper time to do something right, and instead took the easy way.  Usually this come in the form of switches (or even worse hubs) that are daisy chained together one after another…and sometimes, after another.
I understand, I made this mistake early in my career, pressured to  get lines in a new area of the office, but not given the money to do it properly.  There were even times, when I really did intend to come back to correct the problem only to get endlessly sidetracked and never get back to fix the temporary solution, hence making in permanent.
The problem is after time this problem can compound by either endlessly daisy chaining switches (either purposely or accidentally) and more likely than not, these new switches are not on UPS power, just plugged into a wall.  This is fine as long as there are no power outages or spikes.  I’ve run into the problem multiple times where a client is complaining about no connection to the network, only to find a switch in the way that needed to be power cycled to work again.
Rather than run the risk of having problem, I always suggest that you use stack-able switches and make sure they are powered by UPS.  If it’s done right the first time, the client or your company will have less problems in long run, and that’s the information you need to pass along to them.
In my early days, I wouldn’t even bother to make the objection to adding switches to make extra connections, but experience has taught me, this isn’t good.  They cause another level of failure and can cost additional money in trying to troubleshoot a connection issue or buy a new server when all you needed to do was remove an old switch that was hidden. (At one company, there was an old 10MB switch that was forgotten in the ceiling, of course they found out after spending a couple grand on a new server that wasn’t needed).  This is why it’s better to just do it once and correctly. It may take a little more time/month/both but in the long run it will make things run a lot smoother.

 

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