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I'm a bit confused as to why I haven't seen any references online to using Switch A's uplink port (1Gbps, 24-port 10/100) to connect to Switch B's uplink port: everything I've seen -- including documentation, forums, articles, etc. -- has Switch A's uplink port going to one of Switch B's 10/100 access ports. As I understand it, the Uplink port (besides greater speed normally) is no different than another port except that it's "internally crossed-over" so that you can use a straight cable with it.

I've also seen documentation on using the uplink port to connect a switch to a gateway router, or even a server, as it provides greater bandwidth than the access ports, but yet not sure why nobody seems to be cross-uplinking, even when there's 2 uplink ports available on some higher-end switches.

Switch in question is Linksys SRW224P (x2).

Am I missing something?

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How ancient are these switches/documentation references? Most gear is "auto-uplink" these days -- It figures out if you've got a straight or crossover cable between the ports and does the Right Thing accordingly (tell us what kind of switches and someone may be able to say for sure :-) –  voretaq7 May 13 '10 at 15:23
    
I've edited my question accordingly. These are fairly new, but are you saying it would set Switch B's access port to 1Gbps because it "knows" it's how Switch A is connected? Afaik, the access ports are 10/100 only, which is why I don't understand why you wouldn't go Uplink to Uplink at 1Gbps. –  WuckaChucka May 13 '10 at 15:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

That particular switch is a 24 port 10/100 PoE switch with two gigabit ports. You want to connect the two switches via gigabit ports to maximize the inter-switch bandwidth.

As voretaq7 days, in the past "uplink ports" meant ports with switchable MDI/MDIX capability. Since nearly everything new today is auto-MDI/MDIX dedicated "uplink ports" aren't typically sold as a feature unless, as is the case with this particular switch, the "uplink ports" are higher-speed than the rest of the ports on the switch.

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It's funny: if you download/view the manual for these switches, they specifically describe/diagram a two-switch scenario as I've phrased in my question (Switch A Uplink -> Switch B access port). –  WuckaChucka May 13 '10 at 15:30
    
I have a question regarding "best practices" for connecting switches together for redundancy and whether to use a "ring" or a "star" topology (if I'm evening describing this right) for doing so; should I ask another separate question on ServerFault? –  WuckaChucka May 13 '10 at 15:32
    
Sounds like they're talking about connecting to access switches ("the 5-port switch/hub on the secretary's desk"). For your situation I would definitely connect gigabit-to-gigabit. As Evan said you really want the maximum inter-switch bandwidth available: Saturating the inter-switch link can really ruin your day. –  voretaq7 May 13 '10 at 15:37
    
There's a few scattered 5-port switches/hubs, but primarily the access ports on both switches are patched to wall jacks (and computers) in each office. I'm specifically talking about inter-switch connectivity. –  WuckaChucka May 13 '10 at 15:41
    
@wuckachucka: WRT to a "ring" topology, you never want to introduce loops into an Ethernet network unless you're using the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). This protocol enables switches to selectively block traffic on ports to prevent packets from endlessly being forwarded between looped switch connections. A very humorous meltdown occurs when you loop an Ethernet network w/o spanning tree. That particular Linksys, BTW, does support spanning tree, but it's unclear to me if its enabled "out of the box". –  Evan Anderson May 13 '10 at 15:49

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