I'm setting up servers at our new office and I brought a spare managed switch with 2 Gig ports to run all of our phones(VOIP) and workstations.

Now for the servers I've got a separate gigabit switch(not managed).

Will there be any difference if I connect a second ethernet cable between the switches?

Will traffic route over both, or could it cause issues because I can't team the 2 ports on both switches?

up vote 14 down vote accepted

If the second switch is unmanaged, then you're in for a world of pain. Without management features like Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), then you'll probably create some kind of loop, and that will invariably, eventually lead to a broadcast storm.

This is why if you're connecting switches together, especially to improve interconnect speed, then you need to configure LACP on both switches, so that they see it as a trunk path between the two.

I'm willing to wager that by connecting the two switches together in a naive way, then you'll either reduce network performance by encouraging routing loops, or cause broadcast storms which will bugger both switches equally.

Sell the unmanaged one, get an identical one to the first, and do it properly.

  • It wasn't my choice to buy the unmanaged one, I ordered a managed one, but my vendor sent me another model. – Jacob Dec 17 '11 at 22:15
  • 11
    1) Send it back. 2) Name and shame the vendor. 3) Find a decent vendor who can tell their arsehole from a hole in the ground, and understands why the thing they sent isn't suitable. – Tom O'Connor Dec 17 '11 at 22:16
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    Have to agree with Tom here: send it back. For what you're trying to do, an unmanaged switch is about as useful as a roof rack is on a helicopter. – Rob Moir Dec 17 '11 at 23:07
  • @TomO'Connor Thanks for the switch recommendation, it's already on order! – Jacob Dec 18 '11 at 4:48

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