Dell power connect switches.

Good afternoon,

We are planning to deploy several Dell PowerConnect 3324, 3348 and 6024
switches on our network.

We currently have between 200-300 users and servers that these switches
will service. We are also planning to add about 300-400 more users in
the next 2-3 mos. 85% of the users are for our call center where they
all use Terminal clients and connect to W2K TS. The rest is regular
staff and our application servers.

Can anyone tell me any good/bad points about them?

I originally proposed using RiverStone as L2 switches but price was a
factor in our decision to go with Dell. That is my main concern at this
point. The Dell switches are very cheap compared to other L2 switches
out there. Will this be a case of "you get what you pay for" or are they
really good performing units?

I really have not been able to find any lists or other sources with
comments on these units. I'd appreciate any info you guys might have.


Can anyone tell me any good/bad points about them?

I looked at the 3248 and 5224s about a year ago, and would strongly advise against deploying any of the gear in a production environment. They had a number of issues with LACP/dot1q. The most severe issue is that the management interface would occasionally crash hard -- no control possible, even by serial line. It was still passing packets, but had to be reloaded to change anything. They were also a number of exploits of the web interface (incorrect implementations of access control, improper bounds checking, etc.)

You get what you pay for. I believe the switches are OEMed from Accton; you'll find other vendors (e.g. SMC) selling the same boxes.


In the low-end market it's mostly management and other software issues you
pay for. I have an example of a 24 port 10/100 switch with dual 1000TX
uplinks for $95 from an Taiwan manufacturer, where you get some kind of
windows-only special management program (not telnet/snmp able).

It's still very inexpensive and they claim wire-speed and I have no reason
to doubt it, making a 20gigsbit/s unit is not very hard today.

If you like the management interface of your Dells then they'll most
likely perform what you need in the pure "shuffle packets"-area as long as
you do IPv4 unicast.

If you want to muck around with multicast, several vlans perhaps leaking
multicast from one vlan to another, private vlan edge, QoS etc, (mostly
metro ethernet stuff, for delivering triple play services to subscribers),
then that's a whole other ballgame.

dell managed switches = accton and smc managed switches

the cli is cisco style. early revs of their firmware had frequent
managemnt interface crashes, that appears to be mostly fixed in more
recent builds.


I don't know how related they are (if at all), but we were suckered into
buying several Dell PowerConnect 3248's some time ago. We have a serious
issue with them in that the telnet CLI tends to cease properly accepting
connections after a while...making them effectively dumb unmanaged L2
switches. If anyone's aware of a fix for this (other than serial
consoles), I'd love to hear it.

No real complaints. The management is a bit unusual as it's menu-based and the telnet session always makes the cursor disappear on my vt100 windows... Then there is the issue that you have to set the vlan for access ports in two places, for no apparent reason. Unless I'm mistaken, the IP address for the switch "works" in all vlans. So I'm not sure if this switch is appropriate in very security conscious environments, but for simple managed switching it works well enough.

I've been feeding one of those 7 Mbps worth of multicast traffic on and off for the better part of a year without problems. Not sure if it snoops, and haven't tried anything else fancy, though.