Hubs: Intelligent vs. non-intelligent and other network stuff

Hubs: Intelligent vs. non-intelligent and other network stuff

Post by Scot Harkin » Fri, 07 Mar 1997 04:00:00


In spite of managing 15 SCO systems, I am still on the lower levels of
network knowledge.  The 15 systems are in 15 cities connected by nothing
more that uucp.  I'm in the process of teaching myself about networking in
preparation of connecting our office.  I've got a nice little combo network
here at the corp office; thinnet and twisted pair.  Couple of OSR5E boxes
and a number of Win95 systems, plus a small Mac network (Ethertalk) that
I've had to split off because the traffic generated by huge graphics files
on a server.

We're a small office.  We're upgrading Win3.10 systems to Win95 piecemeal,
and adding to the network as they go.  Our little 3Com TPO-8c (now 3Com's
Office line) is full up and it's time for another hub.  We've more or less
standardized on 3Com cards, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to buy their
hubs, too.  At this point I'm split on whether to drop $500 on an
intelligent hub with all the goodies (SNMP, port-to-port traffic stuff...).
 I could buy the 3Com (TPM-8? I think), but I don't know if they feature
the ability to manage addition non-intelligent hubs (connected via special
ports, I suppose); something that seems to be the feature of stackable hubs
(start with a smart-hub, then add manageable non-smart hubs).  I'm also not
sure if I even need and intelligent hub here at the office.

The traffic will pretty much all be TCP/IP and NetBeui (enabled over
TCP/IP).  Some of our boxes were using EtherTalk (MacLAN Connect), but the
splitting of the Mac network has stopped that.

When it comes to networking at the stores I'll insist on intelligent hubs
for remote management reasons.  Same with eventual RF-Ethernet bridges.

Also, in my purchase decision I have some future to look to.  I've wired
all the stores and the office with Cat5 4pair (100Base-T ready).  I'd have
to ditch the thinnet segments if/when we go Fast, but are there Fast hubs
that sport either a 10Base-2 connector or an AUI?

I know I can find all this out in catalogs and on the net, but I'm also
fishing for the experience, something that's missing from the ads, save
perhaps for BlackBox.


Scot Harkins (KA5KDU) | Systems Administrator, Thurman Ind, Bothell, WA
North Bend, WA        | Native Texan.  Proud daddy and husband!


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