Cheap switches are different to expensive switches

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Re:Force a failover (Score:5, Interesting)

by billcopc (196330) <> on Thursday August 06, @06:29PM (#28979843)

Please don’t make unverified claims. I have seen this happen first-hand on several residential switches (5/8 port Linksys/Acer/whatever). It’s how they can get away with crapping 8 ports on an underpowered processor with piddly amounts of memory.

There’s basically 3 ways a switch can deal with ARP overload:

1. Ditch the least recently seen address (annoying and laggy but relatively clean)
2. Slow down, panic, and stop forwarding packets altogether (hello Linksys)
3. Ignore ARP entirely and revert to being a dumb hub, at least temporarily until everyone shuts up

You’d be surprised how many A+ asshats have daisy-chained those cheap switches to save a buck. I remember one guy who had a cage full of shitty old gear going into a bunch of $40 Aopen switches, because he figured it was cheaper to cram a few U’s with those tiny 8-port toys than to drop real money on a bunch of FSM750s. His latency was pretty bad for 100mbit, but his brain was even slower so he cared not. Then one day he added one device too many and a true packet storm ensued, which caused his entire network to seize within minutes. One switch barfed, then another, and another… he had four or five of them per rack, times maybe ten racks. I tried to explain how retarded he was for trying to save maybe $1000 per rack, when each rack had at least 50k worth of gear, but they say ignorance is bliss.

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