Faster than Gigabit on a budget

For some time now Gigabit has been the de-facto speed for networking equipment. The days of vendors getting away with selling Gigabit at premium is mostly gone. The only real exception to that seems to be Cisco, who inside on providing Fast Ethernet (100Mb) ports on many of their devices and charging a premium for Gigabit.

Ten Gigabit is becoming more widely available in enterprise environments, but comes at a cost that is out of reach of many home labs and those on a tight budget. Depending on what you need to achieve there are low-cost options for getting your feet wet with 10Gb or faster.

Those on a tight budget are likely to consider LACP to aggregate multiple GbE connections in order to provide more available bandwidth. Unfortunately this isn’t always suitable, especially so if you need a single connection to consume much of the bandwidth. Thankfully assuming you only need to connect two hosts together there is a better way.

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Brocade Java Problems

Brocade Fiber Channel switches running FabricOS, in particular the DS-300B switches suffer from problems when trying to make use of the web based Switch Explorer. This usually results in getting an error something like the following:

The version of Java plugin needed to run the application is not installed. The page from where the plugin can be downloaded will be opened in a new window. If not, please click here: Download correct Java version.

One solution is to install Java 1.6, which is now outdated and not receiving security updates. A better approach is to use Java 1.7 and simply bypass the version check. This can be achieved by visiting the following URL:

http://IP ADDRESS/switchExplorer_installed.html

You will need to make sure the URL is added to either the Local Intranet or Trusted Sites zone in internet explorer for this to work. Unfortunately this solution will only work with Java 1.7, Java 1.8 introduces some additional security requirements which I’ve not looked into yet.