Monthly Archives: October 2004

HP Procurve 2524 Switch

I’ve been playing around with my HP ProCurve 2524 (J4813A) managed 24-port 10/100 switch today. The CLI interface is very functional and Cisco-like. It even supports CDP. You can do ‘show run’ to view your config just like in IOS. One thing I like better than Cisco IOS is that even in the configure context you can still have full access to all the ‘show’ commands. I wish IOS did that. There is the IOS-like ‘no …..’ at the front of a configuration line to remove/negate that particular configuration line.

The VLAN configuration is very straightforward. There is no switch-port ACLs like on a Nortel Baystack but not necessary if using full 802.1Q VLANs. Unlike the Baystacks, you can reconfigure VLANs on the fly without having to change any of the settings on the monitoring (mirror) port. The monitoring port can either monitor 1 VLAN, or any number of physical ports. This functionality works quite well. If you had a VLAN which you wanted to have strict control of Internet access to you could have something like this:

untagged 3
tagged 23
tagged 24

For this scenario –
Port 3 has the ‘computer room 3’ switch hanging off it
Port 23 is Internet gateway/router
Port 24 is the DHCP server

You would just say:

vlan 3
no tagged 23

…and then voila – room 3 has no Internet but still has DHCP. You could verify this with a ‘show vlan 3’.

On the topic of DHCP you can have a different DHCP scope for each VLAN by using Intel Proset tools on the DHCP box. Just have a virtual interface on each VLAN and serve a scope to each one. I did that in testing today – worked beautifully. I setup CommTraffic today and played with it in conjunction with VLANs. It worked fine. CommTraffic has all the makings of a good program and it has accurate reporting, but it was just too inflexible in its reporting. There was no easy way to clear the totals, and it annoyed me by seemingly only computing traffic on a per-host basis. Where is the totals for each VLAN? I’d look elsewhere for a tool (possibly still Windows-based) that has better reporting, and probably a more sturdy logging database. Something that dumps to a mysql database would be nice. I think making use of SNMP functionality would be beneficial.

PearPC PowerPC Emulator for x86

I’ve been playing around with PearPC today – it’s really cool. A lot of people on forums have been complaining about how slow it is. I didn’t find it too bad, especially considering it’s emulating an entirely different CPU arch.

I might actually stick with PCs after all. Now I’m looking in earnest to the new 90nm Athlon 64 socket 939 CPUs. I think I’ll upgrade next year to a machine that has good sound, PCI Express 16x and plenty of USB2, Firewire and SATAII.

So yeah PearPC rocks. I was able to get quite a functional OSX install going. There are a few issues though. The main one on Windows is that there is no networking with the host OS (as of 0.3.1). This really sucks. To get software into the hosted OSX I’d have to move the files into an ISO filesystem image, then change the config to mount the ISO with the virtual CDROM, then boot up.

On Linux you can use the tunnel adapter device for networking. I might try PearPC under Linux and see how that goes. Other issues include no sound, and the inability to connect to the physical CDROMS and DVD drives in my system. So it’d be great to get bridged networking, physical optical drive access and sound going. Hopefully these things are coming.