Compex DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch - HotHardware

Compex DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch

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The Compex DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch
It's Time for a "Switch"

By Jeff Bouton
5/12/2002

In recent years, we've seen a major shift in the way companies are marketing their networking products.  With the increased popularity of DSL and Broadband, the demand for more bandwidth has made technologies that were originally designed for the commercial market, available to the average single end user or small office.  In years past, the only way the average user could network their computer was using a serial cable.  Today, the enthusiast can put together their own 100Mb high-speed network for under $150, giving them the ability to transfer hundred of megabytes of data in a matter of seconds.  For a few extra dollars, a network kit could be purchased that utilizes wireless technology, eliminating the need for the cabling required by conventional network setups.  Clearly the options are there, with the only restriction being the budget a user has to work with.  One major manufacturer of such networking components is Singapore based Compex, Inc. 

Not long ago, we were introduced to the Compex product line with Marco's review of their NetPassage 16 and the WLU11 and WL11 wireless adapters.    After comprehensive inspection and testing, he was thoroughly impressed with the quality and value these items had to offer.  This time around we've strayed away from the home-based network, to an area where Compex has taken aim at the commercial market, with their DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Rack Mountable Switch.  The DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch is designed for the small to mid-sized business that requires a simple solution which is both powerful and easy to configure.  With such features as Priority Data Setting, Port Trunking, and Forced mode, the DSR2216 offers a lot of flexibility to suit a wide variety of networking needs.  So let's take a look at what the DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch brings to the table and then we'll go over some of its finer points in more detail.

 

Specifications and Features of the Compex DSR2216 16-Port Switch
A Lot For The Money...

Technical Specification:
Industry Standards

IEEE 802.3 10Base-T,
IEEE 802.3u 100Base-TX,
IEEE 802.3x Flow Control;
FCC Class A, CE Mark

Interface
16 x 10/100Mbps RJ45 ports

LED Indicators
System Power,
Speed,
Duplex,
Link/Activity

Switching Method
Store & Forward

Switching Buffer
512K bytes

MAC Address
16K

Backplane Capacity
3.2Gbps
Operation Mode
N-Way Auto-Negotiation or Forced Mode

Flow Control
IEEE 802.3x Flow Control - Full Duplex
Back Pressure Flow Control - Half Duplex

Priority Queuing
Port-based

Port Trunking
4 ports/trunk

Power Supply
100~240VAC, 50~60Hz

Physical Dimensions
300mm x 110mm x 66mm (LxWxH)- DS2216
440mm x 250mm x 44mm (LxWxH) - DSR2216

Environmental Requirement
Temperature
Operation : 0ºC to 40ºC
Storage : -20ºC to 70ºC
Humidity
Operation: 10%RH to 80%RH
Storage: 5%RH to 90%RH

 

Quality & Features of the Compex DSR2216 16-Port Switch
What Did You Expect?


When it comes to customizable switches, a good portion of the units available on the market allow the user to fine tune specific settings. Some have configuration settings that can be accessed through a web browser or TELNET, while others may need a separate PC connected through a serial connection.  Compex has made the configuration of the DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch simpler by offering easy access to all of its advanced features through the use of their PowerButtons design.  By implementing two simple buttons on the face of the DSR2216, Compex could now provide the user with an simple interface, allowing access to a wide array of settings quickly and easily, without the need for a separate PC. 

Right out of the box, the DSR2216 is configured for Full-Duplexing mode, providing a full 200Mbps per port, 100Mbps in each direction.  Multiply the 200Mbps by the 16 available ports and that brings the DSR2216's backplane capacity to 3.2Gbps.  To give a comparison, a tradition 100Mbps 16-Port Hub would share the 100Mps capacity across all 16 ports.  To help maintain peak efficiency, the DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch implements a series of popular technologies.  Flow control helps reduce collisions and packet loss by communicating to the connected computers when it is best to transmit the next packet.  Essentially, flow control behaves much like a traffic cop in a busy intersection, helping to keep things moving efficiently and safely.  Through the implementation of N-Way Auto Negotiation or Forced Mode, a port (or ports) can be configured to either run at the highest possible bandwidth or be set to run at either 10 or 100Mbps.  The Forced Mode feature can be quite helpful in troubleshooting speed related problems on the network, helping to determine which equipment may be at fault.

Virtually any switch or hub available on the market can be up-linked with another, allowing for easy expandability of the network, but there is a catch.  When two or more switches are connected to each other, the transfer rate between the two switches is reduced.  Normally the two units are connected to each other through one of the available ports.  Since only a single port on the switch is used, this restricts the two units to the bandwidth of that port, in this case 100Mbps Full-Duplex.  Although this may not have a tremendous effect on network performance, as the amount of computers connected increases, a performance lag may become evident as network traffic grows.  Compex has equipped the DSR2216 with the ability to enable what they call 4-Port Cascading or Port Trunking, to help improve the transfer rates between up-linked devices.  Using the PowerButtons, the DSR2216 can be configured to group anywhere from 2 to 4 ports, increasing the transfer rates between the two switches from 200Mbps Full-Duplex to 400Mbps or 800Mbps.  Although this reduces the availability of ports for connecting external devices, the efficiency of the overall network is greatly improved.

One final key feature of the DSR2216 is the ability to implement specific Priorities to any given port.  By assigning a port a normal or high priority, the DSR2216 will insure that the data transmitted across these ports are delivered first over all other requests on the network.  This is most advantageous when voice data is transmitted across the network in real-time.

As we can see, the DynaStack DSR2216 16-Port Switch can provide a lot of functionality in a single unit.  Not only does this insure that it has the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of networking needs, it also insures that it has the capacity handle the needs of the network as it continues to grow.

 

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