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Router and Switch Configuration Essay

Router and Switch Configuration 1 Running head: Configuration of Routers and Switches Router and Switch Configuration Router and Switch Configuration Pg 2 Router and Switch Configuration The vital components in the computer networking are routers and switches; however, plugging them in is not nearly enough. In order for routers and switches to operate properly, they must be installed and configured. This is an overview of the proper installation, setup, and configuration of the popular Cisco brand equipment designed to be used with the Ethernet standard of networking.

Switches Network administrators can use the command-line interface (CLI) to set up their Cisco switches. To access the CLI, the switch’s console port must be plugged into a computer terminal or modem with an RJ-45 rollover cable and the appropriate adapter. A terminal emulation key to configuringthe MAC address table and port security. Using the CLI configure privileged-level password and IP settings will allow remote management of the switch (Regan, 2004). One of the best ideas for maintaining connectivity in a network is redundancy.

Should one switch fail, having another route for data around the failed node ensures the network suffers no ill effects. To build redundancy and eliminate the creation of multiple broadcast packets, spanning tree protocol (STP) must be configured on the network switches. Spanning tree protocol allows a switch to recognize which switch on the network is handling broadcast requests from other devices on the network. Without spanning tree protocol, a single broadcast traveling through multiple switches soon becomes multiple broadcasts that render a network unusable (Norton, 2001).

According to document 5234 on the Cisco. com website (2006), the first step in configuring STP is to determine the root switch eachVLAN. The root switch should always be the switch closest to the center of the VLAN. Once the root is determined, four rules should be followed when configuring STP. First, all ports of the root switch should (in most cases) be in forwarding Router and Switch Configuration Pg 4 mode. Secondly, the root port on all network switches should also be set to forwarding mode.

Next, for each LAN segment, “the port of the designated switch that connects to that LAN segment must be placed in forwarding mode. ” The final rule is that all other ports must be placed in blocking mode. Routers Before installing a router, consideration should be given to six environmental conditions: temperature of the room in which it is installed, required power specifications, wiring availability and the possibility of electromagnetic discharge (Regan, 2004).

One should always check the user manual for the router to ensure the installation site is appropriate for the required environmental conditions. Upon first starting up the router, setting passwords will help ensure the configuration is secure. The router will than ask the administrator if IP routing is to be enabled, followed by a series of Router and Switch Configuration Pg 5 Configuration questions meant to ensure traffic flows through the router in the desired manner.

Once the configuration questions are answered, a summary of the configuration is displayed and must be accepted before the default configuration file is overwritten (Regan, 2004). Routing Protocols Routing data to its intended destination would be impossible unless network devices are using the same routing protocols. Routing Information Protocol (RIP) is one such protocol. RIP is easily configured and deployed, and is best-suited for small to medium networks. RIP directs data based on hop count alone.

By contrast, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) protocol assigns a cost to routes and delivers data through the lowest-cost path. Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP) is similar to RIP, but allows gateways to build routing tables that contain data on each of the gateways and the routes to which they are connected. IGRP allows data to split among different pathways to make the most of available bandwidth. Afourth routing protocol is Enhanced IGRP, or EIGRP. EIGRP combines the advantages of link-state routing protocols and distance-vector routing protocols.

EIGRP has many key features, but perhaps what saves the most overhead is its ability to update only partial routing tables on the routers that are affected Router and Switch Configuration Pg 6 by changes in the network (Regan, 2004). Cisco switches and routers offer key functionalities that serve today’s network administrators well. With selection, reliability, and flexibility, Cisco offers a product for every network. Setting up and configuring these network devices can be achieved within minutes for each device, and trunkingprotocols ensure configuration is needed only once.

Routing protocols ensure network devices are using the best routes to get information to where it is going. Once properly installed and configured, networks can operate with a very high level of efficiency. References http:// www. oreillynet. com/pub/a/network/2001/03/30net_2nd_lang. html Regan, P. E. (2004). Wide area networks. Upper Saddle River, N. J. : Pearson/Prentice Hall. Understanding and configuring spanning tree protocol (STP) on Catalyst switches. (2006). Retrieved January 10, 2010 from http://www. cisco. com/en/US/tech/tk389/tk621/technologies_configuration_example09186a008009467c. shtm#task1.

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