About Your NEAT Rack
- Last Updated: 08/17/2018
Your NEAT Rack comes with three main components: the servers, the switches, and the routers.
Your NEAT Rack comes with two servers. These servers will likely be SuperMicro custom servers, Dell 1950s, Dell 2950s, or IBM x3550s.
Whenever using the rack, it is critically important to know which server you are plugged into. If you don't know which server you're plugged into, you won't know which ports to configure on the switch.
Your rack comes with two switches. One of those is a Cisco 10/100 switch, and the other will either be Netgear or 3Com Gigabit switch.
With a max speed of 100 Mbps, the Cisco switch is slower than your Netgear/3Com switch. However, the Cisco switch is much "smarter." All this means is that it has many more options for configuration, and it can perform more complex tasks like using VLANs or spanning tree. Since it is more configurable, we will be using it in our labs. We will only be passing small packets through it, so the 100 Mbps limit isn't a problem. Your Cisco switch will look something like this:
With a max speed of 1 Gbps, these switches are much faster than the Cisco switches. They do not, however, have even close to the range of configuration options that the Cisco Switches have. They will not be used in the labs, but they will be crucial if you want to try out things that require high bandwidth like storage processing.
Netgear switches will look similar to this:
3Com switches will look similar to this:
The router provided will be from the Cisco 1800 series, most likely the Cisco 1841. This router will be used in the static and dynamic routing labs. It can be used for much more if you want to learn dynamic routing protocols like BGP, EIGRP, OSPF, etc. It will look something like this:
NEATRacks are assembled with the two servers lower down, with the switches and routers on the top. Each server will have at least two usable ethernet ports, and will likely come with one plugged in to each switch as shown below:
In addition to being plugged in to both servers, the Cisco switch will be plugged in to the router.
When using minicom to console into the router/switch, it's important that the console cable is in the port labelled CONSOLE. In this picture the switch's console port is on the bottom right and the router's is the top right of the four ports.