D-Link's DGS1216T Web Smart 16-Port 10/100/1000+2 combo SFP Switch is one of three switches in our roundup that offers two slots for fiber optic interface modules. These two slots can accommodate either D-Link's single mode or multimode SFP (Small Form-factor pluggable) GBICs (Gigabit Interface Converter). A fiber optic interface is important when you need to connect to another switch that's farther away than the 100 m Ethernet limitation for copper. Multimode fiber can extend that distance up to 550 m and single mode fiber can go up to 10 km.
Figure 1: D-Link DGS-1216T Front view
As with the other two switches with SPF GBIC ports, these ports share ports on the switch. If you elect to use the optional fiber GBICs, you'll lose wired ports 15 and/or 16.
There are 18 columns of LED indicators each with three rows of LEDs except for columns 17 and 18. For each wired port, there is a combination link/activity LED, and a separate LED to indicate whether the link speed is 1000 or 100 Mbps. Of course, for the two columns for the fiber ports, you don't need the 100 Mbps indicator. There's also a power light as well as a CPU LED that blinks to let you know that the switch is operating properly.
On the rear panel, you'll find the power socket and the reset switch. There is no power switch. My personal preference would have been for the reset switch to be on the front panel. Should you rack mount the switch, it's often difficult to access the back side of the rack.
D-Link didn't include a printed "quick start" guide. Both the quick start guide and the 63 page user manual are included on a CD along with a Smart Console utility (Figure 2) that provides discovery, basic configuration and limited monitoring capabilities. It's interesting to note that virtually the same utility with the same user interface was also included with both the Trendnet and the Netgear switches.
Figure 2: DGS-1216T Smart Console Utility
By default, the built-in DHCP client is disabled, and the switch defaults to 192.168.0.1. If you're comfortable with changing the IP address on your system to match the subnet of the switch, you can bypass the discovery utility.
The opening page of the web management interface shows the device status. Arranged along the left side of the screen is a explorer-like tree which, when expanded, shows you all of the configuration options available. In the center of the status screen, there are links that also take you directly to configuration pages for major functions such as port mirroring, and spanning tree.
I was disappointed, however, that the D-Link management interface did not include any online help. There were no descriptions of any of the functions.