Setup and Configuration
Like the SRW2008, the SLM2008 lacks either a printed quick start guide or a discovery utility. All of the configuration information is included on the supplied CD. According to the manual, the switch has a default IP address of 192.168.1.254. The guide does not provide instructions for changing your computer’s IP addressing scheme to a 192.168.1.0/24 network to perform initial configuration. However, if you know enough to buy a "smart" switch, you will probably know how to do that!
Figure 2: Home Page of the SLM2008
Once you log into the browser-based management console, you’ll find that the user interface is quite similar to other Linksys products, with ten menu tabs arranged horizontally across the top. I did find it annoying that on many pages, I had to scroll down in order to find the "save changes" icon at the bottom of the screen. The fixed window size seemed arbitrary, considering that I had additional screen real estate available that could have easily accommodated all of the fields on the Linksys page.
Figure 3 shows the corresponding home page for the SRW2008 managed switch. Though the SLM2008 was introduced after the SRW2008, a comparison between the home pages indicates that the SLM’s UI is a step backwards.
Figure 3: Home page for the SRW2008 managed switch
My chief complaint about the UI on the SLM2008 is the lack of online help. On the SRW2008, each screen features online help in a scroll window along the right-hand side of the screen. While similar descriptions of functions appear in the user guide for the SLM2008, people often lose CDs. In addition, context-sensitive help speeds configuration. For a product aimed at less technical consumers, the exclusion of help in the UI seems like a real oversight.
My complaint about the UI aside, the SLM2008 is a very capable switch. It includes many of the features of the fully managed SRW2008, but in most cases, there are fewer configuration options. It’s fair to say that the SLM2008 is a subset of its fully managed sibling.
Under the Port menu, you find that the SLM2008 supports static link aggregation. It supports two LAGs (link aggregation groups), and each LAG can contain up to eight ports.
Figure 4: SLM2008 Port Menu
The VLAN menu lets you create multiple VLANs. Each port can be assigned to a VLAN. You can enable the ingress filter and set acceptable frame type to either ALL or Tagged Only. Of course, the fully managed SRW2008 gives you many more configuration options, including GVRP (Group VLAN Registration Protocol), which allows for automatic distribution of VLAN membership information among VLAN-aware bridges.