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10.3: Check network speed to resolve connection issues
Authored by: geordie on Feb 02, '04 08:43:49AM

Actually this is usually an issue with spanning tree. Or more specifically portfast (the cisco term other vendoors call it other things) not being turned on. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=30922 talks a little about it from the appletalk perspective, but is also a problem with link negotiation.

Basically the problem is that the switch port is not enabled until a check for a network loop is finished. On a modern fast computer auto-negotiation has finished before the link is actually enabled. Some clueless administrators then set the port to a fixed rate and then auto-negotiation is guaranteed to fail although as long as the host is set for the right settings things work fine. The correct thing to do is to set the port to turn on immmediately and only turn off if a loop is detected. Turning the port on first is the so called portfast feature. All of that is of course a gross simplification. If you want to know more do a search on spanning tree/802.1d/Portfast etc.



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