I recently setup a network with (1) 5224 as the backbone, and (3) 3048's together in one rack. I've got about 10 servers connected to the 5224, and about 100 workstations on the other switches. I used one of the two gigabit UTP ports on each 3048 to connect to the 5224. The 3048's are running firmware version 188.8.131.5291 and the 5224 is running 184.108.40.206 (which it shipped with). Other than ip's and updating the firmware on the 3048's because they seemed to be locking up, I haven't changed any of the default settings.
Could anyone recommend steps I should take to improve my setup? I've read alot of horror stories here about other people who made a 5224 their backbone device, so I'd like to be sure I take all the necessary steps to keep things running smooth (without creating new problems!). Most importantly could anyone point me to better documentation on the 5224? The manual is not much help on understanding and configuring all the options on this switch, should I make it the root for spanning tree, etc..
Don't do it! If you do, pack your bags and run for the hills. I just bought 4 5224 switches and they are nightmares. If it is working now, don't touch it.
Dell, if you are listening, how 'bout some loaner switches (other than PowerConnects) until the firmware is stablized?
If the 5224 is designed to be your network backbone, then it would be strongly advisable to lower it's bridge priority to allow it to be the root of spanning tree.
I would strongly recommend that you create a second VLAN for your data traffic - best practices for most network devices have always been to keep your management traffic separate from your data traffic, and use a layer-3 device such as a router to bridge said traffic. VLAN 1 is the default VLAN for most setups, and management cannot be changed from that VLAN on the 3048 switches. Ideally, creation of a VLAN 2, assignment of all end-system ports to VLAN 2 as untagged members, and assignment of switch uplinks as Tagged members of both VLAN 1 and 2, would keep your management traffic from interfering with your data traffic, and vice versa.
If you are not sending/receiving multicast traffic on the network, I would recommend disabling IGMP snooping/status and IGMP querier - these protocols are unnecessary and can cause overhead on the network.
These are just some general guidelines. Once you have your setup completed, I would strongly recommend you take a baseline analysis of your network (provided you are not having any problems) so you can more accurately identify problems on the network.