July 2011 - SwitchInfo is a free Ethernet troubleshooting tool available from the Contemporary Controls website. Although it is primarily used to extract information from the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), it is also useful with unmanaged switch networks. There are various tools you can use for troubleshooting – each appropriate to a certain level of Ethernet communications. For unmanaged switches, Ethernet port LEDs give quick and simple information. Of course managed switches also have LEDs, but managed switches also offer detailed port information – typically viewable with a web browser. You can use a protocol sniffer to get more detailed information, but SwitchInfo can reveal a lot about your network – and is much easier to use than a sniffer.
SwitchInfo can be especially useful when there are many switches in your system. Would you want to look at the web pages of 100 switches? When you are dealing with redundant ring networks, such as RapidRing®, it may be difficult to determine if the ring is wired correctly and if the entire network is problem-free.