When we discuss about networking, Cisco plays a dominant role.But Cisco deals with software part, while they outsource their hardware manufacturing to FOXCONN, Broadcom and Samsung etc. In this post I am going to show you what’s inside a Cisco switch. As we know Switch is a L2 device and we know a lot about its configurations via Command Line Interface, but most of the Network Engineers may not try to open it, because Cisco is “Expensive”. To do this task I found a 2nd hand expired but working switch in Sim Lim Square, Singapore repairing center,it looked so old but worked fine so I bought it.
When I open it, I was amazed, due to the dust inside, ” I don’t know how it worked with those amount of dust particles”.
It was full of dust. So I started the cleaning part with an old tooth-brush cleaning it smoothly.Majorly there was 2 parts found inside the switch
1.0 SMPS ( Switch Mode Power Supply)
2.0 Main Board
Power supply can be removed nearby the 3-pin socket.It has simply a transformer , AC/DC converter and it has fuse for DC protection also. After removing this part don’t try to touch it as some current can be discharged via capacitors.
For cooling purpose, it has a powerful DC Brush-less, Centrifugal fan.The power comes for it from the main board near by the 12 pin power supply adapter, which gives the power to the main board. Unfortunately I haven’t got a multi meter to check the voltage coming out of it.
When inspecting the main board, it can be found 2 identical main chips, it’s from “Broadcom” BCM5628A2KT specially designed to Cisco. I wanted to dig it deeper to find the process of this main chip and couldn’t find any via Google.
There were several micro controllers and chips soled on the main board. Most of them are from Samsung.
Looking to the back side, it has Console port, power socket and auxiliary power port. Console port is RJ45 Jack , which is connected via ribbon to the main board and can be removed separately.
So we almost removed all parts of the Cisco catalyst 2950 switch. If you try to remove a second-hand one, please remember to remove the front plastic cover slowly with care because the plastic pins can be easily breakable.