December 13, 2016

Can a Managed Switch replace Samba?

Please, Can a $70.00 Managed Smart Switch and it's firmware / software really make Samba un-nessary on a three computer home system?

Spent 2 hours + finding either explanations too simple or explanations meant for IT managers with 15 years of experience and certifications to match. With none that really answered this question.

I have been told that a Managed Switch can do what I have been unable to do with Samba. That is, file share among three computers, Two Ubuntu, One Windows 10, presently wired through a router with internet access [The last the only thing that is working.] Nor access two all-in-one printer-scanner-fax machines over the LAN. I was recommended a EnGenius 8P GE + 2 SFP Smart Switch W/WLAN Controller.
What I am looking for is your opinions on whether this is:

1. [_] actually true or
2. [_] just theoretically true or
3. [_] I Should not open the box and return it post haste and try asking different questions in the forums.

I have been out of the field professionally since 1994 and the changes in acronyms alone are dizzying. I can only guess that SFP does Not stand for San Francisco People and just how did "W/W" got attached to the term "LAN?" Obviously I need a glossary that was not written in the Olden Days.
I could use a recommendation for a good glossary and where to find How To's that are designed for those of us non-professional but IT's by necessity.

Answer to the question

I use an Ubuntu based distro called Linux Lite, and this is what I would reference when attempting to do network connections:  Perhaps you could look at it and gleen what you'd need to do within Ubuntu to accomplish the same thing.

Based on what you've shared, my gut says you don't have to have that switch unless you've run out of switchports on your router.  Whatever you've connected to the router switchports, by default, should be on the same IP network, meaning each computer should be able to ping the IP addresses of the other two.  Most home/office routers I've seen come with 4 switchports.  So if you have 3 computers and 2 printers, you're going to run out of physical switchports to connect them all with physical LAN cables.

If your pings are successful, then it is just a matter of setting up SAMBA to get your shares to work properly.  The link I shared can provide some insight on that.

Another thing you might want to consider is setting up SSH on each of your computers to do file transfers using that protocol.  A good resource to learn about that would be Joe Collins on YouTube.  He has a couple of good videos on SSH.  Just go to YouTube and do a search on "ssh joe collins".

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