We got four 48 port manageable CISCO switches from dataport. This switches offer a lot of possibilities to improve the network situation for working with the cluster.
We are getting independent of the network of the school!
The fact that the switches are manageable means the same time that we have to manage them. So, a view things have to be learned.
However, connecting to the switches for initial setup requires a classical serial line. As those are not made available on all of the accessible computers a DIY solution is required.
The following figure shows the diagram for building a converter to attach the switches serial interface to a RaspberryPi.
A manual for working with the serial interface on the RaspberryPi can be found on the materials page.
For further reference: the layout of the RaspberryPis GPIO and the DB9 connector.