• United States

Token-ring print server

Feb 24, 20032 mins

Nutter helps a user connect a token-ring print server to an Ethernet network

By mistake I purchased a token-ring external print server, a Lexmark X2030t. Could I run the device in my existing network, which is running Cat 5, 802.3? I was thinking of installing a second NIC in the Windows 2000 server that is 802.5 and connecting the print server to that. Would I need a multistation access unit (MAU) to manage the second node or would it be possible to configure a direct connection? I have an HP ProCurve switch managing the original network. Are there any emulation software or media access converters that I could use instead of the MAU? The other possibility would be to change the print server network interface if at all possible.

– Via the Internet

You can run the print server with your existing network. Your are “spot on” that you will need to use a token-ring card in the server to talk to the token-ring print server. Although it is possible in some situations to directly connect a token-ring device to a token-ring NIC, I wouldn’t suggest this for a production situation such as yours. You should be able to pick up a token-ring MAU for very little money due to the decline in popularity of token ring over faster Ethernet speeds.

If you really want to avoid using a MAU, you can look at the catalogs of companies, such as BlackBox, for a product that will allow you to directly connect the print server to a token-ring card in the server. While they may also have a media converter for lack of a better term, you may find that the cost of purchasing a device to allow a token-ring device to connect to an Ethernet network may eat up the savings you encountered buying the unit.

Changing the interface of the unit would be a question best addressed to Lexmark. While its main corporate offices are in Lexington, Ky., I believe it has another plant in France that should be able to address your question. If you get a hold of the right person, you might be able to arrange for an exchange to a unit that would be easier to connect to your network.