We have never experienced these issues when using 2960s. We don't use Arecont or Vivotek but we do use Axis cameras and have never had a problem. How is the switch configured?
In the install whre switches were upgraded from ESW to 2960 to switch configs are the same except for the operating firmware that resides on the switch of course. My IT guys worked with Cisoc trying config changes to solve the issue but none worked. Out of 25 Arecont cameras only 2 gave us trouble. Out of 30 Stardot cameras only 3 had issues and with Axis just one of 5.All cameras in their repective models have the same version of firmware running.
I would recommend setting up switches to track POE and Bandwidth via SNMP- watch the trends to see if /when the power drops and cross reference that with switch logs, network usage etc to see if you can find any corresponding trends.
Have you checked the ACL / VLANs to ensure that is not causing a problem? Make sure you are on the latest firmware of the switch as well.
Some of the Arecont / Stardot cameras may be pulling to much power--- you will see this if you start tracking POE
Can you define the power class for each port in the management console, rather than letting the cameras negotiate their power needs? If so, that should allow you to confirm or rule out Cisco's statement.
Something like this...
IPVMU Certified | 09/23/13 08:16pm
"Putting external PoE injectors gets the cameras linked back up "
That's your first clue what Cisco was telling you about the cameras not properly negotiating power was probably bunk. We'd get problems similar to yours where the Cisco small business smart switches had weird connection issues where it seemed they would not properly negotiate port speed, even with regular intel NIC's in the NVR. Not every switch would do this, but some. I remember back in my early IT days in late 90's, early 2000 where we'd occasional have to statically set port speed on the Catalyst series switches so it would communicate with the computer. (It was the Cisco switch that was the problem. Connecting the computer to a small, other name brand switch would not have problems.)
For our camera systems, we just stopped using Cisco switches altogether.
IPVMU Certified | 09/23/13 09:10pm
Tons of Cisco here of varying types. (3560's, 2960's, 3750x's, 4500's, etc ) Around 500 Axis cameras of varying types. No issues... with one exception that we haven't gotten back to, to investigate. That was with an Axis P5534 if I recall correctly. It was supposedly 802.3at compliant. We have had it on multiple 802.3at compliant switches (30W max) but they did not negoiate and the camera never powers. Just used injectors for the time being until we could get back to it and investigate indepth. I don't even remember all the details, It's been a little while and unfortunately we didn't have much time to spend on it. It is very rare for us to have any PoE issues with any of this gear. I remember the days where Brand X NIC didn't play nice with Brand Y switch for speed/duplex negiotation but that was a long time ago and certainly not just Cisco specific. I haven't seen issues like that in almost a decade. In concept I guess you could say something like this is related. Standards are open to interpretation and get implementated in slightly different ways resulting in interoperability issues at times. Same stuff still goes on at various levels but as far as PoE goes with the gear we have, it's solid.
Yes cheaper switches presented no issues at all. The 2960 and 3500 don't have a GUI for configuration like the Sg300 but we have both hard coded the class type and speeds into the port config for each camera with no luck. Yes all switches are on the latest Cisco firmware revision. I'll have my guys log in and see if they can tell what the camera is asking for power wise. Problem is power is provided but no link so the switch thinks the camera is not linked and doesn't pass data
This is very interresting, we started putting in PoE Inectors to resolve issues where cameras would just get nocked off the network. Looking at all the comments would there be a checklist that could summarize the requirements and checks for using cameras with PoE? I can see some items sticking out, like power consumption, speed negotiation settings.
A little off topic, but for those using Cisco switches in systems you've sold, are you authorized Cisco resellers? Cisco will not support switches installed by unauthorized resellers. When we were trying out Cisco switches we were told this specifically by distributors and they won't sell to you if they find out your reselling them. One of the reasons we stopped dealing with them.
I've never setup the switch myself but we installed hundreds (probably thousands) of Axis and Sony cameras connected to Cisco edge switches and had no problems like this.