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I need two bash functions as follows...

These functions must run fully unattended, and must never require a reset or reboot of the switch.

I am a noob to programmable switches. Could you recommend what switches that could support such functionality? Does higher level software exist that would support this functionality over multiple brands of switches?

For your home lab setup under $1000 and the requirement to create and delete VLANs programmatically without needing to reset or reboot the switch, you have a few options to consider:

Cisco Small Business Managed Switches (SG350X Series):

Cisco SG350X switches are affordable and support VLAN creation and management via CLI (Command Line Interface) or web interface.
They offer basic Layer 2 and some Layer 3 capabilities suitable for small networks and home labs.
Cisco switches generally have robust CLI support which allows for scripting with bash functions like CreateVLAN() and DeleteVLAN().
Netgear ProSAFE Managed Switches (such as the GS724TP):

Netgear ProSAFE switches are cost-effective and provide VLAN management capabilities.
They support CLI scripting and web-based management, suitable for basic VLAN operations.
Netgear switches are known for their ease of use and affordability.
TP-Link JetStream Managed Switches (such as the TL-SG3210):

TP-Link JetStream switches offer VLAN support and basic Layer 2 management features.
They have a user-friendly web interface and CLI support for scripting VLAN operations.
TP-Link switches are budget-friendly and suitable for small network environments.
Higher Level Software
For managing multiple brands of switches and simplifying network management across your home lab, you might consider network management software that supports multi-vendor environments. Here are some options:

OpenNMS: An open-source network management platform that supports SNMP-based management of various network devices including switches. It allows for automation and scripting through its API and plugins.

LibreNMS: Another open-source network monitoring and management tool that supports SNMP and can manage switches from multiple vendors. It also supports automation and scripting.

Ansible: While not a traditional network management system, Ansible can be used for configuration management and automation of network devices, including switches. It has modules for various vendors' switches.

Considering your requirements and budget, a Cisco SG350X series switch or a Netgear ProSAFE switch would be suitable choices. They provide the necessary VLAN management capabilities via CLI and web interface, which can be scripted using bash functions for automation in your home lab environment.

When choosing a switch, ensure it supports VLAN creation, deletion, and other basic management features that align with your needs. Additionally, explore network management software like OpenNMS or LibreNMS for centralized management and automation across multiple switches if your lab expands in the future.

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