When to use a bridge for network congestion?

JosephSacco
JosephSacco used Ask the Experts™
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Want to know if the best and simplest solution for resolving Ethernet congestion is to use a bridge. How would this be done.
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Commented:

Well the simple answer to a potentially complicated question is yes, but rather than a bridge use a switch.
The terms are sometimes used together but a switch is generally a more sophisticated device than a bridge with more ports and better performance.

Replacing hubs with switches reduces collisions on your network making it far more efficient.
Gabriel OrozcoSolution Architect

Commented:
take in cosideration the advise from rj-smith.

you can also always check your network layout. some times you have a hub/switch under another which in turn is connected to other switch.

it's better to have a central switch where all servers and other switchs connect in turn, instead of cascading those.

also is a lot better to have only one 48 ports switch than two 24 ports, even with gigabyt connections between them.

also you need to consider that if you have a large network, you eventualy need to create a backbone, and then you should consider using FDDI and/or combine bandwidht

Commented:
This person is talking about bridges, AKA routers, not switches and hubs.

josephsacco,
The general rule of thumb is to segment your LAN when TCPIP traffic sustains 33% of theoretical maximum.  There are plenty of LAN manager tools out there to help you monitor load.  Win2000 Server comes with a basic one called Net Monitor.  To directly answer the question, yes, in most cases the easiest and best method is to use a bridge.

How to segment your LAN once traffic becomes heavy enough is a matter for each individual situation.  There is no all purpose answer.  There are some general good ideas, though, such as placing all the printers on their own segment because print jobs generate a lot of traffic.  Servers that communicate directly with each other a lot are also best put on their own segment.

Does your network seem like it is becoming saturated or are you asking preemptively?  Also, if your company is in the Denver area, I'm available to consult at reasonable rates.
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Gabriel OrozcoSolution Architect

Commented:
Segment LANs is only to isolate collision segments, but this does not speed up the network.

a good layout and planning is a must.

all these comments are good advices, but not the answer by itself.

I suggest you (josephsacco) to analyze all our comments and make the best of all them, but understand nobody of us know your network, and we are speculating.

again, it's better if you can descript a little further your current layout and all that you think can help us to understand your situation better.

Regards
I DOUBT IF THE BRIDGE IS THE BEST AND SIMPLEST WAY TO RESOLVE NETWORK CONGESTION NOWADAYS WHEN YOU CAN GET A SWITCH AT REASONABLE PRICES (in a LAN setup of course).

switch is a combination of features of a bridge and a hub. look to this site for further clarification of the differences between important components of network devices (hub, bridge, switch and repeaters). http://www.practicallynetworked.com/networking/bridge_types.htm

technically in a switch, the data that is being transmitted compared to a hub is always the maximum that your switch is configured to handle (i.e 100Mbps). Your upstream is different from your downstream bandwidth, thus if you have a 10/100 Switch you will be able to get 100Mbps up/100Mbps down.

you could also implement a Trunk Port in case you need to connect two switches together (just like in cascading hubs). Up to 4 max of crossover cable can be put in between switches multiplying your bandwidth up to 800Mbps (400Mbps upstream and 400Mbps downstream).

So much for the input. Just telling you what are the possibilities that you could do with your LAN nowadays. If you need further information just post follow up questions. Good Luck :-)
 
Les MooreSr. Systems Engineer
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
G'day, JosephSacco
No comment has been added lately (116 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
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