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Upgrading server to gigabit

Posted on 2004-04-15
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We have a small network, about 10 users, and was thinking about upgrading the server and switch to gigabit. There is quite a bit of traffic to the server. Would it make much difference just switching the server and switch to 1 gig and the keep the workstations at 100 mbs (I guess I'm thinking that since the workstations are still at 100, then the server will be waiting just as long for the transfer).
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Question by:avoorheis
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by:avoorheis
ID: 10836239
And... would there be a big jump by making all the workstations 1 gig with the switch being all 1 gig.

thanks
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by:PennGwyn
PennGwyn earned 100 total points
ID: 10836274
Switches are routinely used, especially in "store and forward" mode, to accomodate differences in bandwidth between segments.

In theory, your gigabit server link could handle enough traffic to keep 10 100Mbps links saturated, and this works in both directions.

In practice, Ethernet segments rarely run anywhere near full saturation.  You might look at actual bandwidth use on the server port (I like MRTG!) to determine if it is a bottleneck, before shelling out for the upgrade.  ("quite a bit of traffic" doesn't tell you if the server link is ever getting saturated....)

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Beachdude67 earned 140 total points
ID: 10836616
avoor,

I think with 1 server and 10 workstations, gigabit switches/NICs are overkill. The big reason to upgrade to gigabit would be if you had a backbone with several servers on it. Over the network you site, 100mbps is probably fine unless you are doing video editing or something extreme that requires that sort of bandwidth. Keep in mind that over the links that you are upgrading to 1000mbps you may well have to upgrade the cabling from cat 5 to cat 6 - so keep that in mind when considering costs if you are dead set on doing this.
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 100 total points
ID: 10838072
What kind of traffic are your users generating?  Streaming media?  Routinely moving 100MB files around?  Or just normal file and print services?

What kind of switch connects the users to the server?  Are you SURE you have no issues with duplex mismatches between the users and the switch and especially the switch to the server?

Do you have hard facts - like x amount of port utilization is occuring or are you just going off users saying "the 'network' is slow"?
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by:joeroket
joeroket earned 80 total points
ID: 10839539
I would have to say you would be wasting your money buying a gigabit switch and NIC for the server.

I work in a network that has multiple segments and only some of the segements run at 100mbps, most run at 10mbps. rarely do we have problems with internal congestion. The thing you have to realize is that the workstations will still only transfer at 100mbps so the saturation to the server probably will not be noticed very much.
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by:Nermal
Nermal earned 80 total points
ID: 10847510
I think I would have to agree as well, it would be a terrible waste of money.

I run a network with approx. 800-900 workstations running through a 100Mb internet link and have only recently started upgrading some of my fibre links between distant parts of the building to Gigabit, as I was starting to see congestion on 1 of them.

Most of the workstations here are either 10 or 100, all the servers are 100. We generally pull anywhere between 60 - 150Gb of traffic into the network daily, and I have never had any complaints about speed.

I think you would probably be wiser in purchsing better quality switches/nics (if you haven't already) than purchasing gigabit.
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by:avoorheis
ID: 10849967
Thank you all for your feedback. I think what I got from this was that it certainly could help, but, need some hard facts to determine if it actually will help. So, my next question (another post) will be to figure out the best way to measure.
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