building branch network

I am building a network for a local company, but am a bit baffled by the best types of device to use.

The internal network will be running 1000-base-t protocol.
60 users plus 5 additional peripheral devices. I intend to purchase 4 24 port switches for distribution layer (3 for work and 1 for backup) then 1 core switch and 1 for core backup. i'm having trouble deciding on the most suitable types has anyone any ideas? is it best to stay with one vendor or can the backup switches be of lower standard? Also could you recommend a router that will be able to aggregate traffic from a 1 mb leased line?

Thanks in advance
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Cisco is probably one of the best if the budget allows for it if not then you could look at Nortel, you go down from there....3Com, Netgear, Dell ect.  It is normally best to stay with the same equipment for backup, simply because it is a no brainer when a failure occurs.  If there isn't enough in the budget, you could use different vendors, the specs should be similar though.  

As far as routers are concerned you could use Cisco's routers, however they are more complex to configure.  You might also consider installing a firewall.  NetScreen makes a great device which can be configured via a web interface.  

If you have any questions please post...or if you have more it for additional comments.

Hope this is helpful & Good luck, not many people get to do fresh installs.


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Lyle is correct Cisco is the way to go...the only thing I would suggest regarding a your secondary system would be a Linksys unit.  Cisco recently purchased Linksys and they have already begun to "Ciscotize" the Linksys brand.  In fact I know thay they have a 24 port 10/100/1000 Base T switch for less than $450 on the market today.  I'd also mention that Cisco has a Smartnet program...which is basically a maintenance and repair service...if something breaks yu can have a replacement unit shipped within the same day and there the don't froget to look into that service.

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