Best Switching Practice?

Posted on 2005-04-25
Last Modified: 2010-04-10
Hey guys,

i've got following situation.
5 switches in a school (3 buildings)
Room 1 has a 24 ports Switch. Linked to Room 2
Room 2 has a 16 ports switch linked to to Room 1 and Room 3
in Room 2 there's the broadband ADSL router.
Room 3 has a 16 ports switch linked to room 4 and room 2
Room 4 has a 16 ports switch linked to room 3.

now we've bought a new building (in the middle of the first two)
What's the best way to link the 5 switches?

in a scheme it looks like:

R1 < > R 2 <> R 5 <> R3 <> R4
      ADSL router

To gain speed, should I connect R5 also to R1 and/or R4
or connect R3 to R2 too ?
Should I use two cables to link the swithces?...
What's the best way?

Question by:kGenius
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    You will not increase the speed by connecting R5 to 1 and or 4 - you will create a loop whereby broadcasts can loop around the network and cause major problems.  Unless, you are using spanning tree protocol which you can setup to create redundant paths that will "activate" if another link fails.  But this is purely for redundancy and has no affect on speed.

    If your switches support it, you can aggregate links between them by connecting 2 cables from one to another, but this is dependent on whether you r switches will support port aggregation or not.

    In short - the way you have it diagrammed above will work fine but gives you no failover if one should go down.  ie, if room 5 switch fails or its connection to R2 fails, then room 3 and 4 are also going to lose internet.

    If you want to look further into setting up redundancy, please post the models and versions of the switches

    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    type - affect should be effect!
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    i'd use a star configuration so that all switches are connected to one central switch, i'd also hang the ADSL router on the same switch.  Any of the switches can be in the centre of the star but use your best/fastest one.

    ie -
             / /!  \ \
          /  /  !   \  \
        /  /    !    \   \
    R2  R3  R4  R5 ADSL

    You shouldn't connect R5 to R1 or anything like that or you'll edd up with a loop which will start generating loads of extra traffic that goes round and round.


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