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Advice on purchsing a switch

Hi

I need to buy a switch. Someone has recommended this, and I wondered what is meant by a 2 GIGABiT smart switch?

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=625152

I thinking about getting a Cisco firewall, or one of these:

http://www.watchguard.com/products/x500.asp   

How does this switch compare to the other one:?

http://www.buynetgear.com/product.asp?sku=1039333

I'm using category 5 network cable system
 
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Jason210
Asked:
Jason210
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2 Solutions
 
pseudocyberCommented:
That switch seems OK.  The 2 Gigabit refers to Quantity 2 1 Gigabit ports.  Usually these are for a connection to a backbone or to a server.  It looks like it has most of the basic standards you'd need, such as VLANs, etc and offers port managability which is good.  $500 for 48 ports.  Pretty good.

It would help us more if you would tell us a little about your topology - how many nodes, what kind of traffic, what is the business, what apps, how will they use it, etc.
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Jason210Author Commented:
Well, that sound's like a green light...thanks.

It's nothing special our system. About 45 PCs Max, file server with low traffic.
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pseudocyberCommented:
Ok, that's cool.  Except for the 45PCs - you're not giving yourself any room to grow.  What about printers?  What about people with a laptop and a desktop.  A really conservative "fudge factor" would be 10% which would take you over your 48 port limitation (one or two of which are uplinks to backbone or server).
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Jason210Author Commented:
I'd taken into account all computers and printers we use with that figure, so we have three spare. But that firewall I recommended has several ports - so If i needed more I could I just buy another switch. Or?

Jason
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pseudocyberCommented:
Yes, if you need more ports you can simply add a switch.  Ok, just wanted to make sure it was well thought out.
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bstrauss3Commented:
Given you don't need the management features, you might be better served by a small # of smaller switches.  Especially if you can do some logical grouping.

If all your traffic is basically host A -> internet, then it won't matter.  But if you have groups of users who share files (file server or peer-to-peer), then maybe some US$40, 8 port switches - uplinked to another switch as your 'backbone' would work better.

Just a thought.

-----Burton
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Jason210Author Commented:
I'm not sure really waht is meant by "backbone" or a backobone port. What's this for?
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pseudocyberCommented:
A backbone are the links and switches connecting switches to each other.  Since traffic is typically aggregated onto the backbone, they need to be higher capacity & faster.
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bstrauss3Commented:
Just like YOUR backbone - everything hangs off it - ribs, legs, arms, etc.

W/ networking its the same thing - the backbone is the core, central point or whatever you want to call it, of a network.  It can be a real network segment (piece of wire) or a 'collapsed' backbone, i.e. a switch.

The point behind making this tree of switches is so that no single switch has to learn the entire network - this allows each to get by knowing a part of the network. With switches, the # of addresses it can learn and look up quickly is pretty closely correlated to money.

Your average cheap switch can learn 1K or 2K or even 8K addresses.  Plenty for a workgroup or a building floor, but not enough for a 20K campus.

-----Burton
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Jason210Author Commented:
So if I have another cheap switch I can plug it into the the backbone port and that would be better?
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Jason210Author Commented:
Meaning I use two switches for the netwotk instead of one?
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pseudocyberCommented:
Jason, I'm not understanding you.  A backbone could be regarded as the spokes in a hub and spoke topology.  The backbone switch would be the one in the middle, all the others connect to.
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bstrauss3Commented:
Yes - although 2 isn't really necessary.  1 or 3+.

I.E.:

PC1->                                                                    <-PC6
PC2->                                                                    <-PC7
PC3->Switch1------->Switch(Backbone)<-----Switch2<-PC8
PC4->                              --> Internet
PC5->


PCs 1..5 connect to switch1
PCs 6..8 connect to switch2

Switches 1 and 2 are connected to Switch(Backbone).


Say PC1 is talking to the Internet.  Flow is PC-> Switch1 -> Switch(Backbone) -> net
Same for PC8, etc.

No benefit.  And if all your traffic looks like that, then the tree won't help.

BUT:  If  PC1 is talking to PC4, that traffic stays local to switch1.  Switch2, Switch(backbone) and the rest of the network never see it.  So PC7 can talk with PC8 at the EXACT same time.  This makes better usage of your bandwidth!

-----Burton
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Jason210Author Commented:
Thanks for that excellent explanation Burton.
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bstrauss3Commented:
Sure... it's the old 80-20 rule picture.

It used to be that 80% of your traffic was local and 20% went offsite.  So anything you did to segregate traffic internally paid BIG benefits.

But w/ the Internet today, there are lots of sites which are 80%+ remote (offsite) and only 20% local (printing, maybe) and so there's no benefit.

To figure out if there is some benefits, you need to understand your traffic.


-----Burton (ntopSupport.com)
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Jason210Author Commented:
Thanks - this has been an informative thread! Points split 50 50.
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