Build Small/Medium Office Network

Posted on 2005-05-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I need to set up my office network of 70 computers. It can expand up to 200 computers.
I need to set up 10/100/1000 speed network.
Which switch should i use for networking? The computers are placed on different departments like accounting,programmers etc.
Which router should i use for VPN?

Question by:naren78in

    Accepted Solution

    Hi There,
    I can give you some information from my experience that I built for my company, it is a very similar environment. (About 50 workstations that are now almost 150 with VLAN's etc)

    Basically, I went for 3COM (but Cisco, Nortel, HP all will do the same just fine or better) as a solution for pricing reasons, they have good quality switches for medium sized buisnesses.

    I have a stack of 5X 48 port  3870 series switches 10/100/1000 (Layer II managed with VLAN support that will soon have a Layer III firmware upgrade according to 3COM). The stack has a nice 10Gbit backbone interconnect and gives me good performance. The stack is modular so you can always add as many switches as you need while expanding.

    From the stack of switches I have an aggregated link of Ethernet (2 aggregated 1Gbit all in all 2Gbit nominal) to my Layer III switch: Superstack 3 4200 series.

    To the SuperStack 3 4200 I connected my firewall and Internet connectivity as well as the domain server.

    As far as VLAN's go- I created several VLAN's on the Layer II 3870 stack, the VLAN's I wanted to share or route I added to them the aggregated ports of my layer III aggregated connection and was able to setup routing.
    If you are interested in having an isolated VLAN from the rest of the company (Administration for example) whith just Internet access for example you can simply add an additional uplink from the set of ports in the stack that you defined as "VLAN ADMINISTRATION"  and connect it directly to the Layer III switch with the proper routing just for Internet.

    The switches offer all the basic essentiales needed, security (MAC address based) per physical port, QoS, priorities to certain ports, broadcast limit etc.

    That is the classic network topology you are probably looking at.

    Just to make it clear- Layer III switch is essentially your router for this case.

    LVL 79

    Expert Comment

    Indespensible information here for very small investment:

    Your number one concern should be security. Are you in a regulated industry? Have you performed a risk analysis?
    With that in mind, you number 2 concern would be budget. Do you have a beer budget, or a wine budget?
    Many questions to ask before suggesting a make/model of switch or router.
    I'm a big fan of Cisco products if your budget is big enough. Do you want a  Cadillac solution, Mercedes, or a Rolls-Royce? No Volkswagons here.
    How spread out is your network? How good is the cable plant? Has it been inspected/certified CAT5e? Do you have any fiber runs?
    What speed/feed are you going to have for Internet connectivity? T1? Multiple T1?
    How many VPN's do you need to support?
    Do you already have experience with specific brands and products? What features do you like/not like of the products that you do have exeperience with?

    Right off the top of my head for a Cadillac solution (nice, smooth, dependible ride, not too expensive):
    Cisco 2750 10/100/1000 switches, stacked to get the port density that you need, going into a Cisco PIX515e firewall, going into a Cisco 2600 series router with dual T1 module.

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    What's wrong with Volkswagens? :-)
    LVL 79

    Expert Comment

    Mostly Manageability. Most "volkswagen" priced switches are non managed. I would NEVER put one on a business network with that many users- JMHO -

    Author Comment

    I am opting for cisco switches. Can any one suggest me which cisco switch do i use.
    Can I go for dlink switches(unmanaged,managed or smart switches).
    LVL 79

    Assisted Solution

    >Can any one suggest me which cisco switch do i use
    I already gave you one suggestion - Cisco 2970 switches.

    Or the Catalyst 3560G-48TS

    If your bugdet can stand it, go for the 4500 chassis with room to grow and pick the modules to suite you

    Once again, I would not advise you to use unmanaged switches of any kind in a business environment.

    You can look at using an Adtran managed switch:
    Use the uplink ports with fiber jumpers to stack them. Much less expensive than Cisco

    Or the LInksys Managed switch

    Author Comment

    Thanks Irmoore & drandelm  for nice answers
    I need more help(please).
    I am new to cisco product.
    which switch should i use as backbone switch and other switch at different departments.
    Also which server(hardware) will be better for my exchange server.
    Is subnetting will be better for different department.

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