what are the adv/ disadvantages of spliting switch feed?

we have a network that has segments made up hp procurve switches. main is hp 4108gl and then fibre optic feeds to other parts of the site. The segments have hp 2324 switches.
I keep hearing about "piggybacking" where apparently of the two modules on the switch, one goes back to the 4108gl and the other goes to another segment!
what are the adv/ disadvantages of spliting switch feed?
i have noticed that the hp j4131b transciever states 1000/100 does this mean that it can work at either 1000mbps or 100mbps (in theory) or can it be spilt ie 500 for each of the hp j4131b transcievers.
I just want to know was knowleadge is power!
also what does the mini gbic do?
our network has some notes and one is that a "24 core fibre link goes to the third floor" from the server room, sorry as i said i would like to learn more about the way our network is setup.

i have 500 points on offer though so i think for the knowledge you guys will give me it is a good deal?
exdosAsked:
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giltjrCommented:
From your description you have something like this

                           /--> EDGESWITCH #1
                          /              /\
  MAINSWITCH </                 |
                        \                 \/
                         \----> EDGSWITCH #2

If so, what this does is allow the EDGSWITCH'es to have backup connections to the MAINSWITCH in case the direct connection fail.

a mini GBIC is just a small Gigabit Ethernet connector.  It allows a smaller, physically, space for the port that you connect the fiber links, or copper in some cases, into.  A smaller space for the port means either more ports in the same space or smaller switches.
exdosAuthor Commented:
ALMOST! a connection goes from main switch to say edgeswitch 1 then we have a connection off edgeswitch 1 that feeds edgeswitch 2
therefore edge switch one is catering for the 24 ports that are built into it aswell as act as a connection for edgeswitch 2 to the main switch
giltjrCommented:
O.K.  To answer some of your questions:

So you have:  MAIN <----> EDGE 1 <-----> EDGE 2.

If the connections between both sets of swtichs are both 1000 Mbps or both 100 Mbps, the only real disadvantage is that if the link between MAIN and #1 goes down you have more users down.

Now If MAIN to #1 is 1000 Mbps and #1 to #2 is 100 Mbps, then you are creating a bottle neck for the users on #2.  They only have 100 Mbps connection to the mainswtich, but the users on switch #1 have 1000 mbps.  You still have the disadvantage that there is only one link to the main switch between two swtiches.  If the two switches are right next to each other, that is not that big of a deal.

The advantage of this type of connection is that you only need one port on your main swtich.


The HP transcievers will run at either 100 or 1000 mbps, you can't split it.

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exdosAuthor Commented:
thank you for the help
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