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Best Solution for Cisco LAN


I currently have a mixture of 5 x 3com 24 port switches and 2 x cisco 2950 48 port  switches and 1 x 24 port cisco switch.  

The 3coms are alinked via i think a back bone cable, and then the ciscos are just linked via 1 port on the 3coms.  The ciscos are then linked via a gigabit daisy chain.

I have been asked to put all servers on a gigabit switch and get rid of the 3coms.

My question is where it work just individually replacing the 3coms with cisco 2950's like for like or going for something like a cisco 6500 series catalyst?

Other considerations are implementing departmental VLANs.  This concerns me as the cisco 2950 do not do layer 3 routing, so i would have to point everything our internal router.  Will this cause performance issues as well.

We have about 250-270 devices on the network.

Kind Regards,

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Suggest you look at a new backbone switch for the server farm and don't daisy-chain the other switches but rather home run each one back to the gigabit backbone switch individually.
A Cadillac solution would be a pair of 3750's that will work well for you. They have a unique stacking cable that makes them act as one high-speed switch with gigabit to every port and up to 8 fiber uplinks if you have fiber. The 3750 is also full L3 capable and can handle the routing between vlans with no performance hits.
A chassis switch like the 6500 is way overkill for your network if you have distributed data access closets.
A lower-cost alternative would be 3560 switches with full layer 3 capability, gigabit to every port.
Either the 3750 or the 3560 can be ordered in a Power over Ethernet model if you ever plan to go to IP phones or extensive wireless.
In general, take a look at Cisco's three layer model - also called hierarchial design - or campus design.

So, in general - your users connect to your access layer switches in the closet - which are usually layer 2 switches - possibly with multiple vlans.  

The Access layer switches connect via high bandwidth, redundant links to the distribution layer - at some aggregation point for the building, or perhaps main computer room.  

The access layer and core layers could be collapsed or not.  Here you could have layer 3 switches which route between vlans - very quickly.

If you're doing a network refresh, as it sounds like you are, things to think about are future growth - both in capacity and in features - do you want PoE or 10/100/1000 capability?  Add fault tolerance, resiliency - back up power supplies, UPS', generator, multiple redundant links - which can either load balance or provide failover - or both!

Finally, it all comes down to  ... $$$.  Do you have the funding?  What is your $$$ limitation - are you just starting out - do you need to justify the outlay with some kind of analysis or ROI?  Usually, your local friendly sales rep would just love to help you out here ... ;)

Hope this helps.
bigspoon1980Author Commented:
hi thanks for getting back so quick! :-)

there are 2 issues.

1.  just getting a pair of 48 port 3750s does not over the amount of ports i need instead of the 3coms.

2.  if i get rid of the 3coms and now have 2 48 port 3750's as recommended above and left with the 3 x 2950's that all communicate via the "two fixed GBIC-based 1000BASE-X uplink ports"  will these ports be able to talk to the 3750's in the same way?

kind regards,

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bigspoon1980Author Commented:
I am not too sure on budget we have to spend..

but i would like to put together a low cost solution that improves the network, a reasonable solution that incorporates ip telephony, and some thing like the 6500 series solution!
Just keep in mind, if you're talking "ip telephony" there's A LOT to it - to do a quality implementation.  You're talking about implementing QoS in your network - which to be done well is not to be done lightly.

Also, the "you get what you pay for" rule applies.

Perhaps a good, better, best scenario for managment.
1. You can stack up to 9 3750's to support as many ports as you need.
2. Yes, you can uplink each of the 2950's as needed  with no problem

Low cost solution and 6500 do not belong in the same sentence. The 6500 is VERY expensive.
An alternative to the 6500 is the 4500 chassis based solution for about 1/2 the money and probably very cost competative to the stack of 3750's.

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