at what point are their too many devices on one network

Posted on 2008-06-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
i have about 185 ip address taken, 40 are printers, 15 servers and about 85 workstations. they are all on the subnet. i notice some users complain about slowness and was wondering if i added another network, say, for the printers and another for the workstations, would this increase the speed of our network? everything is a GB except for the printers which are at 100MB.
Question by:tewlaw

Expert Comment

ID: 21825185
Are these running on a T1?  what's the bandwidth you are provided with?

Go to dslreports.com and click Tools, then Speed Tests.  I like to use the Flash tests but use whatever you want and see if your up/download speeds match what your bandwidth provider is supposed to be offering.

Expert Comment

ID: 21825216
Are you thinking about adding a different subnet?  Or laying down another physical set of cable?

In answer to your main question : There are (almost) never too many devices on a network.  It must just be structured in a way that prevents bottlenecks.

Before making any decisions you need hard data.
-test the different segments and find if any are saturated
-see which users are complaining about slowness and about what is slow.
-discover if it is the network link or the device that is slow
-if it is the network - isolate what link is the bottleneck and eradicate it.

LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 21825329
Personally, one of the main problems I find with networks is with the backbone infrastructure being overloaded. A lot of the time, I find servers running at 1Gbps Ethernet, but hundreds of workstations also working on 1Gbps ethernet. Of course - this means the link into the server isn't large enough, which can cause bottlenecks, and the link needs to be made bigger to the server - perhaps 10GbE.

You also need to be sure you have connected your switch uplinks together at the maximum possible speed. Again, it's the same situation as the servers above.

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Author Comment

ID: 21866171
yes, i was thinking of changing my subnet from to something else to give me more networks. 1 for my workstations, 1 for my printers, 1 for my servers, etc. wil this make my network faster ?

Accepted Solution

authen-tech earned 2000 total points
ID: 21866319
It will make it so you can't access anything from anything.  I wouldn't do that.  You can use up to 254 ip addresses on your current network.  Keep it simple!  Increase your bandwidth or monitor your network traffic to find out what is using up your bandwidth.  Printers aren't using up the bandwidth...only people on computers or servers that are printing to them. You actually have 100 users and that is really not that many.  

Author Comment

ID: 21866546
what program is good to see the network traffic? i used wireshark and i see alot of chattering from my printers to start.

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