Fibre Connections Between Switches - Thoughts?

Posted on 2008-11-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

I am slightly out of my normal area of working, so need some advice from those in the know...

Currently, I have 4 Linksys SRW2048 Managed Gigabit Switches in my Network, And have just purchased two new DELL Powerconnect 6248 Switches to form part of our Core Infrastructure.

I have two racks of Production Servers, and one Comms Rack + An Additional Non Production Rack

Rack 1 - Production Servers and SAN Backend (Dell Powerconnect 6248 in Rack)
Rack 2 - Production Servers and Routers (Linksys SRW2048 In Rack)
Comms Rack - 3 x Linksys SRW 2048 Switches + 1x Dell PowerConnect 6248

I am thinking i will swap the SRW in the second Rack, and replace it with a Powerconnect Switch. So effectively all servers and systems run across the high end switches, and the patch and additional non production servers link to the SRW's (4) so a rought diagram as follows

6248    ---     6248    ---    SRW2048

Now, In regards to connecting these switches....So far, I have basic Uplinking between switches, using a standard Gigabit Cat5 Cable between switches...There is no management on these things at the moment, basic plug and play...With my logic, i would therefore be having bottlenecks between switches of 1Gb....correct?

I would like to make use of the SFP modules I own for both Dell Switches AND Linksys Switches..What is the best way to go about this? Both Switch Types have 4 SFP Expansion Slots...How should i go about Linking these switches for redundancy and speed?

As a Side note... In an example, 2 Switch config, Uplinked with Fibre, Does this need just one SFP per Switch, or two? If its two, why is it two? I dont understand a lot about Fibre as yet

Question by:Jay_Jay70
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    The switch with the fastest speed should probably be the "hub" that everything attaches to. Dell could tell you more about the specs but it looks like the 6248 is capable of 10G link speeds on the SFP so you could link the two that way and hang the linksys switches off one or the other.

    As to your other questions, generally it takes just one port for an uplink. I'm not sure if this particular switch follows that or not, Dell calls it "combo port" so not sure exactly what they mean by combo.

    Generally you would use 1 port for a link to another switch/host or 2 or more ports for redundancy or for aggregation.
    LVL 48

    Author Comment

    Gotcha - thats what i was hoping to hear...I have a couple that are uplinked at another site, but it was done before i took over and there is no notes...they use two SFP's per switch and only link two I my guess is that its for redundancy
    so a switch with 4 SFP ports, can effectively uplink to four other switches in a star topology rather than daisy chaining?
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    yes, that is correct. Often companies will do two links per switch (or 1 link from each of two redundant core switches). The second link will either be aggregated or a standby in case something goes bump in the night...
    LVL 48

    Author Comment

    Gotcha - Nice :) That makes me well happy, now to go an figure out the best way to link these bad boys up
    Thank you very much for your time and clarity - much appreciated

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