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Port trunking

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
My firm has finally decided to upgrade from BNC to UTP network. There are about 25 PCs that are connected to one server, but the number will increase to several more. All PCs are in 30m diameter area. As IT guy I will be the one who will need to choose equipment and to set it up. My thinking is to have 4 small groups each connected to a switch, and this 4 switches will connect to one main switch, which will be connected to server. i would like to go with the gigabit network. I was reading about port trunking, which, as far as I understood, will allow two parallel connections from main switch to server, and I think this will prevent this segment in network to be a bottleneck.

             -------------------                          ----------------------------   switch
Server   (port trunking)     Main switch   ----------------------------   switch
             -------------------                          ----------------------------   switch
                                                               ----------------------------   switch

Here is what I was thinking of what to get:
4 switches - TP-Link TL-SG1008D (8x1Gb ports) (50e each)
main switch - TP-Link TL-SG2109WEB or TP-Link TL-SG3109 - I guess I am in need for a full gigabit switch that has port trunking (to allow to parallel connections with server). Which would you choose and why?

Do you find this setup ok? Is port trunking use in a way I explain here? Are there some side effects? Is there some better solution?

And another important thing: i see that 2 managed switches I mentioned above have Flow Control option. Is it used to allow switches 10/100Mb to be connected to this switch? If so, will I then be able to connect 100Mb NICs to TL-SG1008D? If I, for example, connect 4 100Mb NICs to a 8-port Gb switch, and I connect this switch to main switch, will the connection between switches be 1Gb, although connection between PCs is 100Mb (since all 5 devices are connected to same device)?

Thanks in advance,
Goran
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Question by:Priest04
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theras2000 earned 250 total points
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I see that your switches do mention port trunking in the manual (though the info is very scarce) but the problem is that your server won't be able to do it on the other end.  NICs are pretty simple.

Yes the links between switches will still be 1Gbps.  All switches have the ability to separate speeds like this.

So it sounds like your main concern is that you want a throughput to your server that is higher than 1Gbps (hence your mention of port trunking).  I don't think you should be worried about this.  1Gbps shared between 25 screamingly greedy computers would still consistently give each one 40Mbps (which is plenty).  I can't think of an amazing way to get more bandwidth into your server, than perhaps using a 2nd NIC.  You could give it a similar IP address, and then create a 2nd DNS entry for your server (known as DNS round robin).  This would mean that when a machine is looking for your server, it will find 1 of the 2 IP addresses, and then communicate with the appropriate NIC/cable.  I think file sharing would be fine here, but other services (like DNS and DHCP, might need to be reconfigured to work on both NICs, instead of the normal single NIC).  If this is going to be your plan, then you could fairly easily test this DNS round robin stuff by buying an extra NIC, before you go and buy your other equipment.
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by:Priest04
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Thanks for the response, theras2000. I agree that server link probably wont be a problem here, but I want to be safe for the future.

It seems that I have misunderstood port trunking. I though if I buy a NIC with two ports, I will be able to double the bandwidth from main switch to server. I thought in this case this NIC would be having only one IP. Am I wrong about this?
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by:atrevido
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Definition of trunking in your context:
In Cisco networks, trunking is a special function that can be assigned to a port, making that port capable of carrying traffic for any or all of the VLANs accessible by a particular switch. Such a port is called a trunk port, in contrast to an access port, which carries traffic only to and from the specific VLAN assigned to it. A trunk port marks frames with special identifying tags (either ISL tags or 802.1Q tags) as they pass between switches, so each frame can be routed to its intended VLAN. An access port does not provide such tags, because the VLAN for it is pre-assigned, and identifying markers are therefore unnecessary.
NIC teaming or link aggregation is probably what you are referring to
Defined as in this article here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_teaming
However, I agree with theras2000, you are overkilling the situation.
Buy a switch or switches that can do link aggregation and VLANs for future growth but doing it now would be overkill.  Always make network transitions one step at a time to ease the pain, after all, they are moving from BNC to UTP, anything will be an improvement.  I would consider any of the procurve switches
http://www.procurve.com/products/switches/HP_ProCurve_2910al_Switch_Series/overview.htm
 
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Ok, guys, thanks for the responses.
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