Campus Network design and management/configuration

Posted on 2009-12-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Dear All,

If you were going to design a small network, say 400 node across 4 seperate buildings connected via fibre, had a tiny budget, wanted gigabit to the floor, mulitple vlan capacity along with easy-to use network/vlan management and config software, what would you suggest? I've got a clean sheet, so not tied to any particular hardware or software but only a small budget.

I'm discounting Cisco as too expensive, have looked at Netgear but NMS doesnt seem to allow for VLAN management. I know HP Openview but again too expensive. Are there any  comprehensive opensource network management tools eg Freenac?

Realise this is a very open question, just looking for some pointers and to find out what others have done in a similar situation.

Question by:arakis
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    As for the networking hardware, I would vote for Cisco Small Business (aka Linksys) here, most bang for the bucks.

    What kind of network management software do you want to have or, what should it do for you? Do you want it to automatically configure all your switches or do you just want to monitor your network? If so, SNMP is the way to go and almost every network hardware vendor supports SNMP and tools to read SNMP data can be found almost everywhere on the web, like Nagios, JXplorer, snmpVIEW, etc..


    Author Comment

    Hi Agriesser,

    Ok thanks - I hadn't considered Cisoc/Linksys kit - will take a look.

    Re. Network management - Its the configuration I'm after. Not really concerned about monitoring as will use a mix of Cacti for graphing and Xymon for snmp trapping. Would like to have the ability through a central interface to assign a port on any of the switches to a specific vlan eg. Client A user decides they wants to plug a voip phone into Port 5 on swtich 2 in building 3 but that port is currently assigned to the DMZ1 VLAN. Would like the on-site First line guy to be able to just go to a pretty interface and do the neccesary from there. So I'm assuming switches will need to be GVRP capable? but otherwise I'm hoping the rest can be done through software management.

    Hope that all makes sense.


    Assisted Solution

    I would suggest taking a look at HP ProCurve Manager and ProCurve switches.  Manager is an easy to use product that can handle all of your HP switches from one location.  It has certainly simplified my life.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    You can look at Dell too, they offer managed layer 3 switches that will do the trick for a reasonable price.  They all do 802.1q encapsulation.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for ideas - have split th epoints as failry as I could :-)

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