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Network Switch Recommendation

Gssc1414
Gssc1414 asked
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I am looking for some help in picking out a new switch for our network. We currently have a Dell PowerConnect 2724 (24 port gigabit switch) with an old 8-port gigabit switch patched in.

I am looking at getting a 48-port gigabit switch to replace the two. I was looking at the following:

http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/networking/switch-powerconnect-2848/pd.aspx?refid=switch-powerconnect-2848&s=bsd&cs=04

http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/networking/pwcnt_3548/pd.aspx?refid=pwcnt_3548&s=bsd&cs=04

http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/networking/pwcnt_6248/pd.aspx?refid=pwcnt_6248&s=bsd&cs=04

http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/networking/pwcnt_5448/pd.aspx?refid=pwcnt_5448&s=bsd&cs=04

I have never sized a switch relative to what is needed, so that's why im here. We are an engineering firm that open a lot of large CAD files. There are around 20 workstations - normally no more then 7 people accessing the server at any one time. We are looking for something that will hopefully give us a noticable boost in speed of our switch (I realize file access is greatly effected by MANY factors, and a faster switch (if not the current bottleneck) will net marginal if no gains).

Which of these switches will provide the fastest solution for us (having some SNMP monitoring would be nice aswell). I am not stuck on Dell, but I need the switch to stay under $2,000.

Please accompany recomendations with reasoning!! Thanks for all the help!
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Have you looked at any of the HP Procurve switches?  There is a hp a5810g that is good for what you want.  That is my preference.  Since they acquired 3Com I feel they're even better than before.  The Cisco SRW2048 is worth looking at as well.  

Author

Commented:
thompsonwireless,

No I have not looked at HP's Procurve switches - What are the benefit to these switches over Dell?? Is it just personal preference?

Also, I cannot seem to find a price for them...or any way to buy them - which is very annoying... Am I just being retarted and not seeing something right in front of my face?
You should locate a reseller for them.  I don't know if Dell makes their own equipment even or contracts it out and brands it.  HP, 3Com and Cisco have been top of the line in the whole 20 years or so I've been doing networking.  Advantages of one piece of equipment over the other would depend entirely on your own needs.  If all you need is 48 ports and a 1 GB speed, almost anything would do.  If you're splitting off into different segments you would need something manageable and better than that even.  If you don't know what you need exactly I recommend speaking to a salesperson and let them explain to you what you're looking at.
Sr. Systems Engineer
Top Expert 2008
Commented:
I generally like Dell, but their switches are total crap. I've had too many customer rip them out and toss them in the garbage. Poor performance, poor reliability all around.
I am really a Cisco bigot, but I understand your budget constraints. Given that, the HP Procurves are pretty good switches.
The Linksys SRW2048 is less than half your budget, but has had some pretty poor reviews - slow web page, slow boot times, etc.
You might also look at the Cisco branded Small Business SGE2010. It is closer to the top of your budget, but may represent the best bang for the buck overall.. I especially like the stacking feature if you ever need to add a 2nd switch. Are you looking at PoE at all?

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps9967/ps9984/data_sheet_c78-502072.html

Author

Commented:
Irmoore,

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually found a very resonably priced SGE2010 (https://www.insight.com/search/ppp.web?fromSearch=true&materialId=SGE2010). That fits well withing my budget.

We don't have any use for PoE right now as we aren't using IP telephones and no AP's at the time and don't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

This is probably a pie in the sky question, but do you have any estimate as to the performance difference we should expect between our current 2724 and the SGE2010. I know this is kind of an impossible question, but could you humor me and take a stab?
Les MooreSr. Systems Engineer
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I couldn't find the stats for the older 2724, but the newest 2824 gig switch shows:
switching capacity = 48G
Forwarding Rate = 35.6 Mpps

The Cisco SGE2010
switching capacity = 96 Gps non-blocking
Forwarding capacity = 71.4 mpps

Performance doubles according to the stats, but can you really judge the difference between a server response that is 12ms vs 8 ms ?

The real key is that you are putting everything onto the same backplane on one switch instead of crossing switches through a bottleneck uplink.

I'd also suggest going with the pro-curves if you're unable to purchase cisco gear. Their pretty close in terms of cli / config and the like and a huge bonus with HP is you get tech support for free for life, unlike cisco where its an annual fee. If you're not planning on using IP phones anytime soon find a non POE chasis with gigE uplinks. Given what youve said throughput likely wont be an issue anywhere other than the uplink ports.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your help. Your answer's were exactly what I was looking for - advice... not "well, it depends on your situation", which is what 90% of people do.

Thanks again!