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Network Design for Best Performance

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I've been tasked with designing and implementing a network based on the attached layout. My equipment is listed in the diagram. I'm also soon getting a Cisco 4948. Until then I have to make do with what I have.

I'm wondering what the best way is to use my available resources in order to get the best performance from the network.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Network.png
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Question by:astrochimp
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Expert Comment

by:madunix
ID: 33716266
get this book CCDP Self-Study: Designing Cisco Network Architectures (ARCH) would help alot!
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Author Comment

by:astrochimp
ID: 33716397
I'm actually reading the book right now. It is helping a lot, but I'm still looking for input on the specifics.
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Expert Comment

by:vihunter
ID: 33717188
A little more detail will help in the planning of your goals:

6x uplinks? - Is ether-channels in use?
15x cisco express - are there VoIP phones in use?

What are your network demands?  Are you experiencing latency or bottlenecks that prompted you to ask this question?
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Author Comment

by:astrochimp
ID: 33718104
Currently the uplinks in closets 3 and 4 are connected to individual switches and are going back to either closets 1 or 2. There is VoIP but not Cisco VoIP. The main network demand is speed (especially for good VoIP) and second is reliability (hence no ether-channel).
As of now there is no occupancy in the building, so there's no real way to find out whether everything will work when everyone starts using the network. Also, not all of the equipment is in the new building yet because it's still in use in the old building. I'm trying to predict what may be an issue and resolve it now.
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giltjr earned 250 total points
ID: 33728281
--> ... and second is reliability (hence no ether-channel).

This does not make a lot of sense.  Ether-channel allows up to 8 links (depending on switch model) to appear to be a single pipe.  So if you lose a single link, everything continues to flow uninterrupted but just less bandwidth.

Unless you are breaking out specific VLAN's across each uplink, STP will block 5 of your 6 links.  So you are only using one link.  If that one link fails, you will need to wait for STP convergence before one of the remaining 5 links to become active.
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Expert Comment

by:mikebernhardt
ID: 33728355
I completely agree with giltjr- you've got it backwards. Use etherchannel for better reliability. I would also connect Closet 4 directly to Closet 1 in order to eliminate Closet 2 as an additional point of failure and to simplify your design.
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Author Comment

by:astrochimp
ID: 33729300
I'm afraid that the interconnections are preset and final so I have to live with them for better or worse.

As far as the uplinks go, I think we're having a bit of a miscommunication. What I do is I use every uplink to connect a switch in closets 3 and 4 to the "main" switches in closets 1 and 2. This connection methodology looks like a star as opposed to the router on a stick I would get with link aggregation. So if an uplink fails, I technically would only lose the specific switch uplinked with it and not the others.

If it were up to you, what would YOU do in order to optimize speed/performance?
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Assisted Solution

by:mikebernhardt
mikebernhardt earned 250 total points
ID: 33729411
Ah, so there are multiple switches in each closet. That wasn't clear from the drawing. A drawing that showed every switch and how they connect to each other (if there are multiple identical connections, show one and indicate that there are actually 3 or whatever) would be very helpful. All we can see so far are 4 closets with infrastructure running between them- no actual connections. Are you using multiple vlans? If so, where is the Layer 3?

It's more work to show all that on a drawing but the only way to help you optimize is to know exactly what you have in place now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:astrochimp
ID: 33784280
Thank you.
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