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should i use fibre cable for uplinks or cat6

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi we are doing a refit in our building and need to uplink between floors. Im just wondering if it would be any benefit in using fibre cable over cat6? - The distince between swichs would only be floor distance so imagine no more than 30 - 40 meters. I know fibre cables are better than copper for speed - but will it really be beneficial to use fibre for this (fairly short distance) over copper? - would the switch benefit using fibre?
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Question by:philb19
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161520
What are the port limits on your switches?  1gb ?   If so, I would run cat6 assuming your fiber links are also 1gb.  
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161525
Fiber is more expensive and is much harder to work with
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by:philb19
ID: 34161528
1gb yes for all ports fibre and copper. What if i had switchs with 10gb uplink fibre ports would that make significant improvemnet? - Anyway why do you say use cat6?
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161539
Honestly, you could use CAT5e and be just fine for your 1gb links.   If you actually have the budget and a reason to run switches with 10gb uplinks, then do it.

What are you going to be hanging off these uplinks?   a floor of say 20 heavy CAD users or a floor of regular ole office / email/ internet users?
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by:philb19
ID: 34161546
regular office users not cad - some gis users
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161547
10 gb is definintely not cheap.  Analyze what you expect your bandwidth requirements to be.  Figure out how many users you expect per floor at peak times, the applications and bandwidth per user etc..
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161568
Also take in to account your file server(s) they will be connecting to.  Make sure you have enough bandwidth to support the users.   Does no good if you have 10gb uplinks with a server only dishing out 1gb of speed.
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by:OriNetworks
ID: 34161649
I would definitely go copper. Just curious how many uses and do you plan on using voip phones? Im planning a similar expansion and currently have about 200 users on one floor using 5 10/100 switches that merge into one full gb switch using 2x 1 gig uplinks between floors. The 5 switches on the one floor daisy chain using the gb uplinks then the gig uplinks between floors. Only running bassic email, file shares, streaming radio and video. No problems but I was thinking about expanding for voice services.
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161666
So you have Switch 1 daisy chained to 2, then to 3 then to 4 then to 5 then to the GB switch?  If so, you created a heck of a bottleneck.   I would look to have each 10/100 switch have a 1gb link to a core GB switch or at a very minimum have each swtich with a separate 100mb link to the core GB switch.
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by:poktech
ID: 34161673
Always consider future growth and other potential uses, as well as cost.  

Having said that.....

Copper (Cat6) can carry up to 10Gb ethernet and it can also easily & cheaply carry other services from analog phones, RS-485, CCTV, HDMI video, etc, etc....  You can ever run low voltage power over it, as in PoE.

A typical fiber optic install for that kind of run would be multimode, 50 micron fiber.  While it has the potential to run 10Gb ethernet (just like Cat6), it is likely you'll be running 1000BaseSX, or 1G ethernet (which, as previously mentioned, you can get with Cat5e).  Like Cat6, it can run other services, but you'll need to buy costly transceivers and can't run power over fiber.

So what does fiber buy in your described install?  Well, it is cool, but aside from that, I can't see a single reason you should run fiber optic.  It will cost significanlt more, is more difficult to install and adds no performance enhancement.  I'd run a few spare Cat6 lines and plan to trunk them, if you ever need more than 10Gb on that link.

Also, spend the extra money and make sure your installer certifies his install as Cat6 compliant.
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by:getzjd
ID: 34161675
You will want to watch your voice services when dealing with streaming video.  Given I do not know what you are streaming (high def web conference, tv, etc), but you will want to look in to PoE switches  and setting up vlans with QoS to give the voice data priority
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by:OriNetworks
ID: 34162018
@getzjd
it's actually a hybrid that was pre-existing before I arrived

switch 1(24 port)->switch3 (48 port)-->GB Switch
switch2(24 Port)---^

switch 4->switch 5->GB Switch

switches 1 and 2 are smaller and connect to switch 3 then switch 3 spans several floors to the GB switch. In a separate area, switch 4 connects to switch 5 which then spans the same several floors to the main GB switch.
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danielc25 earned 500 total points
ID: 34173212
The only benefit to running fiber in this case is distance. If you have a switch closet over 300ft from your distribution point then it would make sense. Otherwise stick with the CAT 5e. It is much cheaper to EtherChannel a few CAT 5e connections between switches for increased bandwidth.
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