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Best Practice for multiple switches in a network

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi There

I am looking for some advise on our network.
Currently we have 5 switches daisy chained together;

1x Level 1 GSW 2457 (Gigabit),
1x DLINK DGS 1024D (Gigabit),
1x Netgear JGS 524 (Gigibit) and,
2x DLINK DES 1228P's (Fast Ethernet).

This has never caused us any grief until recently when things went haywire.  We reset all our switches and things seemed to come right.  We are now thinking maybe we don't have the best possible setup.

Is it more advantageous for us to have a "core" switch that will then distribute to the others?  If so what switch should we use.  We have an IP based telephony system which requires both our PoE Web-Smart switches for phones.  Gigabit networking speeds are essential for day-to-day business.

Currently we are just using all these switches as JBOS (Just a Bunch Of Switches) with no networking priority etc.

Cheers
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Question by:lemonville
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Expert Comment

by:SeeMeShakinMyHead
ID: 34905465
Are all these switches in the same room (i.e. server/telcom room)?  If so, I would recommend going with 3x 48 port cisco 3750G-PS switches.  You can stack them together to give you one virtual switch.  No need to worry about STP, etc...  To save money (thousands $$$), you can only buy 1 of them with PoE and the other 2 non-PoE.  If in different topology, please let me know and will post again.
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topdavis earned 500 total points
ID: 34906102
Whenever possible, it is best to design your network in a Core, Distribution, Access type design.  A good article is here - http://www.2000trainers.com/cisco-ccna/ccna-cisco-network-design-model/, that describes the Core, Distribution, Access design versus a flat design.   Also, if it isn't already done, segmenting your network with vlan's is helpful to isolate broadcast storms.  And since it appears that you have voice on your network, having the phones on a separate vlan with some type of QoS configured would be helpful as well.

Moving to same vendor switches might also help so you shouldn't have to worry about multi-vendor incompatibilities that could have also lead to your problem.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lemonville
ID: 34940935
Very good, reaffirmed by thoughts but with more precision and gave some good ideas.
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Expert Comment

by:SeeMeShakinMyHead
ID: 34941866
Are all these switches located in the same room?
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