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Switching Structure

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Experts -

I am in the process of migrating old Cisco equipment and  would like to get some advise what switch configuration will fit my purpose.

Right now we have 2x Catlyst 2960 10/100 and 1 x ESW500 10/100/1000 switch as a backbone.

the switch has to be Cisco. All ports for the new switch have to be GB ports. Should i connect all devices to just one 48 Port switch including Server and NAS or should i use a separate switch for critical devices.

I wont need PoE, i am not sure if i should go for Layer2 or Layer3 switch? There wont be any internal routing. What else is important to look for in a switch? What kind of unlink should i have in case i want to add additional switches?  

any advise is appreciated


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Question by:Martin Gerlach
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by:BigBlake
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If you are sure there is no routing needed I would not waste money on saying it has to be a layer three switch.

The way we do it (Which is not the only way) is to use Cisco 3750 gigabit switches with 24 ports each. We currently have them connected using the stacking cables at the rear. The advantage of going this way are;

1. Easy expansion through adding another 24 port switch to the stack

2. Physical separation of the ethernet ports making cable tracing much easier. Our switches are seperated by a couple of RU and some cable management. Packing 48 ports into a 1 or 2 RU unit leads to a very high cable density which can make tracing and troubleshooting a lot more difficult.

3. High speed uplink between switches via the stacking cable

4. SIngle configuration for the stack via a single IP address.

If cost is an issue you could go for the 3560 range of switches instead - you lose the ability to stack them but instead could uplink them via port-channels for added redundancy and bandwidth.
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by:BigBlake
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Also I just found the following 'decision maker' on the cisco website to help you chose models

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps10744/Cisco_Switching_Family.pdf  Cisco-Switching-Family.pdf
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by:Martin Gerlach
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Could  you give me the exact model for stackable 24 port 3750 GB. Also is it possible to different models within the stacking, i.E 1 x 24 GB, 1 x 24 Fast Ethermet, 1 x wit PoE? Or do i have to stick with the same model? Great PDF by the way.

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by:BigBlake
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I would probably be looking at the cisco WS-C3750X-24T-S (Non powered) and WS-C3750X-24P-S (Powered). The 3750 only comes in gigabit - no fast ethernet models in the latest range

As for mixing POE and non POE switches in the one stack - This is not something I have ever done, but I don't see any reason why not. The only limitation I have seen on mixing switches in a stack is to ensure that they all run the same ios family. ie you can't mix ipbase and ipservices ios in the one stack. All the commands for POE are still present in our non POE models. However I would advise you confirm compatability of swirtch hardware and ios for stacking with your vendor before placing your order.

Cheers
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by:Martin Gerlach
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By Non powered you mean no PoE? I was looking at this one: WS-C3750G-24TS-S are these different then the C3750X?

Looks like mixing is supported:

Mix-and-Match Switch Types: Pay as You Expand Your Network
Stacks can be created with any combination of Cisco Catalyst 3750 and Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. Customers who need a mixture of 10/100 and 10/100/1000 ports, PoE, and wiring-closet aggregation capability can incrementally develop the access environment, paying only for what they need. When uplink capacity needs to be increased, you can easily upgrade your bandwidth by adding a 10 Gigabit Ethernet version to the stack and upgrade your Gigabit Ethernet links with 10 Gigabit Ethernet on the existing fiber.
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by:Martin Gerlach
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If i want to go Layer 2, this one should do right? WS-C3750X-24T-L .Is there any other reason to get a layer 3 besides routing? Are there any other useful features i would loose? Security, QoS, etc?
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BigBlake earned 500 total points
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The 3750X is the latest model in the 3750 series. You get more throughput between the switches in a stack (64Gbps instead of 36Gbps) and a new feature called stackpower which lets the other switches in a stack supply power to a member in the event of a failed power supply. Note that the stackpower only works with the -S version and not the -L. -L stands for LanBase ios (The very basic one, no QoS Security etc) and -S is IPBase which does have QoS etc. If you have ip phones or any other multimedia type systems you will need the -S, however this is just a $oftware upgrade from the -L version if you find you need it down the track.

You can view the cisco information on the 3750 switches at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps5023/index.html

and the 3750X switches at
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10745/index.html

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by:Martin Gerlach
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One last question, Promise! If i go for the 3560X with no stack, what would you recommend for the up-link between the two? The 10G SFP+ uplink ports are very expensive, i think i am almost better of getting the 3750x , do they come stackable by default or do i have to buy any modules, cables, etc?
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by:BigBlake
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Every time I have bought a 3750 it has come with a short (30cm) stacking cable in the box.

If you went for the 3560 switch 2nd best to the 10GB SFP units would be to run a port channel between two ports on each switch. Basically this will give you 2Gbps between the two switches, but you only end up with 22 ports on each for the clients. When you go to three switches the middle switch would then lose another two ports (2ports to switch 1 and 2ports to switch 3) We use port channels to provide added bandwidth and redundancy between stacks in different parts of our server room as the stacking cables have a limited length.
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by:Martin Gerlach
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You where very helpful. Thank you!
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