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How to wire company switches?

Posted on 2011-09-30
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hi Experts,

I am in dire need of help right now.  I need to know if I can use regular ethernet cabling to wire together 4 separate 24port switches.  The cables that were installed before were CAT 5 patch cables.  I bought 100 ft of regular CAT 6 ethernet cabe and made a whole bunch of short length cable and everything worked for a few minutes, but then everything started losing connectivity and now nobody can access the two main servers.  Half the place can get internet, just not servers, but the rest can't get anything whatsoever.  I need to know if I did something stupid by not using patch or crossover cable and just using regular.  The computers also will regain connectivity then fail again right away.  None of the 350 employees have been able to access the server and this is a HUGE problem.  The other thing is, many of the devices, when I go to ping them will give me all "time outs" and IP conflict messages.  PLEASE HELP!!                                                                                          
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Question by:Brent Johnson
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davealford earned 334 total points
ID: 36891154
Sounds like you may have multiple uplinks between switches. Most modern switches can use either cross-over or straight through cables. I wouldn't use patch cables shorter than 1 metre for uplink cables (1/2 metre absolute mimimum).

Check you only have one uplink cable between each switch either using one switch as a 'hub' and then each switch has one cable from 'hub' switch or, 'daisy chain' the switches together (but, DON'T create a closed 'loop')


 Basic Hub or Spoke
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by:davealford
davealford earned 334 total points
ID: 36891188
The 'hub' configuration is best as all devices' data only have to tracerse max of three switches if communicating at the extreme ends of the network physical links. The 'daisy chain' can be usefull if you only have 2xGB ports in the switches (not sure if the 5-4-3 rule applies - depends on what the switches are)
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by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 166 total points
ID: 36891257
That pretty much sounds like a loop. I agree that the hub/cascade setup is best. I would designate one switch as "the hub", and plug in the other three switches to it - with a single cable only. Connect servers to the main switch, and workstations to the "child" switches.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Brent Johnson
ID: 36897891
Thank you for your help!  The information that you all provided me with was very helpful.  Only question that still remains is, can I use regular CAT 6 ethernet cable instead of the old CAT 5 and 5e patch cables??
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 36898120
Sure. You can always use a "better" cable (higher specs). The plugs fit no matter if Cat5 or 6.
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