I recently have taken over an aging network for a small private school. The school has about 150 computers and a mix of managed (HP) and unmanaged switches. I'm working on upgrading the network infrastructure and had a couple specific areas I'm looking for advice in. We are on a VERY SMALL budget--so I'm looking for value. Most of our managed switches are HP right now, so I'm looking to likely stay in the HP family.
We've got a pretty good core switch, an HP 4204vi. There are no VLANs right now (ugh), but once we get the switch infrastructure upgraded the plan is to implement seperate VLANs for student, faculty/staff, and byod.
1) What's the best way to connect my switches? The school has about 6 major switches in various locations about the facility. Right now the switches are just tied together with Cat5e on 100baseT. I want to upgrade these connections to at least gigabit -- should I just use Copper (Cat6)? What advantages/disadvantages would Fiber have? (I don't have much experience with Fiber). If I go fiber, what type of cable/connectors should I use? The switches are at most a few hundred feet apart.
2) Many of the schools switches are older HP 4000m switches. I don't have much experience with these. How big a priority should replacing these be? Should I just put gigabit modules in them for the new backbone connections or should I try to replace the whole switch? It looks like I can get gigabit modules cheap ($20) on eBay.
3) I'm also looking for recommendations on what to replace the unmanaged and older HP switches with. I'm strongly considering the HP V1910 switches as they look like they provide a lot of bang for the buck. Any drawbacks or other recommendations?
4) School currently has a network of 8 Cisco/Linksys WAP2000 providing wireless throughout the school. Connections are a little choppy especially when a lot of users get online. Any recommendations for inexpensive/reliable replacements?
Thanks for your recommendations!