Network Design with Cisco Switches

Posted on 2012-03-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-17
Hello Everyone,

I have been assigned a task to design network for upcoming network revamp project in a small firm, although networking is not my core area, but I accepted this task as a challege as I have done similar projects in past, here I go:

I'll try to describe current network topology:

1) Admin & Accounts block where server room is located, Cisco 3750G 24 port switch acts as a core switch

2 UTP uplinks directly coming from Admin & Accounts in core switch.

2) Service Reception and Workshop block, one UTP uplink coming from this block directly in Core switch

3) Spare parts, fibre optic connectivity, but fibre optic not directly terminated on switch, using media convertor

4) showroom 1, fibre optic connectivity, but fibre optic not directly terminated on switch, using media convertor

5) showroom 2, fibre optic connectiviy, but fibre optic not directly terminated on switch, using media convertor

there are no other managable switches in whole network except at core swithc, there are combination of different brands of swithces which we wish to replace with Cisco PoE switches once and for all.

Above metioned buiding block are in 5 different VLANs, Cisco 3750G switch does the inter-VLAN routing.


Buy a 12 fibre optic ports 3750G switch at core and stack with existing 3750 G switch

WS-C2960-48PST-L      Catalyst 2960 48 10/100 PoE + 2 1000BT +2 SFP LAN Base Image
WS-C2960-24PC-S      Catalyst 2960 24 10/100 PoE + 2 T/SFP LAN Lite Image

at Edge and configure the routing, of course, I'll take this forum's help for configurations, 24 port and 48 port switches will be selected based on port requirements.

My question:

Is there any cost effective better solution to above plan?
we'll go for IP telephony with this network revamp, will these switches be enough for our IP telephony needs or are there any suggestions?
What is the difference between LAN Base and LAN Lite image? Are we compromising any useful features by buy LAN Lite image?
Should I stick to 3750G stack option or is there any better alternative at core?
If anybody can calculate throughput which clients will be getting at edge with above switches, it'll be great?

As of now, I can think of only these questions, I'll post more questions as and when they arise.

Many thanks for any productive answers in advance.

Question by:tayyabq8
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Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 37724165
When you say UTP which kind, Cat-5/Cat5e, Cat6? Cat6 is the cable you want for POE devices. Fiber between switches is ok, but may not be cost effective. Single mode fiber tends to cost more but only by a few cents a foot, you can get by using single or multi-mode fiber. Fiber is very sensitive to turns and movement, ideally fiber should be run through a conduit or lay flat on a "track".
Also what appears to be wrong with the current setup? Just want to move to POE and VOIP?

Author Comment

ID: 37724563
Hello rich

thanks for replying, yes it is Cat6 UTP, nothing wrong with current network, 2 reasons for this change

1) major reason as you mentioned, PoE and VOIP
2) we think it is not wise to have dumb devices across all our network and we want to replace with them with manageable switches so that we could improve the efficiency of our network with switches with Gigabit uplink
3) Media convertors tend to fail quite often, during last year, 2 media convertors failed, therefore we thought why not terminate fiber optic directly into switches and reduce point of failure
4) right now servers are direclty connected to 24 port 3750G switch as well as uplink from other locations, we want to make it core - distro - access design with another 12 port fiber optic 3750G stackable switch acting as core, current 24 port switch acting as distro or server farm, I dont know whehter both these terms are sysnonyms or not, then 2960 at edge.

I hope I'm clear with what I want to acheive. Regards.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Rich Rumble earned 500 total points
ID: 37724871
So you have Fiber->Cat5/6 converters connecting currently (media converter). If the fiber doesn't get laid/run you can still use a single port (or two (even 4) and "bond" them) and have the switches interconnect over cat5/6. You want a hub+spoke topology it sounds like. Dumb devices can work fine, but it is always nicer to have access inside so that you can see and configure changes in the network. The stackable switches are what I like to use for these situations when spending money on cisco. Lately I've been getting used to HP switches and they are often times cheaper than cisco for the same features:

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