Can I do the following with a Cat5e and cat6 mix?

Can I get comments on the following please:

Network has 30x DELL pc's all capable of Gigabit aparts from 3x laptops that run at 100MBit.

Several switches:

2x 100MBit with 2x Gigbit ports.

Client will be moving and are getting cabling organised now for new offices.

Scenario 1:
Can the client get Cat6 cabling done in all trunking etc.... and run the network at 100MBit until Switches are upgraded...

Will server network be ok at Gigabit on Gigabit ports and NOT drop slow for laptops etc.... or will it degrade whole network when laptops are in use?

Scenario 2:
New Gigabit switches are organised... Network runs at Gigabit and again laptops run at 100MBit and DO NOT slow down network when in use?

Or should I be dealing with this differently.

100MBit switch for 100Mbit Laptops and Wireless devices and appliances. This gets plugged into Gigabit port of new gigabit switches and then I will have a Gigabit everywhere but few 100MBit devices and appliances.

Looking for best and affordable option. Cat6 cabling is included in move so that bit is not an issue.

Just don't want to hinder network.. Need quick comments please. LOTS of experience with Cat5E, switches, trunking and cabling.. Never had to deal with Cat6 in anger so feel a little in the dark...

Many thanks

RomoloIT Pro, Projects, Mentor, TrainerAsked:
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using gigabit on the servers and 100mbit on the clients will be perfectly fine. you wont drop the entire network below 100mbit when laptops are in use at all.

This is coming from someone who ran an enterprise network with a 10GbE core and 100mbit to desktops.
Your Scenario 2 is better and deal best with the situation.
Put your network and server on Cat6 and all clients on CAT5.

so this will give you best performance with the infrastructure you have.

Benefits- muliple clilents will connect to server and as server are on CAT6 server will easily be able to response without effecting any network.
Fact: cat6 cable does not give you any faster gigabit than properly installed cat5e cable provides.

Further, 100Mb works fine on cat6.

And a 100Mb NIC degrades only the single (gigabit) port to which it's connected, not the whole switch.
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first of all ..we all are always concerned about the active components.
passive ...we neglect generally, by nature.

i have worked on many network infrastructure ...where client is using no. 1 branded electrical cable and all equipments but for data cabling...they are using non-branded.....or low cost brand cable.
my suggestion is cable laying can't be done every is almost one time investment........we can change switches..but can't change passive cable every time.
suppose i want create a long distance highway/road.
road construction is very important....i can change my vehicle from lower range to higher range... but road construction is not possible every time.

my suggestion is lay cat6 or cat6A( 10g supportive) cable first...then change your active component accordingly.
Which switches do you have!? (Vendor and model) Check how many MBps can route before they give up!

Normally, you should not have any problems...

Each port is functioning to different speed; it will not affect other ports.
RomoloIT Pro, Projects, Mentor, TrainerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all of your comments. I really appreciate it.

Can I confirm this way forward is suitable then.

SCENARIO A (My preferred scenario).

Get Cat6 cabling flooded to every port and back to patch panels.

Use newer Gigabit capable switches for all ports (currently only selective).

Plug in Gigabit capable hardware to cat6 ports.. expect Gigabit connection.
Servers run at Gigabit as they are Gigabit cards and plugged into Gigabit ports.

Laptops and WAP devices which are 100MB plug into CAT6 port.. and operate at 100MB and degrade port to 100MB but have no other effect on the network. Just their transmit and receive speed for themselves.


As above .. but keeping my 100MBit switches for upgrade soon to complete Gigabit.. No adverse effects anywhere.

Many thanks

Cat 5e also can work @ 1Gbit (not officialy but works)

Connect switch gigabit ports to highly loaded servers (until you upgrade to gigabit LAN)
RomoloIT Pro, Projects, Mentor, TrainerAuthor Commented:
I know it can... I have used it as 1Gigabit before..

But want to future proof so was thinking CAT6 makes the sense as long as client can use same equipment with hindrance ..


upgrade switches and run everything without hindrance.

go for scenario A for better suggestion
If you intend to future proof as much as possible, you should use cat6a STP (shielded) rather than UTP (unshielded twisted pair), or find cat7 cable, which should have each pair shielded, in addition to shielding around the entire bundle of shielded pairs. I didn't bother mentioning those because 1000Mb (1Gb) was the fasted speed asked about.

Cat6 should be good for 10Gb out to 55m; cat6a STP should be good for 10Gb out to the full 100m; cat7 should be good for faster than 10Gb (when faster than 10Gb over copper equipment is invented). At some point, switching to fiber becomes cheaper, though.  :-)
RomoloIT Pro, Projects, Mentor, TrainerAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone.

I think budget will only stretch to Cat6.

Can I confirm both scenarios above are achievable (even though my preference is A).


Cat6 is enough for end users; 1gbit is enough for now and future use (data, voice and even video usage to end users).

Yes, both are achievable

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RomoloIT Pro, Projects, Mentor, TrainerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your comments.

I got what I needed which was

Does both scenarios work or will it cause an adverse effect...

Many many thanks,.

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