Connecting two buildings over 100 meters apart using ethernet by using a switch

Posted on 2012-09-20
Last Modified: 2012-09-20
Hi everyone, I have experience managing networks after they are already physically installed, but now I'm actually setting one up and have a question regarding two buildings that need to be connected.

First off I am in a resource-poor environment and fiber is available but too costly here.

Second I can't use wireless extenders as it is an environment with lots of strange non-standard medical devices that may have unpredictable results.

So I really want to Mount a switch in each building, and then build an outdoor shed and mount a third switch in between.

 I am worried about poor performance and lag. Can this be done the way I have explained it?  And if there are better suggestions please offer them up.

Question by:bribri007
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    it can be done the way you say, you could use manageble switches and make a trunk of cables so you have more then a gigabit to the other building.  Do note that when your ethernet cable goes outside you normally have to shield it from lightening (not many ppl do that here though).
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Agreed - if you're resource poor, WHY wouldn't you use fiber?  A single lightning strike would likely blow out several expensive pieces of equipment and instantly erase any potential savings from doing it on the cheap - not to mention the lost productivity. I used to work for a company had experience with this until they went fiber.

    Can't write the check?  Talk a bank/financing company and get a loan but running cabling is EXPENSIVE and doing it right the first time is extremely important in my opinion.
    LVL 3

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the feedback, lightening is an issue where I'm at and I now understand the real reason you use fiber between buildings.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    by:Dimitris Ioakimoglou
    What you're suggesting will probably work (if you've done the math correctly as fas as the cabling length is concerned) and you can aggregate some ports in order to have some redundancy and decent bandwidth.

    BUT it's nothing more than a patch-up solution, your infrastructure will be a potential victim of ...more or less everything :/

    in order to aggregate you will need decent managed switches. so it won't come for free.
    in order the external switch safe, you will also spend money.

    I'm not sure I'd go forward with this plan, might be putting more money to risk than really saving up.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    First things first it can be done taking in to consideration the following parameters.
    1) The ethernet cable that you re using for external use has to be shielded and intended for external use.
    2) The station in between has to have it's own ups and surge protection
    Having those to factors set then you will have a running network. Then depending on the equipment that you ll use you ll have good speed and small lag.

    Taking in to consideration that you said that you re in a resource poor environment I have to warn you though that the shielded cable for external use is quite more expensive that the normal one (In Greece I paid around 400euro for 100m of cable..) adding to that the expenses of the switch in between and the ups I think you ll be very close to the cost of fiber and two fiber to ethernet switches.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    by:Dimitris Ioakimoglou

    even then, (with its own UPS etc), is not a risky decision to let a managed switch sit in a box outside a building?

    From my own experience, having implemented  public hotspots in the past with cisco equipment, there's a good chance a switch will be damaged due to weather conditions.

    Depends maybe on what is meant by "shed"...

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