IDF & MDF for 10G Network

Posted on 2013-05-14
Last Modified: 2013-08-27
Hi EEs,

I have to setup 10G Network for my 3 floors office (attached the image as well)
In all floors I will put WAPs for all PC connecting to network.

I have some below concerns:

1. Cables : Do I need CAT6 or CAT6A or CAT6E network cable?
2. IDF : In each floor cables will be connecting to IDF & from IDF to Cisco Switch..pls explain do i really need IDF or I can directly connect all cables of Ist floor to Cisco Switch#1? (basically i need to know the necessity of IDF? can i by-pass the IDFs)
3. If IDFs are do I connect IDFs each other...using CAT6 or Fiber channel?
4. For Avaya IP phones can I use the same CAT6 cables?
5. For IP cameras (will be configured with NVR=Network Video Recorders) can I use the same CAT6 cables?
6. For connecting Cisco Switches each other (1st, 2nd & 3rd floors) which switch is good which comes with Fiber channel SPF?

I am really sorry for asking you a bunch of queries together, but I am really curious to know for starting setting up my network with cabling,

I will really appreciate if anyone can help me out with some good link to understand in brief,

Many thanks in advance...
Question by:dxbdxb2009
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39166143
Although you can get away with using Cat6 for 10G, there are distance limitations. Even if you are within the distance limits, go with Cat6A anyway. If you your question about Cat6 was for end users and not the 10G uplinks between switches, still go with Cat6A since the cost difference is minimal and you'll have better options in the future when bandwidth needs increase. So I guess to make a short story long go with Cat6A if you have the choice.

As long as your Cisco switches have the 10G ports that you are requiring then there is nothing technically wrong with bypassing the IDF unless you expect to expand the floors in the future and use the IDF as a distribution layer. If you will be using it as a distribution layer then it is a good design to put the IDF in place now so that you don't have to rearrange everything in the near future.

If you do need the IDF's, Cat6 or Fiber is up to you. It's a matter of meeting your own speed and redundancy requirements, and using (and/or paying for) the available interfaces.

You should be able to use any type of Cat5e Ethernet cable or beyond for the Avaya phones. The same should be true with the cameras. In both cases, a quick call to the vendor and they will be able to confirm this.

"6. For connecting Cisco Switches each other (1st, 2nd & 3rd floors) which switch is good which comes with Fiber channel SPF?"

Um, please explain what you mean. Are you asking how to connect the floors together, or how to tie the switches together within the floors?
If you are asking which switches are good to connect the floors together, there are many options that require more questions to be answered.
When it comes to connecting switches together within the same room/closet, it is usually best to go with a stackable switch or a chassis switch. The stackable switches have a special cable that connects the switches together so you won't need fiber for that purpose although you may need to purchase a stack module depending on the switch.

On a side note, I assume when you say "fiber channel" you mean ethernet over fiber media. Fiber Channel or FC is what is used for SAN's to connect servers to disk arrays/controllers. If you do mean FC, then we are getting in to a whole different network as you would be getting in to the Nexus line of switches and CNA adapters.

Author Comment

ID: 39176760
thanks rauenpc for your valuable reply & sorry for delay,

1. Kindly confirm the cable selection = Cat6A or Cat6E.
As below some links get me confused...which says go for Cat6E for 10G network with limit to 100mts
2. "If you your question about Cat6 was for end users ..." yes I will use the same cable for end-users connectivity with WAPs, IDFs, switches & routers,
3. "passing the IDF unless you expect to expand the floors....." I will keep the IDFs as advised future i might need some emendation of PC,s Phones, CAM etc... So now I will keep the IDFs kindly advice how cisco Core switches (for Floor1, floor2 & floor3) will be connected each other...I mean to ask with Fiber or CAT6E or CAT6A....If fiber kindly advice the SFP module enable switches in cisco...if possible.
4.  please explain what you mean. Are you asking how to connect the floors together, or how to tie the switches together within the floors? = I will keep the Edge Switch + MDF in 2nd floor (server room will be in 2nd floor) now in each floor I will keep the IDF + Cisco Core Switch, now kindly advice the way of better connectivity option which can give me 10G network.
5. kindly share some links/model no for stackable switch or a chassis switch & how they are going to be connected?...will i get the 10G speed also?
6. "fiber channel" = as i am newer to the network deployment & Fiber, for SAN i might want to use fiber as I will go for "IBM DS3524 SAN Storage"

Kindly advice for heading me into right direction.... really need help for an experts like you...

thanks once again..


Author Comment

ID: 39178164
any one pls help...n advice..
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

rauenpc earned 500 total points
ID: 39181144
1. Although some manufacturers will market "Cat6e", there is no official standard for Cat6e; there is only Cat6 and Cat6a. Because of this, I would stick with a true standard so you don't run in to any issues later down the road.

2. Good.

3. If you're within the distance limitations, There is no difference in performance between Cat6a and fiber assuming your equipment cannot or will not surpass 10G. However, if you can afford it I would recommend going with fiber (MM 50um OM3 or OM4) not because of immediate performance characteristics, but because it will be more flexible. The fiber will be able to handle increases in speed up to 100G, it doesn't have any interference problems due to power cables being installed nearby, and a 24/48 strand fiber cable takes up far less space and takes less effort to install than the equivalent 24/48 Cat6a cables. In short I recommend fiber because it adds to your ability to future proof the network. The SFP module depends on the distance, but you will most likely be able to use SFP-10G-SR since you are able to fall under Cat6a's distance limitations.

4. Most likely you will need to use the same fiber as mentioned above as well as SFP. Cat6a for 10G would be fine, but most likely the switches you purchase will not have any 10G copper options, unless the switches are within 10M of each other. If they are within 10M, you can use TwinAx cables.

5. Depending on what features you might need, common stackable switches are 2960S, and 3850. The 2960S is a layer2 switch, and the 3850 is a layer3 switch. Since you have IDF switches that will likely handle layer3 if needed, you will save money by going with the 2960S switches.

6. You SAN will likely be limited to the server room, so whether it's fiber or copper won't have any bearing on the IDF's and edge switches.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39181200
I though about it a bit more, and if you were my customer here's what I'd recommend.

This is only for the switches on the left side of your diagram and does not touch your server room. I went with 4500X switches for the IDF/distribution as they are meant for aggregation and allow for up to 16 SFP+ modules with the base switch. There are models with more ports, but I went smaller based on your diagram. Each switch had 2 SR SFP's for connections between the switches, but that would likely be changed slightly depending on how you wanted the swiches connected. I also put in a couple twinax cables per switch to connect to the edge switches. One of the switches had the IP Services license on it so that it could be the layer3 core of the network (I don't know if you already have a layer3 core). Being very important switches, I added 24x7x4 smartnet.
The edge switches were the 10G 2960S switches. Each is a 48-port full PoE, and I assumed that a 3-switch stack was needed per closet with stack cables. Being less critical I put 8x5xNBD smartnet.

Author Comment

ID: 39196700
thanks for your reply,

kindly advice what fiber patch code i need to connect cisco switches with 10G SPF for each floor:
Below are some fiber patch codes are available here but i got confiused thus need your help:

1. SC Fibre Pigtail



Question : does these patch panel comes Ready-Made?
Question : do I have to buy the connector separately or how as shown here
Question: what all i need to connect my SFP module with fiber?

kindly advice..

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