Stackable vs non-stackable switch with Link Aggregation

My office has two managed Netgear Gigabit switches GSM7248R with an Ethernet cable connect each other as uplink. Now the office is expanding and we need at two extra switches. I have thought of the following choices:

A) Get four brand new stackable managed switches (GSM7352S-200) with additional 10GMbps modules for stacking (~$3800 x 4 solution). Single management with enough throughput between switches. The cost will be about ~CAD $3800 x 4. it is way too expansive.

B) another alternative: Get two other similar switches as other two GSM7248-200 and interconnect them with an Ethernet cable. It cost about $1600 only. However, central management is not a big issue here. but i think i need to set up LAG on all switches to avoid bottleneck traffic among switch.

I have the following questions:

1) Is there any better option other than A and B?

2) If I go for option B, how do I implement it for LAG among 4 switches. I have been googling lots of info. and it usually says for LAG between two switches. What is the topology looks like? Is it something like the link below
http://www.excitingip.com/1103/why-not-use-link-aggregation-to-extend-your-network/

3) Does stackable or non-stackable managed switches provide any bandwidth monitoring/usage?

4) for option B, How do I know how many link (2 - 8) required for the LAG pipe? If I apply 8 link, does it mean I got a 8GB link between?

Thanks alot,
MingtenanceSystemAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
1) Is there any better option other than A and B?

You could go with a modular switch chassis, But it seems that one of the drivers is money. And that would be a lot more. So given that, A would be best and B would be seconds best.

2) If I go for option B, how do I implement it for LAG among 4 switches. I have been googling lots of info. and it usually says for LAG between two switches. What is the topology looks like? Is it something like the link below
http://www.excitingip.com/1103/why-not-use-link-aggregation-to-extend-your-network/
You can't. It's doubtful that multi-chassis LAG is supported on those platforms. That's one of the benefits of stacked switches.

3) Does stackable or non-stackable managed switches provide any bandwidth monitoring/usage?
That's more of a feature of the vendor/model switch. Not whether it's stackable or non-stackable.

4) for option B, How do I know how many link (2 - 8) required for the LAG pipe? If I apply 8 link, does it mean I got a 8GB link between?
Yes. If you have eight 1gbp/s links making up the LAG, then there is (theoretically) 8gbp/s of bandwidth between the two switches. But how that bandwidth is utilized, is a whole different concept as equating it to a single 8gbps wire.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
MingtenanceSystemAuthor Commented:
DonJohnston,

thanks for your quick response. For question 2

"You can't. It's doubtful that multi-chassis LAG is supported on those platforms. That's one of the benefits of stacked switches."

What is multi-chassis LAG? If I can't apply LAG among those switches, what is the best/proper way or to interconnect those four switches with proper throughput (of course stacked would be the best)? What is the topology looks like?
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
Multi-chassis LAG is when two 1gbp/s ports on one switch go to two different switches.  But the it behaves as a single 2gbp/s link.  This is a rather advanced feature that you typically don't see until you get to much higher-end switches. Such as the Cisco 6500-VSS or Nexus switches.

Can you describe the topology that you're trying to achieve?
0
MSSPs - Are you paying too much?

WEBINAR: Managed security service providers often deploy & manage products from a variety of solution vendors. But is this really the best approach when it comes to saving time AND money? Join us on Aug. 15th to learn how you can improve your total cost of ownership today!

MingtenanceSystemAuthor Commented:
Four switches, Switch1 being as a core switch connecting all servers and setup three LAGs with 2-8 links to other switches for workstation. It is like a star network with switch1 in the center.

servers -> Switch1->LAG1-> switch2 <- workstation
servers -> Switch1->LAG2-> switch3 <- workstation
servers -> switch1->LAG3-> switch4 <- workstation

Is it going to work like that? Please advice.
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
Yep. That'll work.
0
MingtenanceSystemAuthor Commented:
Sorry to get back to you later? How do I know it works without bottleneck. Is there any benchmark to see if any chocking between switchese from those LAG?
Thanks Again
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
You can use a "show int <portchannel interface>"

Then check the load values.  These are 5 min running averages.
0
MingtenanceSystemAuthor Commented:
Can I have more detail about this? Is it a command prompt from Windows or I have to login to a manage switch to do that or something CLI of the switch? What is the load value should be reasonable?
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
It's a switch command.

"Reasonable" is subjective.

1/255. Would be about .5% load.  64/255 would be 25%.  128/255 would be 50%.
0
MingtenanceSystemAuthor Commented:
I have logged in my existing Netgear GSM7248 and checked its documentation and there is a command:

show interface {<unit/slot/port> | switchport |ethernet}

also when I logged in the switch, it has the monitor to show the port stat:

below are the help Legend. I think the one I BOLD is the thing that I am looking for. Is that correct?


Statistics Help
Help for Port Detailed Statistics
Selection Criteria

        Interface - Select interface for which data needs to be displayed.

Non-Configurable Data

        MST ID - Display the MST instances associated with the interface.
        ifIndex - This object indicates the ifIndex of the interface table entry associated with this port on an adapter.
        Packets RX and TX 64 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were 64 octets in length (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 65-127 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 65 and 127 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 128-255 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 128 and 255 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 256-511 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 256 and 511 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 512-1023 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 512 and 1023 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 1024-1518 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 1024 and 1518 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 1519-1522 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 1519 and 1522 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 1523-2047 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 1523 and 2047 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 2048-4095 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 2048 and 4095 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets RX and TX 4096-9216 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received or transmitted that were between 4096 and 9216 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Octets Received - The total number of octets of data (including those in bad packets) received on the network (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets). This object can be used as a reasonable estimate of ethernet utilization. If greater precision is desired, the etherStatsPkts and etherStatsOctets objects should be sampled before and after a common interval.
        Packets Received 64 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were 64 octets in length (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received 65-127 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 65 and 127 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received 128-255 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 128 and 255 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received 256-511 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 256 and 511 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received 512-1023 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 512 and 1023 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received 1024-1518 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 1024 and 1518 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received > 1522 Octets - The total number of packets received that were longer than 1522 octets (excluding framing bits, but including FCS octets) and were otherwise well formed.

        Total Packets Received Without Errors - The total number of packets received that were without errors.
        Unicast Packets Received - The number of subnetwork-unicast packets delivered to a higher-layer protocol.
        Multicast Packets Received - The total number of good packets received that were directed to a multicast address. Note that this number does not include packets directed to the broadcast address.
        Broadcast Packets Received - The total number of good packets received that were directed to the broadcast address. Note that this does not include multicast packets.
        Total Packets Received with MAC Errors - The total number of inbound packets that contained errors preventing them from being deliverable to a higher-layer protocol.
        Jabbers Received - The total number of packets received that were longer than 1518 octets (excluding framing bits, but including FCS octets), and had either a bad Frame Check Sequence (FCS) with an integral number of octets (FCS Error) or a bad FCS with a non-integral number of octets (Alignment Error). Note that this definition of jabber is different than the definition in IEEE-802.3 section 8.2.1.5 (10BASE5) and section 10.3.1.4 (10BASE2). These documents define jabber as the condition where any packet exceeds 20 ms. The allowed range to detect jabber is between 20 ms and 150 ms.
        Fragments Received - The total number of packets received that were less than 64 octets in length with ERROR CRC(excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Undersize Received - The total number of packets received that were less than 64 octets in length with GOOD CRC(excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Alignment Errors - The total number of packets received that had a length (excluding framing bits, but including FCS octets) of between 64 and 1518 octets, inclusive, but had a bad Frame Check Sequence (FCS) with a non-integral number of octets.
        Rx FCS Errors - The total number of packets received that had a length (excluding framing bits, but including FCS octets) of between 64 and 1518 octets, inclusive, but had a bad Frame Check Sequence (FCS) with an integral number of octets
        Overruns - The total number of frames discarded as this port was overloaded with incoming packets, and could not keep up with the inflow.


        Total Received Packets Not Forwarded - A count of valid frames received which were discarded (i.e. filtered) by the forwarding process.
        Local Traffic Frames - The total number of frames dropped in the forwarding process because the destination address was located off of this port.
        802.3x Pause Frames Received - A count of MAC Control frames received on this interface with an opcode indicating the PAUSE operation. This counter does not increment when the interface is operating in half-duplex mode.
        Unacceptable Frame Type - The number of frames discarded from this port due to being an unacceptable frame type.
        Multicast Tree Viable Discards - The number of frames discarded when a lookup in the multicast tree for a VLAN occurs while that tree is being modified.
        Reserved Address Discards - The number of frames discarded that are destined to an IEEE 802.1 reserved address and are not supported by the system.
        Broadcast Storm Recovery - The number of frames discarded that are destined for FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF when Broadcast Storm Recovery is enabled.
        CFI Discards - The number of frames discarded that have CFI bit set and the addresses in RIF are in non-canonical format.
        Upstream Threshold - The number of frames discarded due to lack of cell descriptors available for that packet's priority level.
        Received Packets Dropped including aborted - The number of packets without any errors that are dropped at the time of their receive.


        Total Packets Transmitted (Octets) - The total number of octets of data (including those in bad packets) transmitted on the network (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets). This object can be used as a reasonable estimate of ethernet utilization. If greater precision is desired, the etherStatsPkts and etherStatsOctets objects should be sampled before and after a common interval.
        Packets Transmitted 64 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were 64 octets in length (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Transmitted 65-127 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 65 and 127 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Transmitted 128-255 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 128 and 255 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Transmitted 256-511 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 256 and 511 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Transmitted 512-1023 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 512 and 1023 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Transmitted 1024-1518 Octets - The total number of packets (including bad packets) received that were between 1024 and 1518 octets in length inclusive (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).


        Total Packets Transmitted Successfully - The number of frames that have been transmitted by this port to its segment.
        Unicast Packets Transmitted - The total number of packets that higher-level protocols requested be transmitted to a subnetwork-unicast address, including those that were discarded or not sent.
        Multicast Packets Transmitted - The total number of packets that higher-level protocols requested be transmitted to a Multicast address, including those that were discarded or not sent.
        Broadcast Packets Transmitted - The total number of packets that higher-level protocols requested be transmitted to the Broadcast address, including those that were discarded or not sent.
        Total Transmit Errors - The sum of Single, Multiple, and Excessive Collisions.
        Tx FCS Errors - The total number of packets transmitted that had a length (excluding framing bits, but including FCS octets) of between 64 and 1518 octets, inclusive, but had a bad Frame Check Sequence (FCS) with an integral number of octets
        Tx Oversized - The total nummber of frames that exceeded the max permitted frame size. This counter has a max increment rate of 815 counts per sec at 10 Mb/s.
        Underrun Errors - The total number of frames discarded because the transmit FIFO buffer became empty during frame transmission.


        Total Transmit Packets Discarded - The sum of single collision frames discarded, multiple collision frames discarded, and excessive frames discarded.
        Single Collision Frames - A count of the number of successfully transmitted frames on a particular interface for which transmission is inhibited by exactly one collision.
        Multiple Collision Frames - A count of the number of successfully transmitted frames on a particular interface for which transmission is inhibited by more than one collision.
        Excessive Collision Frames - A count of frames for which transmission on a particular interface fails due to excessive collisions.
        Port Membership Discards - The number of frames discarded on egress for this port due to egress filtering being enabled.


        STP BPDUs Received - Number of STP BPDUs received at the selected port.
        STP BPDUs Transmitted - Number of STP BPDUs transmitted from the selected port.
        RSTP BPDUs Received - Number of RSTP BPDUs received at the selected port.
        RSTP BPDUs Transmitted - Number of RSTP BPDUs transmitted from the selected port.
        MSTP BPDUs Received - Number of MSTP BPDUs received at the selected port.
        MSTP BPDUs Transmitted - Number of MSTP BPDUs transmitted from the selected port.
        802.3x Pause Frames Transmitted - A count of MAC Control frames transmitted on this interface with an opcode indicating the PAUSE operation. This counter does not increment when the interface is operating in half-duplex mode.
        GVRP PDUs Received - The count of GVRP PDUs received in the GARP layer.
        GVRP PDUs Transmitted - The count of GVRP PDUs transmitted from the GARP layer.
        GVRP Failed Registrations - The number of times attempted GVRP registrations could not be completed.
        GMRP PDUs Received - The count of GMRP PDUs received from the GARP layer.
        GMRP PDUs Transmitted - The count of GMRP PDUs transmitted from the GARP layer.
        GMRP Failed Registrations - The number of times attempted GMRP registrations could not be completed.
        EAPOL Frames Received - The number of valid EAPOL frames of any type that have been received by this authenticator.
        EAPOL Frames Transmitted - The number of EAPOL frames of any type that have been transmitted by this authenticator.


        Time Since Counters Last Cleared - The elapsed time, in days, hours, minutes, and seconds since the statistics for this port were last cleared.

Command Buttons

        CLEAR - Clear all the counters, resetting all statistics for this port to default values.
        REFRESH - Refreshes the web page to show the latest port statistics.

Help for Port Summary Statistics
Selection Criteria

        Slot/Port - Selects the interface for which data is to be displayed or configured.

Non-Configurable Data

        Interface - The port address of the switch
        Total Packets Received Without Errors - The total number of packets received that were without errors.
        Packets Received With Error - The number of inbound packets that contained errors preventing them from being deliverable to a higher-layer protocol.
        Broadcast Packets Received - The total number of good packets received that were directed to the broadcast address. Note that this does not include multicast packets.
        Packets Transmitted Without Errors - The number of frames that have been transmitted by this port to its segment.
        Transmit Packet Errors - The number of outbound packets that could not be transmitted because of errors.
        Collision Frames - The best estimate of the total number of collisions on this Ethernet segment.
        Time Since Counters Last Cleared - The elapsed time, in days, hours, minutes, and seconds since the statistics for this port were last cleared.

Command Buttons

        CLEAR - Clear all the counters, resetting all statistics for this interface to default values.
        REFRESH - Refreshes the web page to show the latest dhcp bindings information.

Help for Switch Statistics
Non-Configurable Data

        ifIndex - This object indicates the ifIndex of the interface table entry associated with the Processor of this switch.
        Octets Received - The total number of octets of data received by the processor (excluding framing bits but including FCS octets).
        Packets Received Without Errors - The total number of packets (including broadcast packets and multicast packets) received by the processor.
        Unicast Packets Received - The number of subnetwork-unicast packets delivered to a higher-layer protocol.
        Multicast Packets Received - The total number of packets received that were directed to a multicast address. Note that this number does not include packets directed to the broadcast address.
        Broadcast Packets Received - The total number of packets received that were directed to the broadcast address. Note that this does not include multicast packets.
        Receive Packets Discarded - The number of inbound packets which were chosen to be discarded even though no errors had been detected to prevent their being deliverable to a higher-layer protocol. A possible reason for discarding a packet could be to free up buffer space.


        Octets Transmitted - The total number of octets transmitted out of the interface, including framing characters.
        Packets Transmitted Without Errors - The total number of packets transmitted out of the interface.
        Unicast Packets Transmitted - The total number of packets that higher-level protocols requested be transmitted to a subnetwork-unicast address, including those that were discarded or not sent.
        Multicast Packets Transmitted - The total number of packets that higher-level protocols requested be transmitted to a Multicast address, including those that were discarded or not sent.
        Broadcast Packets Transmitted - The total number of packets that higher-level protocols requested be transmitted to the Broadcast address, including those that were discarded or not sent.
        Transmit Packets Discarded - The number of outbound packets which were chosen to be discarded even though no errors had been detected to prevent their being deliverable to a higher-layer protocol. A possible reason for discarding a packet could be to free up buffer space.


        Most Address Entries Ever Used - The highest number of Forwarding Database Address Table entries that have been learned by this switch since the most recent reboot.
        Address Entries in Use - The number of Learned and static entries in the Forwarding Database Address Table for this switch.
        Maximum VLAN Entries - The maximum number of Virtual LANs (VLANs) allowed on this switch.
        Most VLAN Entries Ever Used - The largest number of VLANs that have been active on this switch since the last reboot.
        Static VLAN Entries - The number of presently active VLAN entries on this switch that have been created statically.
        Dynamic VLAN Entries - The number of presently active VLAN entries on this switch that have been created by GVRP registration.
        VLAN Deletes - The number of VLANs on this switch that have been created and then deleted since the last reboot.


        Time Since Counters Last Cleared - The elapsed time, in days, hours, minutes, and seconds, since the statistics for this switch were last cleared.

Command Buttons

        CLEAR COUNTERS - Clear all the counters, resetting all summary and switch detailed statistics to zero. The discarded packets count cannot be cleared.
        REFRESH - Refresh the data on the screen with the present state of the data in the switch.

Help for Switch Summary
Non-Configurable Data

        ifIndex - This object indicates the ifIndex of the interface table entry associated with the Processor of this switch.
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
Sounds reasonable.
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
What additional work did you have to perform to get the answer to this question that I did not provide?
0
MingtenanceSystemAuthor Commented:
No, you provided all information that I need. some information you provided inspired me solving my problem. Did I assign point incorrectly?
0
Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
A grade of C is the lowest possible grade. It means the answer you received was incomplete and required additional research/resources to find the answer.

Personally, I would prefer not having my answer accepted over a grade of C.

http://support.experts-exchange.com/customer/portal/articles/481419
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Network Architecture

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.