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How to correctly configure new office network

I am not trained in networking but need to setup the cabling and configuration of a network in our new office building.  This is a small company with the need of about 35 network ports in the 5 different areas of the office.  Comcast business class cable modem broadband has been installed in a closet with a modem/router with 4 ports on the back.  We have 5 different areas of the office to supply.  I was thinking about connecting an 8 port unmanaged switch to the router and then running one main cat5e line to each of the main 5 office areas.  Then in each area, connect an appropriately sized unmanaged switch to supply the network device needs in that area.  I am concerned about network performance because a similar network structure is being used at our old office and performance is poor.  please help me make the correct decision on this.  Thanks!
1 Solution
If there's budget, have dedicated cabling, to wall outlets. All cabling comes together at a central point (the closet ?), mounted to a patch panel. The patch panel is numbered according to the wall outlets numbering.
With small 1 meter cables you connect it to a 48 ports managed or unmanaged switch.
In this structure, you have to best ability to have it organised, and if problems arise, you'll be able to find the problem in the least amount of time necessary.
Kruno DžoićSystem EngineerCommented:
the best thing will be to use one big switch and put UTP 5e from the rack directly to the offices and Computers,

If you can use one cable to connect rack switch with office switch ( 5x ) you can install UTP for every PC
Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
What you need is following configuration:

1- a 48 Port Gigabit Switch
2- A patch panel going patching the wall points appropriately
3- A router dishing out DHCP etc

I will explain why you need to do a proper planning before you start. Firstly, it will be organized and second lets say in future you need to add more points, all that will require would be running another cable to a specified wall points.

Running cables direct from switch to workstations is messy and there is always a chance of cable being abused /cut off. In case of using a patch panel, a wall point is most of the time a culprit and with a low cost can be replaced easily

It is a one time expense and it is not a lot for the functionality it would offer you for at a least a decade I would say.
If home runs for every machine is cost-prohibitive, there shouldn't be much of a problem with the layout you're proposing.  In a growing, short-term environment, you can't keep adding home runs back to a central closet.  It's disruptive.

To start:
1 "core" switch of at least 8x 1GbE
5 edge switches of at least 8x 1GbE
These can be "dumb" or unmanaged switches.  Plug one the internet router's LAN port into the core switch.  Turn on DHCP on the internet router.  Now you have a LAN.

As you grow:
Add edge switch ports & capacity (16-port GbE "smart" switch).
Increase core-to-edge by using "smart" Layer 2 switch than can use LAG for 2x1GbE uplinks to similar "smart" edge switches.
Install your own DHCP server on a small server (you should have one by now).  That way, you're not relying on a cheap ISP-provided router.
Upgrade router to dual-WAN or multi-WAN so you can use more than one ISP for web surfing.

If this is a permanent office, an you won't have moves/changes or upgrades, then home runs back to one single switch stack make troubleshooting a lot easier.  But, wiring can cost you a lot ($75-150/drop).

Sticking with nearby edge switches could mean you're only using patch cables.  Very easy to pick up and move if this is a temporary location.
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