New Office Building - Optimized Networking?

Hi Experts,

The firm is building a brand new second office a kilometer up the street. Completion date is looking like end of 2014. As part of the IT infrastructure planning, I'm hoping to gather some fresh ideas to put forward.

The building will house approx. 50 employees and consist of 4+1 floors (+ being the basement). The server room location has yet to be set. As long as the builders can guarantee that the room won't be flooded, I don't care which floor they will put it on (thoughts?).

We will have a 100Mbps/100Mbps up/down fibre internet connection for the data network and a separate 10/10 bonded t1 wan connection for the VOIP network.

As for the LAN networking, the voip and data network will be totally segregated as well on different switches. I'd put a networking closet on each floor with 2x switches each and patch panels. 2 data drops (data and voip) to each workstation from the switches on the same floor.

In terms of data access, we foresee having a SAN on-site hosting the shared drives, but we do have Sharepoint Online and the possibility of moving all of our files to the Sharepoint Cloud portal is also there. This is iffy right now because we are concerned that the speed of accessing files on the cloud would be unacceptable moving from a LAN environment.

Now, as for the networking infrastructure, I have a few scenarios to choose from that I'd like some suggestions on.

1. WAN - get 100/100 or gigabit for the data network?
2. LAN Backbone (data network) - fibre or Cat6 between the switches?
3. workstations - fibre or cat6 from switch to desk?

Considering future proofing, price / performance, what would you guys suggest?? I've got a blank slate here, suggestions on any aspect of this new building project would be welcome!

Thank you in advance!
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north_Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I do not believe that Fiber will be a relatively cost effective choice. 10GB Ethernet will be widely adopted long before we see a cost effective Fiber solution. Here is an article on 10GB vs Fiber.
Currently, (as far as I know) there is no NIC shipped on motherboards that handle anything faster than Gigabit ethernet.
surbabu140977Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Design is all about $$$. Consultants get an appox budget allocation from finance and IT/business heads gives the requirement. Then balancing the 2, design is done and finalized -- after many fights. :)

What you asked is very vague without any info practically.

If you ask something very specific, then an answer can be devised as per your satisfaction.

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timberadminConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Couple of main questions:

1. Fibre vs Cat6 for the lan backbone? Performance vs. Cost here?
2. Fibre from switch to computer? Is there a benefit in building in the cabling now to 'futureproof' ourselves?
1. Fiber (performance priority)
2. Cat 6...fine (performance vs cost), except SAN.......
grbladesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Go to copper to the desk as 1Gb will be more than sufficient unless you are something like a video editing company and transfer a lot of huge files around.

For the link between switches I would get switches which are compatible with 10Gb GBICs but just install about 4 copper cables from each switch to the server room and bond them together.
If your bandwidth grows in 5 years time and you want to upgrade to 10Gb between the switches it will be a lot cheaper to do it then when the price has come down.

For a given speed its only worth going for fibre if the cable length is going to be over 100m. Otherwise stick with copper.
north_Connect With a Mentor Commented:
As 10GBe is being shipped on motherboards and has since 2012 see link below I would guess that if you are cabled with Cat6 and run fiber between your switches for later use or current depending on cost you will be in good shape.
timberadminAuthor Commented:
General open question that is very subjective. All opinions are helpful to me.
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