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How can I integrate a new fibre backbone into existing CAT5 network?

Last Modified: 2014-09-11
Our school's network is currently cabled with CAT5, and includes 4 data cabinets with 10/100 switches.  One of the cabinets houses the school's internet connection.  Over the summer, we had a contractor link all data cabinets with "8 core MM fibre", terminating in a new comms room.  I've never dealt with fibre before.  The school can't afford to upgrade all of its switches to ones with SFP slots just yet (or purchase media converters).  But, I need to move our two servers to the new comms room now, so we will need to purchase at least two switches with SFP.

My first question is - why would the contractor have run 8-core from each data cabinet? Surely 2 would have been enough?  Should I actually use all 8 cables in each case or use only some?

My second question is, what switches I now need to buy.  I'm guessing I need to replace one of the 10/100 24-port switches with a gigabit switch which has SFP slots so that I can connect that cabinet to the new comms room.  But in the comms room, where all fibre runs terminate, what kind of device should I buy to connect those?  I'm guessing some kind of switch with a lot of SFP ports.  Can anyone suggest/recommend such a device?

Thanks in advance.
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