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Devices keep randomly dropping their connection from network?

Posted on 2014-10-05
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Last Modified: 2014-12-29
Hi all, I am not trained in networks but know enough to be dangerous and I'm afraid I have been.  I was told to setup a basic network for my company and fear that it is now the cause of devices randomly dropping off the network each day.  Here is the setup, Comcast business class cable modem connected to Netgear WNDR4000 wireless router connected to an 8-port Netgear GS608 switch.  This switch connects to 7 different areas of the office and in each of those 7 areas is another switch providing network ports to the devices in each of those 7 areas.  6 of the areas are offices with just 1 to 4 devices in each and each of the 6 office areas has a single Netgear GS608 switch providing the network ports.  The 7th area is a shop floor which has about 25 devices connected to 3 more GS608 switches and a  single Netgear GS116 16-port switch.  There are no direct connections anywhere that go back to the wireless router.  I hope you can understand the setup from my description.  This network has evolved and has needed to grow because the company has grown and more and more switches have been thrown on to accommodate more devices, not to mention that all network hardware is SOHO type.  I have suggested that we wire the building for all direct connections back to a single switch but not sure if the company will agree with the cost.  I have also recommended that we upgrade the hardware to business class Cisco type network equipment.  Can you make suggestions for a stable network based on what I have explained here, and please remember that I am not a trained network technician.  I don't know how to diagnose where the actual problem is coming from.  One more important note is that there are a mix of PC's, Macs and other devices on the network and a NAS drive which has ALL our files on it.  Thank you so much!
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Question by:mjchevalier
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40362898
your switches are old and are probably maxed out before the recent network additions. Since you are daisy chaining switch to switch all it takes is one swtich port in the network to act up and the entire house of cards falls down.  At the very least try and reduce the # of daisy chains or you will be hairless and have no fingernails left soon.
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by:mjchevalier
ID: 40362924
Thank you David Johnson, is there a way I can diagnose if a switch port is bad?  Any recommendations for simple yet reliable switch that has a large port capacity?  A true business class switch instead of the SOHO models we currently have?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40362946
because of your topology things will be difficult that and the switches are non managed means your troubleshooting options are limited. .. Try and reduce the amount of daisy chaining if at all possible. Replace the switches as close to the server in your topology as possible and if possible don't daisy chain there.
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Author Comment

by:mjchevalier
ID: 40363544
Any suggestions for a good quality managed switch that is easy enough for a novice like myself?  I do have the okay to purchase new switches.  Also instead of using  a SOHO wireless router and switch, I looked into a sonic wall NSA 220 to replace them. This device has a firewall, router and wireless router all in one. Any thoughts?
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40364947
that is a good starting point but the problems are  probably downstream
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Author Comment

by:mjchevalier
ID: 40373598
Okay, I plan on using a Sonicwall TZ215 firewall router which will connect to 2 24-port Cisco SG102-24-NA smart gigabit switches and then making direct connections to all devices in our building.  What would be the best way to connect these switches to the Sonicwall, which has 5 available gigabit ports.  The other device I need to connect is a Synology DS213+ NAS which serves to house all our working files and data.  What would be the best way to connect these devices and why?  Thank you!  I almost forgot to mention that the Sonicwall TZ215 will also have wireless built in for our wireless network.  I just don't know which is the best way to connect all of this to prevent issues on the network.  Thanks.
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