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new data center and offices -> which choice of CISCO models ?

Hi Experts,

I have some questions regarding Cisco switches and models.
Next year we get new offices and a new data center.
It is not that big as you think now :-)
In total we have 5 new floors. For each floor it is enough to have 50 ports.
So I calculated two 48 port switches in each floor.

Now in the old data center we use HP switches as modules in a chassis.
I am thinking to do the same with Cisco, I have seen they also have modules and chassis.

What would you like to recommend, when you need two 48 port switches per floor ?
The goal should be also redundancy and scale-able for the future.

I also have seen the prices for the chassis, linecards and modules.
Please can you also explain the big difference between 48 port modules and 48 port linecards ?
I don´t know why its ten times more expensive.
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Eprs_Admin
Asked:
Eprs_Admin
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3 Solutions
 
askincakirCommented:
Hi,

Now Cisco have new switch family. They call it Nexus Switches. So you have to consider both of them at growing side. Because Cisco says that Nexus switches are data center switches. 10G port's are cheaper than usual.
I suggest you :
Access layer -> at the floors you can use c2960-x or c3560-x series switches supporting stack wise. Stack wise is a technology becoming 2 or more switches acting as a one. One config for both of them.

Back Bone side: Cisco 6500 x 2 switches ( this is old Catalyst technology ) or 2 Nexus devices. ( N5K or N7K). Supporting 10g interfaces would be better i think.

N5K - is a 1U and supports Fiber Channel technology also ( FC is a stogare technology)
N7K - with F3 module cads. This card type supports L2 traffic. Also N7K supports vDC ( vdc is not supported by N5K).


OR

If you consider using SDN ( which Cisco calls this ACI)  you can by a N9K devices. Sipe and Leaf devices.
But this may cost more , i am not sure for cost.

Br,
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Hi and thanks for the tipps about the nexus series.
I have seen this N7K Chassis is for 10 slots, do they have it also smaller ?
Where can I find more about the modules ?
I want to use 48 ports with 1GE, maybe also with some SFP ports.
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askincakirCommented:
Yes,
they have many sizes.

7000 4-slot       7000 9-slot       7000 10-slot       7000 18-slot       7700 6-slot       7700 10-slot       7700 18-slot


You can check from below link. Cisco - Data Center Products - Nexus
Supervisor Engines - M modules ( For routing ) - F modules ( for switching ) - Chassis types.

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/switches/nexus-7000-series-switches/models-comparison.html#~tab-d
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok I also checked N5K models.
Am I right, this switches just have 10G ports or higher ?
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askincakirCommented:
If you want 1g modules you can use N2K switches.
But they are not working as stand alone. There are technology called FEX ( Fabric Extender).
You have to connect N2K switches to N5K or N7K and configure them from there.
Anyway,
These N2K switches have models which have 1g port density.

Br,
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok I see for the N2K I always need a parent model like N5K or N7K.
Is there also a small chassis, where I can put in 48 port modules just with 1GE ?
And maybe later I will change to another model.
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askincakirCommented:
Nexus devices ports are supporting 1G and 10G. Depends on your sfp.
Do you want only 1G support ?
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
I am a little bit confused, so many different modules.

What do I really need when I want to buy a chassis and 96 ports ?
Do I need the supervisor models ? one or two ? for what ?
I think first it is enough to have just 1G support. Later on I can swap the modules right ?

When I go for SFP´s then I also have to buy the SFP Copper connectors right ?
Because now we just have 1G support.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
I am interested in the N5K System with extenders.
But when this parent system , N5K, breaks what happens to the extenders ?
Or is the parentsystem redundant ?
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MattCommented:
How much traffic is anticipated - so you don't buy an overkill hardware?
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
this is not easy , how to calculate this ?
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Don JohnstonCommented:
FEXs connected to N5Ks can be dual homed. Meaning one link (or links) connect to one 5K and the other link connects to a different 5K.  That way if one 5K fails, you will still have connectivity to the FEXs... As long as it's configured properly.

This is sounding like a rather large (and expensive) undertaking.  There are a number of factors involved in designing and selecting the correct equipment.  For example, in the 70xx platforms, there are XL and non-XL linecards.  While the price difference between the two isn't huge, the license to take advantage on the XL linecards retails for over $50,000 (not that anyone pays retail).  That doesn't even consider whether you would need XL linecards.

My point is that it is very easy to make a bad (and expensive) choice when it comes to equipment decisions. And learning how to do this on the job can make the situation even worse. The cost of a consultant to help guide you on this project would be money well spent.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok thanks, next year I have some appointments with consultants.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
in my case it is not that big, but I want to have a good and scale-able back bone.

Building 1:
Here we have our new data center, not big, maybe with 20 servers.
It includes our vmware cluster plus storage.
Here are sitting 40 people in the 1st floor.
And up to 10 people siting on the ground floor.
Plus some printers and scanners.

Building 2:
Here we have one IT room in the basement.
And 2 floors are used.
In the 1st floor nearly 40 people located.
In the 2nd floor nearly 40 people located.
Plus some printers and scanners.

The only critical application is our SQL cluster which needs good performance and networking.
The buildings are connected via MPLS and 1Gbit connections.

So you see, the networking part is not very big.
Since now we just use HP Procurve switches and Cisco 2960 switches.
But now, they are not stacked and not redundant.
In the future this is a need and also scale ability.
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Don JohnstonCommented:
There's still the question of traffic volume.

But I think you would be fine with stackable switches (2960, 3560, 3750, 3850) on the floors.  Some of these support 10g uplinks.

Then in the DC, use a 6500.

I think that will provide the best value to performance and scalability.
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DonbooCommented:
Depending on the design you plan to use L2/L3 access and traffic volume I would recommend 3650 with 10Gb uplinks as access switch.

Then i´d recommend a 6500 like Don said to link the access switches with 10Gb however you should seek out a network consultant to guide you and if you are not experienced with installing and configuring the equipment have them do it for you.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok thanks so far :-)
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Hi Experts,
where do I find a comparison for the access switches to see the different traffic volume ?

How do I count a regular user just with a desktop or laptop ?
Do you have a plan to calculate the traffic volume ?
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MattCommented:
My customer has C6500 as a core switch, all the clients are connected to C2960, on first location Access switches are connected directly to C6500, on second location Access switches are connected to C3750 gigabit switches and they all work fine.

Customer has around 1500 users. For Access you DON'T need any special feature, here is the main player Layer-2, the real stuff is going on at Layer-3 switches.
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Don JohnstonCommented:
where do I find a comparison for the access switches to see the different traffic volume ?
The Portable Product Sheet is a good start.  But it's just a starting point since it's rather old. And I can't remember if it's publicly available.  I usually check the spec's on the current data sheets.  So for a 3750, I would google "cisco 3750 performance"  or throughput.

How do I count a regular user just with a desktop or laptop ?
Uh... as one? Not sure what you're asking here.

Do you have a plan to calculate the traffic volume ?
That's very difficult.  The best (and easiest) way is to look at the existing network (if there is one).  For example, if you have 1gig links that are running at 80% utilization most of the time with spikes to 100%, then you should plan on upgrading those to 10gig.  If you have 100m links that never go over 50% then you can leave those.

But if there's not an existing network, then absent some very expensive modeling tools or spending a lot of time researching the applications being used, all you can do is make an educated guess.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
sometimes our main switch has losses, I can see it with our SMOKEPING software.
Can it be that there is too much traffic ?
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MattCommented:
Vendor, switch model? Can you monitor traffic with PRTG, CACTI, Nagios, Shinken?
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Mats solution sounds good.
On the data center a C6500 unit and then 10G connections to the different floors.
Is this possible ?

Can I have access switches, which have some 10G ports uplink ports ? And the rest of the ports just 1G for the users.
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MattCommented:
Can you specify what are your users doing? If they are just surfing the web, email etc, you don't need ultra fast ports. My customer has C6500 but with gigabit ports only (copper and fiber).

It won't help you much if you have 10 GB uplinks with 100 Mbit WAN connection. And I assume users don't have direct Access to the internet, they are using Proxy?
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Hi,

I have found now a solution.

C4510 and 2960x
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