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How best to connect multiple Cisco Switches

Posted on 2015-02-19
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Last Modified: 2015-03-03
My small network has been humming along fine with about 45 nodes on a Catalyst 2960S switch for awhile.   We're having a MItel VOIP system put in soon and in order to accommodate all of the IP phones and POE, I've decided to use two Cisco SG300 switches.   My plan is to have all workstations/phones connect to the SG300's and all servers, printers and other devices connect to the 2960.    My question is:

How do I best interconnect these three switches?

Thanks in advance,
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Question by:Tom F
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Don Johnston earned 500 total points
ID: 40619960
The easiest would be to connect each SG300 to the 2960.  You can use multiple 1g links and channel the links if you need more bandwidth.

But if all three switches are in the same rack, it would been a lot better (from a bandwidth and management perspective) to get additional 2960's and stack them creating a single, larger virtual switch.
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Expert Comment

by:Natty Greg
ID: 40620356
use truck ports
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Author Comment

by:Tom F
ID: 40620522
@Don, would there be any benefit to also connecting the two sg300's thus creating a loop/triangle?
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Expert Comment

by:Matt
ID: 40620644
Do NOT create loop!!!

CISCO 2960S will block port which would cause loop but it also best practice that you NEVER create loop no matter which switch you use. Loop can bring your network down.
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 40620869
would there be any benefit to also connecting the two sg300's thus creating a loop/triangle?

Not really.  Since the servers are connected to the 2960, that would imply the majority of the traffic would be going to the 2960.  So there's no benefit to having the SG300's connected directly.
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by:Tom F
ID: 40621552
My only concern with just connecting the 300's to the 2960 is that it gives a single point of failure at the 2960.

I suppose I have to balance this with if I were to daisy chain the three and learn all about treespanning in the process.

thanks for the inputs!~
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 40621610
You don't necessarily have to learn all about spanning tree.  It's on by default and will prevent loops.  You just may have a sub-optimal path in the network.

That said, if all the servers are connected to the 2960, then you already have a single point of failure.

So I think connecting the 300's to the 2960 is still your best approach.
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Expert Comment

by:Matt
ID: 40621628
Best option would be to have two 2960 switches, stack them together. Then you can connect small switches with 2 links - one to first member of the stack and one to the second member of the stack - so you can have more "bulletproof" network.

Stack also - power supply of the first switch to the one power line, power supply of the second switch to the second power line if you have them of course. And all this protected by UPS.

In this scenario in case of failure on one 2960 switch, you are still "alive".
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