Should I upgrade backbone switch from 10 year old 3Com 4500G hardware?

I am considering upgrading network components for better throughput performance. I have 2 networks with 3com 4500G 24 Port Gig switches acting as the backbone. These were purchased and installed in 2005. I assume these were designed with older networking technology. Would there be any overall, significant performance benefit in replacing these switches with a newer switch such as the ProCurve 2810G or something similar? I only need layer 2 switching. Are there benefits in the newer switches, such as newer designs or technologies that increase handling of network traffic leading to significant increase in performance?
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brasso_42Commented:
Hi

The first thing I'd recommend is looking at capacity / usage of your switches, your only going to get performance increase if you are bottle necking.

If your not bottlenecking and are not running voice over the network so no need for QOS (which is layer 3 any way) then you don't have to upgrade.

You might want to look at the life expectancy of the kit you have in, 10 year is a good innings, and whats the cost of down time?  at some point they will go....

Kind Regards

Brasso
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eeRootCommented:
Newer switches can support 10Gbps.  But if your 1Gbps links are not showing heavy usage, you would not see a performance increase.  A ten year old switch would be very similar to one purchased today, although the QOS and remote monitoring options will likely be a bit better on a new switch.  You do want to plan the upgrade though.  Since 3com network hardware is no longer made, a hardware failure will leave you scrambling to install and configure a replacement, instead of being able to plan it out and find the best price.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
Ah, thank you very much for that. My duties have not required much experience with the internals of a switch until now. Would you be able to tell me what I'd be looking for with this example of data from 2 ports on the switch?

 port: GigabitEthernet1/0/7

 Input (total):  3386402695 packets, 715312872155 bytes
       9219141 broadcasts, 68022289 multicasts
 Input (normal):  - packets, - bytes
       - broadcasts, - multicasts
 Input:  0 input errors, 0 runts, 0 giants, - throttles
       0 CRC, - frame, - overruns, 0 aborts
       - ignored, - parity errors
 Output (total): 4285649369 packets, 1296073137022 bytes
       55379562 broadcasts, 661082715 multicasts, 0 pauses
 Output (normal): - packets, - bytes
       - broadcasts, - multicasts, - pauses
 Output: 0 output errors, - underruns, - buffer failures
       0 aborts, 0 deferred, 0 collisions, 0 late collisions
       0 lost carrier, - no carrier
----------------------------------------------------------
 port: GigabitEthernet1/0/8

 Input (total):  900883645 packets, 241113503833 bytes
       7859742 broadcasts, 268009512 multicasts
 Input (normal):  - packets, - bytes
       - broadcasts, - multicasts
 Input:  0 input errors, 0 runts, 0 giants, - throttles
       0 CRC, - frame, - overruns, 0 aborts
       - ignored, - parity errors
 Output (total): 1237919134 packets, 486883143983 bytes
       56738959 broadcasts, 463914161 multicasts, 0 pauses
 Output (normal): - packets, - bytes
       - broadcasts, - multicasts, - pauses
 Output: 0 output errors, - underruns, - buffer failures
       0 aborts, 0 deferred, 0 collisions, 0 late collisions
       0 lost carrier, - no carrier
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eeRootCommented:
The switch seems to be only collecting stats for the total values, so those numbers are showing a count of all packets since the switch was powered on.  The error counters are all zero, which is good.  If the traffic on this switch was exceeding it capacity, you'd see a few buffer failures or dropped packets.  Here are some free tools from Solar Winds that might be able to collect statistics from your switches if they have SNMP enabled.


http://www.solarwinds.com/products/freetools/real-time-bandwidth-monitor.aspx

http://www.solarwinds.com/products/freetools/network-device-monitor/
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brasso_42Commented:
PRTG is another good free one

http://www.paessler.com/prtg
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
I'll have to get in front of that switch and turn on SNMP. Thanks!
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