Recommended ethernet topology for buidling complex

Though I am a simple network administrator, one of my clients is growing by "leaps and bounds" and building 20, new, one-story simple buildings for a flea market with each building having about 50 booths and some food stands. To save, he wants me to design and install the network, with the aid of his people running the cables and conduit; I'll terminate. Each building needs to be connected back to main office and each will have at most 4 computers, 4 voip phones, 4 ip cameras, possibly a DVR with 16 analog cameras and hopefully 2 outdoor paging speakers over ethernet. The buildings are very tight together. The current plan is to run one 2" underground conduit and connect about 6 to 8 buildings with it. Then install Gigabit Switch at each building. At 6th building, have fiber run back to office, hopefully in separate conduit. Then Cat 6A to the rest of the buildings within 328 feet. Then Cat 5e or 6 to each device in the building. It just sounds difficult to snake those 6 buildings in that one conduit. So Option B would be to just daisy chain the switches with Cat 6A or Option C - Fiber. My questions are - 1. What design do you recommend? 2. Suggestions on where to get materials - fiber, cleaver tool, gigabit switch, FI, enclosures. These rooms will not be air conditioned, really an outdoor scenario, so equipment has to be durable. Thanks for any input...
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Bill BachPresident and Btrieve GuruCommented:
While daisy chaining would make sense from a cable cost perspective, it will cost far more in outages if the first switch in the line fails, taking down everyone else.  

Although it is a more expensive option, the "real" recommendation would be to run TWO dedicated fiber drops from the office to each of the buildings.  (You can share the trench/conduit with other buildings.)  One connection will be for your current use, and the other will be a standby/backup link, or can be used for additional capacity.  

The fiber is important for several reasons.  First, your length limits become less of an issue.  Second, they won't be susceptible to EMI interference along the way (generators, lighting, etc.)  Third, you can easily find direct-bury cable if you want to cut costs.  Fourth, if the buildings are spread out and are on different electrical lines, you won't have to worry about a floating ground knocking out equipment.

Within each building, of course, you can situate a suitable GbE switch (with GBIC connector for the fiber) from your favorite vendor.  Shouldn't really matter too much from there.

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xav1963Author Commented:
thx for input....
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