Network Performance & Cisco Catalyst 2960 (10/100)

Dear Experts,

I have an office of 18 users in a single AD domain with 2008 R2 File, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010 servers... our LAN is on four 10/100 Cisco switches daisy chained together currently.  How could I set these switches up so that the users could get the most network performance... and how do I measure or create the benchmark to see how the current setup is doing now... Please advise.  Thanks.
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swgitIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
100Mb is OK for workstations, however you probably want more bandwidth between switches and servers.

Not sure which version of the 2960 series you have, but all of these devices have optional "GBIC" slots. I would be filling those slots with a heap of 1000BASE-T Ethernet adaptors.

You really should aim to have each switch connected to other switches via gigabit, (or stacked, if that is supported on the particular switches you have). Connections from the 3 servers should also be Gigabit.

Benchmarking is a little tricky, however a modern server with a RAID array, or a performance machine with an SSD can usually saturate a 100Mb connection, but not a 1Gb one.
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Gareth Tomlinson CISSPNetwork and Security ManagerCommented:
Either that, or use etherchannel to link the switches. You can use up to 4 interfaces bound together into a port-channel to increase your bandwidth.
SNMP monitoring with PRTG will give you the interface utilisation.
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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
Yeah, you COULD use etherchannel. (The limit is actually 8 channels, not 4, but 4 would probably suffice).

In your scenario, you would need to have 4 etherchannel compatible, 100Mb NICs in  each server, and would consume an extra 18 ports on the switches.

Were it me, I would be spending a few $$s on GBIC 1000baseT adaptors. Not expensive, and way faster and less complex than configuring etherchannel.
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swgitIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks both!!
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