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Best network topology?

Network Switches

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Information and ideas on Dell PowerConnect network switch solutions.

Best network topology?

  • Would it be the best CAT6 wiring practice to run cables from several big Powerconnect switches in a server room all the way to each individual workstation, or would it be better to run single CAT6 cables to remote switches for clusters of users, or would it be better to run single cables to small switches in small cubicle groups? Do small (non-Powerconnect) switches really strip off packets?

  • before anyonce can answer that what sort of connectivity do your clients require? 10/100 or 1000mb ? If its just 10/100 i would definately have edge aggregating switches (5XXX) series. They can handle vlans or whatever else you may need. Run a couple cat6 trunks back to the core switches. Or if you have money to burn deploy 62XX switches at the edge and run 10gbe trunks back to the core. Either way i would personally try to limit the length of the runs to the end clients. Copper isnt cheap these days!!!

  • Cost is a big concern. We have 1 Powerconnect 2724. Our options are limited to:

    1) Add a Powerconnect 2748 and keep it and the 2724 in the server room, homerun CAT6 to all users.

    2) Run CAT6 from the 2748 to a remote 2724 and then to furthest 23 users.

    3) Run CAT6 from the 2724 to cheap Netgear switches all over the place.


    50+ users, mostly 10/100 nic cards.

  • I would say to forget about option 1, that would just seem like too much of a cabling mess. Options 2 and 3 sound more realistic, with option 3 being my personal choice. The less wires that you have making long runs the better. From an organizational standpoint, I would say just get several 5 or 8 port switches that can do 10/100/1000m and deploy one each for every cluster of 5 to 8 cubicles. You'll have less "long" wires running about the office, which is always a plus in my book. Also, depending on the amount of network traffic those users generate, you can daisy-chain each switch to one another so you only have 1 or 2 connections running back to the switch in the server room instead of running several lines from the 2724 to the satellite switches in the cubicle clusters. That might or might not be a good idea, it all depends on the amount of network traffic generated, i.e. would those 50+ users be able to saturate (1) or (2) gigabit links. Just be careful about trying to cut too many corners, working on a limited budget can be painful.
  • Well of the above options, at a minimum go for option 2. I would strongly recommend to avoid any cheap completely unmanaged switches in a corperate enviroment. Are all the clients on the same subnet? do you limit client machine access to specific vlans? I would stick with the 27XX web managed switches as a minimum but thats just my 2 cents.