i have a basic network of a cisco 3825 router with 24 port NME, a catalyst 3550 as our core switch, and another 3550 as a distribution switch. our router is on a very unreliable power source, so i set our core switch as our hosts' default gateway, and have a layer 3 connection to the router. i want the nme on our router to have access to our vlans, but they dont pass through the layer 3 rtr-sw connection. all the gigabit pors are full on the router. i am not concerned with how many 100baseTx ports are used for ether-channels between the router's NME and core switch if it means more bandwidth. should i use 8 ports on each for the layer 3 connection, and 8 for the trunk, or do you have any other suggestions?
8 ports is overkill as the 3825(its arouter not a fast switch) can never handle that kind of traffic all at once anyway , i would choose a much smaller number like may be a 3 or 4 port etherchannel. With a network that small you don't need aggregated bandwidth like you are talking about.