Deploying multiple networks aboard large yacht.

Unanswered Question
Oct 4th, 2007

Hi, I'm the lead person in developing the networks for a large private yacht currently in construction.

Currently, we have 2 separate networks, one for PC/Office usage and another for our in house entertainment system.

Current PC network consists of Cisco 3800 router, cisco 3750G-48TS GigE switch for wired ports, and 3750G-24WS managing 22, 1240AG LWAP's on the b/g bands for wireless coverage, users are mostly laptops, Win Server 03 Domain, Not very bandwidth intensive except for local file sharing, as main internet connection is over always-on VSAT.

Entertainment network purpose is Crestron Control over Kaleidascape DVD on demand, for 17 Kaleidascape players which stream full quality DVD video with 5.1 surround from a Kaleidascape Server over GigE copper.

We're not sure if we need a 3750G-24TS series switch to handle the load of all the KPlayers, and we have to allow for ALL players to be used simultaneously. Can we use a 2960 series gigabit switch? What sort of performance drops should I expect in going with a layer 2 switch (2960) vs a layer 3 switch (3750G).

Crestron controls connect through 20 additional 1240AG access points limited to A band ONLY.

We're trying to decide if we need another 3750-24WS to manage the RF on the A-band network.

Our only other option is Autonomous access points, which seems like a mistake to me given the construction of the boat, but I need some help in what we lose by NOT using a wireless services controller like the 3750G-24WS.

Any help/comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Joseph W. Doherty Thu, 10/04/2007 - 18:53

"What sort of performance drops should I expect in going with a layer 2 switch (2960) vs a layer 3 switch (3750G)."

None, unless you expect the need for high speed between subnets. If you're going between subnets, generally a L3 switch will be faster, often much faster, than a "regular" router.

Also with the 2960, you lose the 3750 series stack feature. If you don't intend to stack 3750s, but still need L3, consider the 3560 switch.

"We're not sure if we need a 3750G-24TS series switch to handle the load of all the KPlayers, and we have to allow for ALL players to be used simultaneously."

I assume you're concerned about the 32 Gbps switch fabric and the 38.7 Mpps of the 3750 series. For 17 KPlayers, assuming all are pushing a full gig to 17 recipients, you're likely to be okay because I doubt all the packets will be small (64 byte) or the flow will be bidirectional or always a constant gig.

However, if the 3750G specs appears to be insufficient for possible growth, you might want to consider the 3750-E or the 4948.

Also, doesn't matter whether you use a 24 or 48 port 2960G or 3750G, all have about the same fabric and Mpps rates. The difference is with the 48 port devices, you can more easily overload the capacity of the box since the capacity doesn't double with the doubled ports.

What's the purpose of the 3800 router? If it's just the link to VSAT, and if VSAT provides under 10 Mbps, you might consider using a smaller router model. You might also investigate whether a WAAS module could improve performance over VSAT.

Two suggestions:

Consider using a POE capable switch for your wired ports. (Then you could easily connect VoIP phones.)

Consider using multiple 3750-24WS in a stack such that if one unit fails, there would be sufficient ports to repatch. (Assume service calls to a yacht can be difficult.)

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