hardware recommendations

Unanswered Question
Oct 23rd, 2008

I just need some opinions on what the best hardware would be for a possible upcoming project. Basically the current environment is 2 core switches (3560-24), with 13 switches for IP phones (3560-48PS). We are looking at expanding to 20 3560-48PS switches. The catch is that 4 of the additional 7 switches are to be placed in an adjacent building with fiber running between the buildings and 3 of them will be in the same building. As a test, we currently have 1 3560-48PS connected to both 3560-24TS switches using SFP ports but we are now out of SFP ports on the 3560-24TS switches and we only have 2 additional gigabit ethernet ports available which is not enough. Does anyone know if there are any switches that would accomodate at least 20 SFP or other fiber connections that could also perform QoS and such for VOIP traffic (we currently have CCM Express). Currently the switches just connect a speed of 1000 over ethernet. I was thinking that if we add two new 3560-24PS switches we could trunk the 4 3560-24PS switches together using the fiber and SFP ports and then connect the additional 3560-48PS switches in the adjacent building over gigabit ethernet but then we still don't have extra capacity in the current building to add the necessary switches into the mix. We could always get another 3560-24TS for this building to expand but that seems a little extreme. I just want to know if that would be the most efficient way, or would it be better to replace the existing 3560-24PS switches with something like a 4503 and re-purpose the existing 3560-24TS switches. I will keep researching on my own but if anybody has any pointers or suggestions I would like to hear them.

I have this problem too.
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Joseph W. Doherty Thu, 10/23/2008 - 16:34

Have you looked at the 3750 series? About the same as the 3560s you now have, except you can stack multiple switches which makes for one virtual switch (also provides higher bandwidth between stack members). One of the switches in the series is the Catalyst 3750G-12S which offers 12 SFP ports. Stack two and you have one logical switch with 24 SFP ports. Add a copper 3750, and you have both copper and SFP ports on the same logical switch. (This is sort of like using line cards without the chassis.)

Also, 3750 series support cross stack Etherchannels, so you can avoid failure of one device in the stack causing loss of connectivity to downstream devices.

matt_drmmer Fri, 10/24/2008 - 06:50

After your reply I did look into the 3750 series and they have some pretty good features, thank you for the heads up on that series. I have a question about using these, in order to get all 20 3560-48PS switches connected with redundant connections (currently they have one ethernet cable from two of their SFP ports to each of our core switches) would we need to get 4 3750G-12S along with 2 3750-24TS (for the Unfied communications servers) and set them up as 2 logical switches? Or would it make more sense to just get 2 3750-12S and 2 3750-24TS to create 2 logical switches since we really only need 7 SFP ports for the fiber between the locations and the 24 port switches would still connect the switches in this building as well as the various Unfied Communications servers? I just want to make sure that I understand the different options available with that platform.

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 10/24/2008 - 08:39

If your 20 3560s are using copper off the SPF ports (for gig), they could connect to dual stacked 3750G 24 or 48 port model. One uplink to each 3750G, Etherchanneled. If you use one of the 3750G models that have 4 SPF ports, it would also handle your requirement for 7 such ports. However, if you want to Etherchannel these ports too, you'll either need to add another two 3750Gs with 4 SFP ports or a single 3750G-12S to the stack.


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