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Connecting a File Server to a Gig port on trunked switch?

I think a fairly simple question. So the office configuration has a main Cisco 3550 switch with (2) Gigabit Ethernet ports. One of the ports is being used for the connection to the router and the other is a trunk port to the second switch in the office, a Cisco 2950T. The 2950 also has (2) Gigabit Ethernet ports. Ones being used for the Trunk to the main 3550 and the other one is open.  Would there be a major performance issue connecting the files server to this secondary switch on the one open Gigabit port? The only other option would be to connect it to a open Fast Ethernet port on the main 3550 switch, but that would definitely give performance issues.  

 

What's the better option? 

 

Thanks!

 

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My two cents...I don't think

My two cents...

I don't think you'll have any problem, but I'm not a hardware expert. The 3550 is a layer 3 (routing) switch. I assume you have multiple VLANs on the trunk, otherwise it's more of an uplink than a trunk (trunk means VLAN tags are being carried across the wire). As long as the VLAN the server belongs to is being carried across, there shouldn't be a real "performance hit" in my view.

You could also put a multiport NIC into the server and set up an EtherChannel with two or four fast Ethernet ports. It's not gigabit, but it's pretty industry standard at this point. Most vendors support LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) on their devices/cards, and though I've yet to use it in a server, I've got it working on NASes before.

Dunno if this helps, but.....

ArchiTech89
CCNA Routing & Switching, CCNA Security
MCITP, MCTS
Berlin, Germany
9 REPLIES
Community Member

My two cents...I don't think

My two cents...

I don't think you'll have any problem, but I'm not a hardware expert. The 3550 is a layer 3 (routing) switch. I assume you have multiple VLANs on the trunk, otherwise it's more of an uplink than a trunk (trunk means VLAN tags are being carried across the wire). As long as the VLAN the server belongs to is being carried across, there shouldn't be a real "performance hit" in my view.

You could also put a multiport NIC into the server and set up an EtherChannel with two or four fast Ethernet ports. It's not gigabit, but it's pretty industry standard at this point. Most vendors support LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) on their devices/cards, and though I've yet to use it in a server, I've got it working on NASes before.

Dunno if this helps, but.....

ArchiTech89
CCNA Routing & Switching, CCNA Security
MCITP, MCTS
Berlin, Germany
Community Member

Yup it is carrying vlans over

Yup it is carrying vlans over a trunk to the 2950. I checked the trunk port with 'show interfaces gigabitethernet 0/2 trunk' and it does show that vlan in the list of active vlans for the trunk.

 

So I set it to an access port and to vlan 10 and we will put the server on that port.

 

 It eases my mind that there shouldn't be any performance issues putting the file server on a secondary switch.

 

Thanks! 

 

 

Super Bronze

DisclaimerThe Author of this

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Posting

What kind of router and is it or the 3550 doing LAN routing?  (Reason I'm asking, wondering whether you really need gig connection to it.

 

Using the "extra" gig port, rather than a FE port, should be better for a file server.  However, depending on your usage of your router, it might make sense to move it to a FE port or to move it to the 2950.

 

 

Community Member

No the router is not doing

No the router is not doing LAN routing. The 3rd party company we are working with to upgrade our circuits want their router on the gig port. I don't remember exactly how fast our circuit speed is, but it's pretty fast, though I doubt over 100mb fast. But it's what they want, and I'm not in a position to argue with them about it. 

Super Bronze

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Posting

Ok, well then if you "need" to keep the router on a gig port, it might be better to move it to the 2950 and place the file server on your 3550.  Ideally, you want to keep traffic as local as possible, so you need to compare traffic to/from the WAN router vs. your file server.

Community Member

Eventually the file servers

Eventually the file servers are going away and will be served on the cloud over the WAN. So looking forward it's probably better to have the router connected to the core switch. 

Super Bronze

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The Author of this posting offers the information contained within this posting without consideration and with the reader's understanding that there's no implied or expressed suitability or fitness for any purpose. Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as rendering professional advice of any kind. Usage of this posting's information is solely at reader's own risk.

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In no event shall Author be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profit) arising out of the use or inability to use the posting's information even if Author has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

Posting

Well when that day comes, you can always move what ports your devices connect to.

 

In the meantime, in your original post, you were concerned about performance.  Also in your reply to Jeremy, you mentioned performance again.  Well, both your router and file server should work regardless of which of the two switches they connect to.  However, performance will be impacted by where most of your traffic flows, from/to.

 

It may not matter, it may matter little, or it may matter a lot.

Community Member

@Joseph, won't the L2 switch

@Joseph, won't the L2 switch switch it at wire speed over to the multilayer? If there's a gig trunk, then the only latency introduced is just the tagging process, is that right? Or do I have that wrong? But then if the server gets hit heavily, that could ultimately represent a performance hit -- makes sense.

I also wondered why the router was on a gig port but didn't ask... But your point about the file server connecting rather to the 3550 does make sense.

Cheers

 

ArchiTech89
CCNA Routing & Switching, CCNA Security
MCITP, MCTS
Berlin, Germany
Super Bronze

DisclaimerThe Author of this

Disclaimer

The Author of this posting offers the information contained within this posting without consideration and with the reader's understanding that there's no implied or expressed suitability or fitness for any purpose. Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as rendering professional advice of any kind. Usage of this posting's information is solely at reader's own risk.

Liability Disclaimer

In no event shall Author be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profit) arising out of the use or inability to use the posting's information even if Author has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

Posting

It matters for two reasons.  First, since the file server will be on a gig port, and the trunk is a gig port, the existing trunk traffic and file server traffic could congest the trunk link.  Second, every switch hop adds latency, although little at gig rates.

 

I doubt either of the prior will be much of a factor, but keeping the bulk of the traffic flows as local as possible, i.e. same switch, is generally always a plus.

 

The OP did ask performance.

 

PS:

"... won't the L2 switch switch it at wire speed ..."

L2 switches (or L3 switches), especially older series, aren't always wire-speed capable beyond a certain load.  OP didn't define specific models of the 3550 and 2950, but assuming both are -48 (FE) with two gig uplinks, wire-speed performance requires 13.6 Gps fabric which both have, and a forwarding rate of 10.1 Mpps, also which both have.  So that's fine, but you have, in theory, 5.8 Gbps that could be sent to the 1 Gbps uplink.  The link/port itself is oversubscribed and can congest.  (Which is not ususual with uplinks.)

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