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Switch layout recommendations

Could you please give me some advice on ways to improve the layout of my network?

I currently have the following equipment


Cisco 2821




Switches in Stack




I've purchased two 2960 gigabit switches to replace the two 10/100 2950s.

I did not implement the current layout and want to re-evaluate everything when I implement the 2960's. I've been doing some research on the Cisco three-layered hierarchical model and am trying to determine how I can implement that design into my layout. From the switches I currently have on hand is a core switch even possible or needed? I'm just a little confused on when a core switch would be needed.

I believe I would use the 3750G as my distribution layer and use everything else as an access layer. Although I'm confused as to what else gets plugged into the distribution layer besides the access switches and my router? Do I plug my servers into the distribution layer? or plug those into the access layer? It just seems like I would have a lot of unused ports at the distribution layer.

Here is a list of a few devices on my network. Any advice on how I should I split these up across server? 

Exchange Server

Domain Controllers

Database Servers

Application Servers

VM Hosts





Hall of Fame Super Bronze

Switch layout recommendations

Small networks usually implement the collapsed core/distro design. Your 3750s are a perfect fit for this type of design and I see no issues with connecting your servers directly onto these switches, if port density in the remaining access switches is an issue.

However, I prefer having only switches and routers connecting to the core/distro switch because it takes away the risk from a server taking down the core. We, network guys, tend not to trust the server guys

About splitting up the load, I suggest going with multichassis etherchannel from the switch(es) to server(s).

I'm not sure if the 2960s you bought are the models which support gigastacking but the 3750s can be a good switch for this type of design. This design will provide full redundancy for your servers.

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Switch layout recommendations

We, network guys, tend not to trust the server guys



Switch layout recommendations

Like Edison said its better to go with a collapsed core distribution model for your network since its small.I will suggest using 2 3750 switches instead of one 3750G switch at the core.You can stack a 3750G switch with the 3750 Switch and connect all the Gig links to 3750G and Fast ethernet links to 3750 ports.It will give you redundancy at the core/Dist layer.

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