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Newbie: Gigabit and 2900 series switches. Worthwhile?

We have a network with two subnets and a server with two NICs. One NIC is connected to a subnet that is connected to a 2924XL switch. The other NIC is connected to a subnet that is connected to a 3Com 10/100 hub. I was considering replacing the hub with a similar 2900 series switch (like the 2950SX) and buying the 1000BaseT Gig port adapter for the 2924XL switch so that we could connect the switches to the server at 1Gb. I`d also install 1000BaseT adapters in the server. All the workstations (about 35) connect at 100Mb, but we do have some print servers connected at 10Mb. The server is a file and print server and most of our files are large AutoCAD drawings. It also handles our accounting, email, and 2 license managers. Would it make sense to do this? How much of a performance improvement will we notice? We have mirrored LVD 160 SCSI drives in our Pentium ll 500 server. The current adapters are PCI.

Should we instead consider buying full 24 port 1000BaseT switches instead and connect all workstations at 1000Gb?

I`m just starting to learn gigabit technology, so forgive me if this is an ignorant question. Thanks.


Re: Newbie: Gigabit and 2900 series switches. Worthwhile?

I believe, generally speaking, you're on the right track. Much of whether you get a performance increase (and how much) is going to rely on the workstations.

Replacing the 3COM hub with a switch and "big pipe" uplinks to the server is probably going to be the largest improvement. I also believe adding a Gig interface to your existing 2924XL will probably give you a noticable increase.

Ideally, your server should have 64Bit slots for the Gig NICs; if not, well, chances are you'll still get more throughput than the existing system....maybe as much as double with 32 bit slots (again, depends on the server load, OS, chipset, etc...)

In my opinion, if you had to prioritize, I'd shoot for the replacing the 3COM hub first (is it really a 10/100 hub, or is it a switch?), then GIG to the server.

Good Luck


New Member

Re: Newbie: Gigabit and 2900 series switches. Worthwhile?

gig on the 2924 is not such a good idea. It's actually more a waste of money. The 2924 only has a 3.2 GB backplane, so if you already have servers/workstations connected at 100Mb, you are probably already using all the backplane. But, you do the math and see of it is feasible. I would suggest getting rid of the hub and replacing it with a switch. That alone should improve performance. I would not connect your servers at 1 gig until you prove that they are capable of pushing that much data. You may want to look into port-channeling to your servers first. 10/100 ports are much cheaper than 1000TX ports. Connecting your network infrastructure at 1 gig may not be a bad idea, but it would be bad if you don't baseline your network first. You can make all the changes in the world, but if you don't do it for the right reasons and make the correct adjustments, you are just throwing time and money away.

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