I want to add a distribution layer switch to my LAN. right now its two adjoined buildings... one subnet... no routers... except server based router for firewall/internet proxy. Under 50 node network. approximately 35 nodes... 3 main servers. Right now there are 3 switches (low end) in one building and 2 switches (also low end) in the other. The two buildings (which can really just be though of as one... but there is a 'wiring closet' in each because we were one building and then expanded to the building next door..) are connected with 100MBs cat5 from one switch to another. All the switches are really just connected to each other in a linear piggy back fasion.
What model cisco switch would be a good one to get to implement a distribution layer for my size network? I am assuming I only need layer2 functionality but please correct me if I'm wrong. I am also on a limited budget.
The 2950 series switches would work for you, but if you wanted to look at the 3550 series with the EMI software you could break you LAN up a little with VLANs. This would improve security. This would also limit the broadcasts and if you have other problems in one network it shouldn't affect the others.
A question for you is how much bandwidth is need to the servers? You could possibly do Gigabit ethernet between the buildings.
I'm not 100% clear on the implementation of vlans. I know they create separate broadcast domains but In a smaller network wouldn't it create much more complexity? For example lets say I have a server app running that relies on broadcasts to comunicate with its clients wouldn't I then have to buy two of those server apps and setup and maintain one on each seperate vlan? Well like I said I'm not 100% clear on 'when' a vlan should be implemented. I see where the benefits of cutting down broadcasts would increase available bandwwidth and I also see how it could be used for security... I'm just not clear on how everything else works with it? I would need a router to route bewteen the vlans right? even if they are all on the same ip subnet? well I'm presenting many ?'s here not in my original post. sorry. Thanks for the router model sugestion. I will check them out.
with regard to gigabit... my two buildings are like one. I was going to treat them like one and just put the one distribution layer swith in one of them and the 2 switches from the other building were just going to be long cable runs into the one distribution switch... about 225 feet. Would that be a problem? too long? (i don't recall now the segment length limit is it 185meters?..)
We are pleased to announce availability of Beta software for 16.6.3.
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