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freakonaleash

Network Switches with some fiber questions

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Hi all, was wondering if i could pick the brains of some of the atomic guru's out there regarding networking.

 

At our site, we have multiple buildings with them all being joined with fiber, the fiber goes from building A to Building B, then goes through a converter to copper, then back to fiber to go to building C. We would like to remove the abundance of failure points and was wondering if anyone could assit with what sort of switch i would need to look at if i wanted to have fiber in, and then fiber and CAT out?

 

The other one is that in one point we have one fiber in, and 5 fiber out, but because of the way it was run the one in is broken into copper, and then 5 x converts back to fiber, is there such a thing as a fiber switch?

 

Lastly, i need to get some new switches for the offices, would a unmanged switch be the best or would i be better off looking towards managed L2/L3 switches, What is the difference with the l2/l3 as i have no idea?

 

If possible links to products would be awesome.

 

thanks

Stephen

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Inside the office, assuming less than 24 people (the usual max size of an unmanged switch) you SHOULD be fine. Depends how hard your network is hammered.

If its just 24 devices using internet, email, and shared documents, unmanaged will be OK.

 

As for your MAIN switch requirements,

 

Yes, there is such thing as a fiber switch.

Yes, there are switches that have BOTH CAT6 ports and fiber ports

 

as for that Fibre-copper-fiber. Is the switch doing anything? Considered getting the fiber professionaly joined and eliminating that switch?

 

Otherwise, a hybrid switch there would work too.

 

Look into CISCO gear; its kinda the standard. If you're managing it, may I suggest a CCNA course. They're quite short and you learn a lot (and get a qualification!).

 

As for specific products; no one knows your needs better than you. I'd suggest looking into the cisco website at what they offer, explaining what it will be used for, and asking if we agree.

 

Its much easier than guessing how many devices, where the fiber comes in, etc.

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Switch options depend on your budget, could go Cisco:

 

Fibre:

WS-C3750G-12S-S + required MM/SM and UTP SFPs

or

WS-C3750-24FS-S + required UTP SFPs

 

Copper access layer:

WS-C2960-24TT-L / WS-C2960-48TT-L

or

WS-C3750V2-24TS-S / WS-C3750V2-48TS-S to stack with the fibre switch.

 

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/swi...s/products.html

 

All of these switches will need to be configured, which may not suit your skill level. If you've got the money to buy Cisco, you may be able to pay someone to configure. Then you have the fault management/troubleshooting problem though.

 

Layer 3 switches can route, so are similar to routers but have greater port density and can be cheaper. There are limitations feature and performance wise though, which may or may not matter to you. For connecting up users in various buildings layer 2 switches should be fine.

 

 

Been out of networking for a bit so there may be better Cisco options, and more than likely better options from other vendors, gives you some idea though.

Edited by lew~

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yeah, buy a switch with SFP ports, then you can add the gigabit fibre and copper ports that you require.

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Thanks for the Reply's.

 

In the offices there are less than 24, and again it's fairly light network, TS, email, internet. so nothing major.

 

I can't join the fibre as the reason it breaks to copper is because we need networking in that building.

 

For switches with SFP ports, if i say got a 24 port, with 2 SFP ports and put fibre modules in them, i could potentially have the fibre from the building a on one, and the fibre heading to the building c on the other with copper in building b? Thats pretty much what would suit my needs at the moment as thats the main failure point we are having.

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Lastly, i need to get some new switches for the offices, would a unmanged switch be the best or would i be better off looking towards managed L2/L3 switches, What is the difference with the l2/l3 as i have no idea?

Step away from the network.

 

Read a book.

 

Read many books.

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While brains is right, not every boss (nor every employee) feel slike putting in the effort or money to do propper research.

 

TERRIBLE business practice, but its the truth. Ive explained my old work before yeah? DEMANDED a windows server, but wouldnt pay, only had an XP licence, hit connection limit, had to make a Linux VM tunnel running on the XP machine. Fucking Hack-and-Slash, but it worked and he was happy.

 

To me, your network sounds like a simple workgroup network (or small domain?) with the only purpose of fibre being that its the only high speed connection that can spread that far and is available.

 

Sounds like; at a guess:

 

20PC's per building (roughly)

1 internet connection

Workgroup or insecure domain

Network used for file sharing and net access only.

 

If i'm right. Yes, unmanaged will be fine.

 

Also, yes a 24port with 2 fibre modules would handle your needs, but they'll always be managed. Depending on the switch and if it can handle fibre and copper mixed in 'dumb mode' (aka. as if it were an unmanaged switch) you may need someone to come and configure it for you.

 

 

Assuming I'm right about your network, that'll be fine.

Keep in mind, if you start aproaching 100+ network devices, need vlans, or any other advanced networking features, you'll hit some issues with cheap or unmanaged gear.

 

If you are cutting costs:

http://www.gamedude.com.au/prod_show.php?a...eTLtl_sg2224web

 

Its no CISCO product though, thats for sure.

 

Figure out the growth potential of your network. If its unlikely to grow within the next 5 years; enjoy your cheap network gear, it'll work.

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You are right Brains, but i am busy doing research, at this moment there is no important "need" but i am interested in the information. Asking atomic, doing reading as much as i can, but still need to have some idea in case there are issues. Unfortunately i don't have the luxury to step "away" as i am it at the moment.

 

Also right MS, Simple, small domain, about 50 odd workstations across site, maybe another 20 or so portable devices (scanners, AP ect). Fibre is mainly used as it's the easiest way to go the couple hundred meter's between each building.

 

At this stage i am not planning on making any changes to the network as i don't feel i have the knowledge to make them but am still curios as to the best plan of attack. Hoping one of my uni subjects covers networking though...

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The other one is that in one point we have one fiber in, and 5 fiber out, but because of the way it was run the one in is broken into copper, and then 5 x converts back to fiber

Can you elaborate on this part? Maybe provide a diagram?

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Segger, sounds to me like several small unmanaged switches per office coming back to the main switch.

OR

The building in question is the central building and its sharing to 5 others.

 

 

I think the scary thing is that everyone is managing their own PC (it sounds like). a 70PC workgroup isnt unheard of.

When my boss forced me to do it, I charged a site licence of DeepFreeze to his account so I didnt care what users did during the day. one started showing wierd network behavior or otherwise? mass reboot.

 

That being said, for a smaller business, the mindset of 'if it aint broke' often applies to the boss.

 

But trust me on this; ive seen 100, even 120PC workgroups. perfectly happy, but when you find a bug, need a software update, or otherwise, good luck.

 

And the second you want a VLAN, or whatever is serving your DHCP config falls over, you'll wish the entire site was managed.

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