I can't speak for the quality of ZyXEL as the only product I used of their was a home grade router years ago. We use Cisco Small Business and Allied Telesyn switches but the Allied Telesyn will be replaced with Cisco Small Business soon.
Most people on the forum use HP and with good reason as they are good switches. Better to spend more on a quality switch than buy poor switch which may struggle.
But someone may be able to enlighten you on the quality of ZyXEL.
I would stick with the big 3 which are Cisco, HP and Juniper.
I think the Dell Force10 switches are worth looking at too, especially if you have a good relationship with your account manager.
Just read your a primary school. Two of these would be fine, Cisco SF300-48P (SRW248G4P-K9-UK) 48-Port Managed Ethernet PoE Switch, 2x Gigabit, 2x mini-GBIC Combo, 48 PoE Ports (375W), 300 Series I can't see you needing masses of bandwidth that a full gigabit switch provides.
How many PoE ports do you need?
Another option could be to buy a good quality, cheaper, non PoE switch (ProCurve or the like) and just buy a PoE injector/midspan just to cover ports you need PoE for.
Could work out cheaper and get a better switch?
There are cheaper HP switches; you are unlikely to want all the management stuff in the high-end Procurve units, and there is a decent configurator on the HP website. I'd counsel against getting the cheapest of anything, personally. The key thing to remember is that your entire system depends on the network working, and that hangs on the switches. As an aside, 48 port units often cost more than 2x 24 port.
I have had first hand experience with Zyxel and they are not the best of the bunch.
Given my experience I would put my money in second user cisco, and buy a spare in case of an unlikely failure.
We have only had 1 cisco fail in 5 years ( well appart from a pair of dodgy PSU's in a core that must have been a faulty batch) which was replaced under the lifetime warranty. that's out of about 40 devices.
2 HP's failed out of 10. 1 was fixed under warranty, the other was taken out of service as it was not needed.
If it was not Cisco or HP, I would step down to Netgear and D-Link.
I think that last statement is pretty short sighted. They may not need that kind of bandwidth now (although gigabit is nothing special these days) but it's probably safe to assume that their needs and the size of their network are only going to grow. Why hamstring yourself in the future only to save a relatively small amount now?
Originally Posted by Gaz
Ok showing my total lack of knowledge here. but would I need some transceiver modules?
Also I have found a procurve 2650 switch from another school this has 48 ports so is it worth using this and just getting a 24 POE switch at better quality for the AP's
You'd only need transceiver modules if you have another switch connected to it over fibre.
The 2650 is a reasonable switch, it's fully managed and will be enough to get you going. And if it's free, all the better. You will only get 100mbps to the client though, this may be limiting in the future.
How many APs are you using? It may be worth getting POE injectors rather than a full POE switch.
Have you already got the WAPs? If so, which are they?
We use Netgear switches and Netgear WAPs here. They just work and are easy to configure.
We havent got the WAP yet,
We are looking at the unifi solution ...One of my friends has just orderd this for his school so letting him install and test before we bite the bullet. At that price we would probably get 12 AP one for each room. We could probably get away with less but its going to be cheeper then any of the maru / rukus solutions.
We have netgear AP's and some netgear POE injectors at the my other school. They were installed by someone else but seam to cope ok with the current iPad demand. however people say keep away from netgear.
I'd always recommend sticking with quality kit for your network backbone, with education special bid pricing and a raft of suppliers fighting for business the HP ProCurve switches are hard to beat imo. Stick with the 2xxx series and you'll be sorted for years :)
It makes more sense (wherever possible) to use the same manufacturer of Switches and Access Points.
Clearly it sounds like ICT is taking off at as you're essentially removing perfectly good working switches for more powerful ones. Considering they are the backbone of any school network, it's critical you buy something decent - a device which can provide plenty of bandwidth, but also offer excellent uptimes with the minimum of fuss.
Being able to deliver 1Gbps (1000Mbps) to each Access Point is better than 100Mbps, especially if you buy in new Access Points today which are typically N rated. Even if you wireless devices only connected at 65Mbps, multiply this by 10 (10 devices) = 650Mbps and you can see that the 1Gbps pipe does make all the difference. This is why buying a switch with plenty of bandwidth (as I wrote in my previous post) is crucial :)
If you go unifi, remember that the normal unifi and the LR don't use standard POE. Also the Unifi's do come with POE injectors. We have just used the ones that come with the unifi's.