I don't have a diagram, but yes, it is a basic star: PC -> edge switch -> core, there's only one location which goes PC -> edge switch 1 -> edge switch 2 -> core, but that isn't a busy area, only around 50 devices at full load across both switches. The servers are connected directly to the core switch.
All desktops are 1Gb not 100Mb - do you still reckon that 2Gb aggregate would be enough? I know it would be sufficient now, but I need to plan ahead as well, as I don't want to have to buy more kit in a few years.
Not sure on cost, but that isn't my main concern - getting the right infrastructure is more important. You can do it cheap or you can do it right, and all that.
I wouldn't *not* run Gb to the desktops, there really is no point not doing so with the cost of it being so low. While 1Gb or 2Gb uplinks *can* be a bottleneck, it's still usually going to be faster for all clients, multicast imaging at 1Gb is always useful too.
I'm just a student, I don't have any real-world experience; I could be wrong.
It sounds like your assuming two users (or likely more) are accessing large files at the same time. Often this is not the case. When there is only one user, they get the whole bandwidth. The maths is more complicated than simple addition.
The important thing with optimising the overall network performance is measurement. Find out whats causing the slowdown, or whats unreliable and fix that. Its too easy to guess and get it wrong.
If I were putting in new cabling, i would try and make sure it is either gigabit or 10 gigabit capable in the case of uplinks. Wether you run it at full speed is a different question. 10 Gig interfaces are still very expensive, and we certainly would't see a justifiable benefit at the moment. Cabling can be in place for a long time, and can be a bigger job to replace. Some of our fibre is 10 years old and working fine still. Replacing a switch or network interface is much easier than cabling.
If you are planning for the Future I would go 10Gb - or at least have switches that can easily be upgraded to 10gb. If running fiber - make sure it can run at 10gb etc.
the physical cables will probably last longer than the switches so its often key to get those right first time round.
I've spent the last few days upgrading a load of switchgear, from 10/100 to Gigabit.
Only after switching over we then found several systems demonstrating problems, all were traced to defective Cat5e cabling installed well over 5 Years previously.
We found crossed cables & incomplete punch downs on all of the defective outlets.
By all means put 10Gbe in as we did, but don't over look the rats nest you already have who knows what lies beneath ready to upset your newly deployed 10Gbe backbone.
Take the opportunity to test/certify the existing stuff too.
In practice 1Gb to desktops is nearly always faster, even on a contended link. 100Mb is pretty slow for a lot of applications now, even 1Gb is starting to limit some clients/applications.
SYNACK (24th December 2012)
Upgrading all cabling to the standard 1Gb is a must, and adding the 10Gb to the server backbone as you are planning is an extra benefit, a big hit on the budget though, but if you can afford go for it.
Remember however that at the end it is all down to the disk, and sometimes it may be worth upgrading the server I/O throughput rather than the switches where it connects. There is no point of having a 10GB if the servers cannot deliver from the disk
And well, I take for granted that you are using VLANs? I assume you network is segmented, separating desktop traffic from wireless; if you are going to have initially 500 wireless devices you may as well split them in two vlans if possible to optimise traffic. On one of my research I found out that many networks are congested with broadcasts and unfiltered traffic, and network managers tend to buy more powerful switches with bigger bandwidth and faster processors just to cope with the congestion instead of tacking the source of the problem that initially could be a lack of vlans to filter traffic or an inadequate disk base I/O from the servers
Just a bit of advise, that’s all
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