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    Second core modular switch or upgrade?

    Hey guys,

    We're currently running a HP 4204 vl switch chasis with 3 fibre modules and 1 20port/4 gbic module.

    All of the fibre ports are in use so for the odd link we've had to use fibre converters (not ideal!), however the college has decided to move one of the IT suites to a room with no network access.
    Rather than running over 30 machines on a fibre converter we are looking at adding to the core switch.

    My question is, is it better to upgrade our HP 4204 to a 4208 for more modules or to buy another HP 4204 and link the two with a fibre cable.

    It would cost around £500 extra to upgrade to the 4208.

    Many thanks

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    foofighterjim's Avatar
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    I wouldn't link the two with a (presumably a 1GB) fibre as you will have a bottleneck between the two switches. If I have read the correct description your 4204 is stackable so you could buy another 4204 or a 4208 and stack them. I don't know if this would involve buying anything extra other than a relevant cable to stack with. Personally I would go with something higher end that supported better gbic modules (I believe yours only supports 4 gbics per module), such as the 5406 there are good bundles to be had depending on where you buy from.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Have you considered sending the IT room data points to an existing network cabinet?

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    Thanks for the reply fiifighterjim.

    As much as i'd love to upgrade to a better model our senior leadership don't even realise it's going to cost them more than just man hours to move the PCs!
    Really we need to keep our existing modules and either move them to a 4208 and add some more fibre modules or stack it with another 4204. Do you reckon its worth going for the 4208 for an extra £500?

    Many thanks

    Edit FN-GM - The new room is actually an entirely separate building with no feed at all apart from a single cat cable going over the roof (Its one of those green hut cardboard style buildings!)
    Last edited by jamie2497; 20th May 2014 at 10:32 AM.

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    foofighterjim's Avatar
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    It really depends on how much expansion you want to allow for, you could stack another 4204 and be in this position again in a couple of years so the 4208 may be the better bet. In fact would the extra space in the 4208 cover you for what you need anyway? You could then have stacking (the 4204) as a contingency if the need was ever there, although I would get any necessary cables and / or modules now to save asking for they money when it most likely wont be available down the line.

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    The 4208 with a couple of fibre modules would be plenty, we only really need an extra 2 fibre ports but i've specced up a second module for further expansion.

    I think i'll go for the 4208, save any possible bottlenecks. Thanks very much for your help.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd swap the 20 port GbE/4port Gbic module out and put in another pure fibre module, then link in a separate switch just for the copper needs.

    However, if you don't mind the hassle of swapping everything out, the 4208 is your "best" route.

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    The fibre modules only have 4 ports anyway so we wouldn't gain any extra ports I'm guessing it'll just be a simple case of removing the modules from the 4204 and sticking them in the 4208?

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    Oh. I'm used to the 24 port modules in my 5406zl, didn't realise they were only 4 in the 4204!

    In that case, I'd say the 4208 is by far your best bet for a quick job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie2497 View Post
    The fibre modules only have 4 ports anyway so we wouldn't gain any extra ports I'm guessing it'll just be a simple case of removing the modules from the 4204 and sticking them in the 4208?
    Yes, but I would double check module compatibility just in case (particularly if they are old modules). The one time you don't check will be the one time you need to.

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