New network planning questions
Afternoon chaps and chappettes.
After a fair big of ear twisting it looks like SLT are ready to look at an infrastructure upgrade in the near future, possibly starting as soon as the end of this year.
I've been in the job 4 years with no previous experience so I'm looking for some advice and hopefully if there is anything stupid you can point me in the right direction, but I think I've got this... My CCNA1 came in handy :D
Right, we have around 350 workstations including laptops which are wireless (The wireless system is a whole different issue though...). We have two virtual hosts supporting 7 or 8 virtual servers, the most intensive of those network wise will probably be the SQL stuff which ultimately provides data for Sharepoint and the SIMS server and finally a microsoft RDS server providing remote desktops outside school for staff use. We also have two physical AD servers in a failover cluster handling DHCP/DNS/AD and file sharing. We have a massive subnet at the moment (255.255.0.0) so DHCP and related services do take up a chunk....
That's the background info anyway.
So, firstly why should we use fibre? I fully intend on using it but if someone asked me why I wouldnt know an answer... Properly terminated and placed in theory cat5e and 1gb fibre have the same bandwidth but I have a feeling this is more to do with latency, signal quality and signal speed meaning fibre gives a more reliable and speedier signal from one end to the other. The higher signal quality reduces lost packets at the receiver and gives an illusion of faster speed...? Google hasnt helped so far with that one......
Secondly is toology. Without writing a life story I am leaning towards an extended star topology with a 10gb fibre backbone connecting servers and the "primary" switches, then 1gb fibre starring out from the primaries to "secondary" switches which just spew out cat5 to the desktop.
The theory behind it being that if the secondaries are connected by 1gb fibre and we have say, 7 of those, then primary switch is only dealing with 7gb worth of data and putting that on a 10gb line to the server, hence bottlenecks will be very few and far between. We are not going to get anywhere near to the 10gb limit any time soon but as it stands media are trialling some Mac desktops and if they get the go ahead they could end up with 20-30 macs all streaming HD video footage at the same time as everyone else trying to logon, use SIMS etc... at the start of a lesson.
Anyhoo, that's enough for now! Would really like an answer as to why to use fibre instead of copper (aside from distance limitations).