New core switch that isn't a core switch
So. Quick bit of background: I used to work in a school, now I'm IT manager for a subsidised local theatre. We have even less money than schools. Like, almost nothing. Everything is old and IMHO my predecessor invested in the wrong technologies when there was money available.
I'm looking to upgrade our very old (circa 2001/2) HP Procurve switches. We have a 4108G core switch and 4x 2524 switches. There are gigabit fibre uplinks between switches, but edge connections to equipment are all 100Mb, making this to all intents and purposes, a 100Mb network. As we all know these days, gigabit networking is virtually a basic requirement, especially for servers, high demand users and backup systems, so I'm trying to figure out how I can get gigabit connections to at least a few important pieces of equipment within the organisation.
There is no way we can afford a proper core switch, so I'd like some opinions on what I can do in this situation:
Is it feasible /practical /sensible to 'daisy chain' 2-4 smaller switches with some aggregated links between them for bandwidth? Or should I just get the best switch I can afford?
Is eBay a sensible option? I've not found out if I'm allowed to use eBay yet, but I'd have reservations about it for important kit like this...
Does anyone have any suggestions?