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Wireless Networks Thread, Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I? in Technical; I've been thinking of upgrading my curriculum switches from 100Mbs to 1Gbs. As well as installing 1Gbs nics in my ...
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    dezt's Avatar
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    Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    I've been thinking of upgrading my curriculum switches from 100Mbs to 1Gbs. As well as installing 1Gbs nics in my PC's. I was wondering if this would be a good move and if anyone else has done this.

    I'm trying to work out my ICT development plan and can't think of anything so if anybody has some good ideas on how to make my network better please let me know.

    Apart from speed issues, I was thinking of maybe equiping the ICT rooms with TFT monitors, yes we are in the dark ages here, only got TFT's in the offices and LRC (new PC's in there).

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Monitor replacement has to be the way to go. Breaks my heart to think of replacing perfectly functioning CRTs but the user perception is amazing. We reckon that if we replaced the remaining two CRT suites with TFTs, the perceived speed improvement would be through the roof.

    We replaced a HOD's CRT with a TFT, the next day he was on the phone thanking us profusely, his machine was so much faster now.

    Cheers

    Alison

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    I don't find the 100Mbs a problem, it's not like the students are creating huge files, and all accessing massive databases at the same time

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Once internal streaming media, disk imaging, remote video editing and other high bandwidth tasks are factored in I would reckon the GB is the way to go. Our new building is going to be GB throughout.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    We are GB ready, all the curriculum backbone is 1GB, in some cases, a couple of servers (Profiles, Proxy and File) are a teamed 2GB backbone and that made a huge difference, all the backbone switches are straight into the GB switch, so all the ITs are straight there, the Fibre is still 100M but the converters are into a GB switch ready for the changing media converters, but we are slowly putting fibre modules into switches where they allow, and connecting them straight into a 1GB fibre switch, so we give them a 1GB backbone as well. So its the way to go, I wouldnt puchase any switches for our LAN now that have not really got a 1GB option, even if its just 4 ports for the backbone connection. Desktops are still on 100M, although a good few machines are coming through from HP with 1GB cards in them, so they are ready to go, so we will get there in our next revamp - swapping out 10/100 backbone stuff for 1GB and moving the 10/100 switches to replace hubs, and 10M switches etc....

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    If you can get the funding then you should go fo it. Even if you are not going to fully utilise the bandwidth right now, you're liable to make use of it in the future as identified by dos_box.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Its not necessary for Gb to desktop (although nice) but get all your switches on a their own 1Gb fibre back to your core switch. If you have old 24port uplinked switches get these consolodated to a 48 port switch as well (so you only have to put in 1 fibre per 48 ports).

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chafftech
    Its not necessary for Gb to desktop (although nice) but get all your switches on a their own 1Gb fibre back to your core switch. If you have old 24port uplinked switches get these consolodated to a 48 port switch as well (so you only have to put in 1 fibre per 48 ports).
    I disagree. Take Espresso for example. It requires a dedicated 11Mbps per client. A 24 port 100 Mb switch would max out with an ordinary ICT suite. many of the new interactive\streaming media educational facilites now require high bandwdth networks to be available. Still purchasing 100 Mb kit seems to be a waste of money to me because you would only need to upgrade it in the next couple of years.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    I have to say espresso sounds pretty crap if it needs that sort dedicated bandwidth per client - you would need to implement some sort of QOS to insure it.
    I am not sure what you are disagreeing with as putting 1Gb to the desktop will not solve the above problem. If you feel the bandwidth of 1Gb backbone to the switch is not enough then you can use port trunking to give a 2Gb link like I am in the process of implementing on some of our HP 2650 switches right now.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Agree with dos_box, just because you dont need it now dont mean you wont need it later, the only exception to the rule is that you have a very small network. A little forward planning goes a long way.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by apeo
    Agree with dos_box, just because you dont need it now dont mean you wont need it later, the only exception to the rule is that you have a very small network. A little forward planning goes a long way.

    Your assuming things I have not said. I am not stupid at all. Vast majority of desktop NICs come Gb compliant anyway, and 48port Gb switches are available to buy at reasonable prices. So if you want to you can implement it but if youre going to plan then plan properly, because Gb to desktop will require an upgradable backbone architecture, we are talking upto 10Gb to the core. By the time we need 10Gb backbones and 1Gb to ALL desktops the lifecycle of your current switches should be over and due for replacement anyway.
    All IT equipment needs to be thought well in advance with a proper strategic plan and lifecycle put in place, along with what will replace at the end of the lifecycle. Only then can proper budgets be planned to allow money to be available.

    Personally in this decade I think Gb is only needed for video editing workstations accessing/editing content on a video server farm.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    If you upgrade workstations to 1Gbit then you should really look at upgrading the backbone to 10Gbit to cope with the demand. If your network (workstations through to servers) was only 100Mbps there'd be a bottleneck when all workstations are accessing the server, hence the backbone and servers run at 1Gbit.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Certainly upgrade the backbone to 1Gb/s, but consider that a 32bit PCI bus is pretty much maxed out using a 1Gb/s network card !
    I'll be looking towards 1Gb/s workstations when PC's have 64bit PCI as standard.

    Enable SNMP logging and see what bandwidth you are using now, its probably less than you think.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    @Chafftech: Yes i know what you are getting at and i suppose the question is the perception of how long it would be till we require a gigabit ethernet or future plans for various technologies.

    @CyberNerd: you make a good point.

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    Re: Gigabit network, should I or shouldn't I?

    Looking at all the points put across I think i'll keep the 1gb backbone and leave the nics at 100mb. I'll look at the amount of bandwidth being used at the moment and upgrade accordingly.

    Thanks for all the advice.

    dezt.

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