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Wireless Networks Thread, Network Upgrade advice required in Technical; Hi, I recently discovered that some of the new PC's at our school are not picking up group policy settings. ...
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    marsdenprimary's Avatar
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    Exclamation Network Upgrade advice required

    Hi,

    I recently discovered that some of the new PC's at our school are not picking up group policy settings. Well I worked out why... The building they are in is seperate from the main building with the switch and whoever designed our network has used ethernet cables to link them rather than fibre optic cable. Even though I see this as a possible culprit for a mega slow network connection I also suspect that there may be too much traffic for our 10/100 network. I am considering upgrading to 10/100/1000 but i need some advice on this please as I have never done this before and don't know if it will solve the problem.


    What advice could you give on upgrading?? Would I need to upgrade ALL our 10/100 switches or just a few? We have about 8...

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    When is the network connection slow - how are you quantifying this? Slow logon times, packet loss? Does it only occour in certain parts of the school?

    Having copper between buildings isn't ideal but there are plenty of sites that manage fine with it - do you have a budget to do some additional cabling?

    And a network diagram illustrating the links between the switches may help us identify potential bottlenecks in the network.

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    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Id always fibre between buildings if possible but I cant see the speed thing being an issue.
    I had an odd problem recently where I couldn't load a WDS image on 1 or 2 machines, a new switch roughly the same spec works fine though! When I get a sec ill update the firmware and try again.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Id always fibre between buildings if possible but I cant see the speed thing being an issue.
    Um... you MUST fibre between buildings, otherwise electrical faults across phases can result in a potential of 415V.

    The phase difference can also cause timing problems and such like, but this is the deadly one.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Theres always the distance to consider as well - how long are your cable runs?

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    IanT's Avatar
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    IMO you dont need GIG switch for just desktop machines, yes gig for up-link/fibre of course.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    There's absolutely nothing wrong with running Ethernet outside. You should buy the proper external rated cable, but I have seen many sites where they've run standard Ethernet outside. So long as it's not over 100m it should work absolutely fine. Ideally any servers or network infrastructure should operate at 1Gbps with 10/100 to workstations.

    If you want to upgrade it to 1000Mbps, you just need a Gigabit switch either end. Cat5e or better is recommended, but Cat5 can manage it too in most cases.

    Irrelevant of network speed, your workstations should still pick up GPOs, it just means processing will be considerably slower...

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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with running Ethernet outside. You should buy the proper external rated cable, but I have seen many sites where they've run standard Ethernet outside. So long as it's not over 100m it should work absolutely fine. Ideally any servers or network infrastructure should operate at 1Gbps with 10/100 to workstations.

    If you want to upgrade it to 1000Mbps, you just need a Gigabit switch either end. Cat5e or better is recommended, but Cat5 can manage it too in most cases.

    Irrelevant of network speed, your workstations should still pick up GPOs, it just means processing will be considerably slower...
    I'm no expert but if you run cat5 between 2 buildings don't you have to "earth" it or something (eg the same way telephone lines from the exchange to your house are "earthed")

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oops_my_bad View Post
    I'm no expert but if you run cat5 between 2 buildings don't you have to "earth" it or something (eg the same way telephone lines from the exchange to your house are "earthed")
    You have to shield it against lightning strikes if you're running it at height, and against diggers at ground level, yes.

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    This is the reply I received on the running UTP between buildings issue when I asked.

    You can use copper between buildings but you will have to worry about lightening strikes. If it leaves from one building to another it needs to be a PE type cable. This needs to be terminated within 50' of the entrance on protectors. Because of the high smoke of this cable, it can be extended past that point if it is in a rigid conduit. This also needs to be grounded and bonded.

    Telephone cables (Cat 3 or Cat nothing) are done this way all the time. Trouble is, this is expensive by the time you add the cost of Cat ?? rated protectors. This is why most people use fiber for their data needs between buildings. Fiber is glass and not a conductor of electricity.

    Hope this helps.
    So the answer is that 'if' it's done safely with the correct protection then it's nearly as much as fibre.


    This is a few years ago at another school but our Bromcom system was installed by external contractors and they ran CAT5 around the outside of the building. The school was hit by lightening one day and we had a lot of cooked equipment, all of the other networking equipment on the internal cabling was fine.
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 1st February 2010 at 08:41 AM.

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    witch's Avatar
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    One of my schools is externally cabled and it has never been a problem and doesnt seem to cause slowness or anything. Fibe would be nice but it not affordable ATM

    Is it just your new machines failing to pick up GPO? Does an older machine in the same location work? This is what you need to check first - as it may be a problem with the new machines - have they been put in the correct OU so that they pick up the appropriate GPO settings?
    We have a gigabit backbone and 5 10/100 switches which seems to work very well.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I've personally never installed any Ethernet outside, but I have seen plenty of sites that do it. Typically the distance is easily within limits between buildings and despite the extra requirements, it's still much cheaper than fibre. Remember you need to patch it and you require a fibre compatible switch and/or a module. It's always going to be considerably more expensive than Ethernet.

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    marsdenprimary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    One of my schools is externally cabled and it has never been a problem and doesnt seem to cause slowness or anything. Fibe would be nice but it not affordable ATM

    Is it just your new machines failing to pick up GPO? Does an older machine in the same location work? This is what you need to check first - as it may be a problem with the new machines - have they been put in the correct OU so that they pick up the appropriate GPO settings?
    We have a gigabit backbone and 5 10/100 switches which seems to work very well.
    Hi Witch- it looks like it could be... I'm going to remove them and rejoin them to see if i can sort it out.

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    Have you got the "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" policy set?

    Description of the Windows XP Professional Fast Logon Optimization feature

  15. Thanks to cookie_monster from:

    marsdenprimary (2nd February 2010)

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    marsdenprimary's Avatar
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    I'll give this a whirl Cookie Monster- thankyou for this xxx

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