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Wireless Networks Thread, Network Infrastructure in Technical; I have posted a problem in another area with regards to this but would I would appreciate some more general ...
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    Network Infrastructure

    I have posted a problem in another area with regards to this but would I would appreciate some more general advice on upgrading our network backbone. I am getting all sorts of problems here and I am sure that a big part of it is due to the infrastructure here.

    I'll include as much information as I can of the current setup, and would be grateful if others could perhaps post their setups, and their opinions of the best way to upgrade here.

    We have 3 comms cabinets on site, I have included a very rough diagram of the setup in our main cabinet as this is the worst, although the other two are similar!



    All of the switches are pretty much at full capacity. The diagram is slightly inaccurate as there are actually two pairs of fibre going from the core to each of the other to cabinets. Each of these pairs are linked to another switch which in turn have at least 2/3 switches which are connected by 100Mbit copper.

    We have approx 320 client machines for 1100 students and 80 teachers.

    The 3 servers are all DCs and file servers, with one of them also acting as our mail server. They are all P3 1000mhz.

    How bad is this? and what should I ideally have for everything to run smoothly. I have my own ideas but would really appreciate some input.

    Thanks.

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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Off the top of my head (and I'm no network designer) it looks like you've got way too many uplinked 24 port switches.

    I'd say you need to be using 48 ports connected via Fibre to a main core switch near your servers.

    But like I said, I'm no genius.

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    ChrisC's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    To to totally honest depending on the physical distance between the core switch ( the maxswitch), you really want to have a 1gb copper or fibre link out to each, rather than daisy-chaining them, it would help reduce bottlenecks no end!

    see file attached for the optimum infrastructure

    Chris
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    YOu've got way too many daisy-chained switches. I would recommend that your 3Com 24 Ports all plug directly into youe NetworX MaxSwitch. That should help speed thigs up a bit. If you buy any more patch them directly into your MaxSwitch too. What do you use for your mail? It is usually recommended that your mail server is not a DC as this drastically increases the load.

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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Yes! Thank you! I have been trying to get the school to fork out on a new core switch for over a year now!!


    The maxswitch is at full capacity so i cannot link any of the 24 port switches straight into it. It only has 4 gbit fibre ports which link to the other 2 cabinets and 4 gbit copper - 3 of which are taken up by the servers and the other 1 by the first 3com switch!

    I would like to replace the core with a Procurve chassis ideally, with modules for at least 12 gbit copper links (for the servers, and all switches) with room for future expansion. It must have at least 4 fibre ports also for linking to the other two cabinets. But then there are also similar issues in the remaining 2 cabinets, although the daisy chaining is not quite so insane!!

    But it seems like an impossible task to get the smt to part with over 5grand. I would really like to meet the guy who kept daisy chaining all of these switches because it is giving me a constant headache!!

    Any suggestions on convincing them to spend the money before the whole lot falls down, and I get the blame for shoddy extensions in the past??!!!

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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Start turning off the one with SMT computers on it and tell them it's due to the infrastructure.

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    ChrisC's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    kill the server for a bit, explain that the switches are havingh trouble communicating?

    How evil, but proving a point that would be!

    Do you get many staff complaining of network speed? tell smt it would fix most if not all of those grumbles!

    Chris

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    Unvalidated User PatBoland's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Same story here!! Tried all the above tricks but SMT still do not get it. We just soldier on...

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    ChrisC's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    that's terrible!

    Did you even mention how it impacts on teaching and learning?
    That's always a good point to press on them!

    Any chance you can get teachers on side to back you up and make the right noise @ smt?

    Chris

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    ranj's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Upgrading/replacing the your main file servers would give you advantages as well.

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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    First thing I would do is actually get a handle of what connections you actually have.

    I.e.

    Core Cab
    80 Ports

    Cab1
    80 Ports
    2xMultimode fibre to core

    Cab 2
    2xMultimode fibre to core

    etc.

    What you are aiming for is a star with as few hops between switches as possible.

    If you have any hubs whatsoever pull em out and replace them with a switch, doesn't have to be expensive.

    If you can get decent switches everywhere, then you have the option of aggregating your fibre pairs, to give you 2gb instead of 2 * 1gb, this will allow better burst capacity.

    There are lots of other considerations, i.e what is generating the traffic, is the specific places where you have bottlenecks.

    Regards

    Budgester

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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Thanks for all of the replies.

    Are there any good (free??!!) network monitoring tools to keep an eye on network traffic and expose bottlenecks?

    This would certainy be a good start i think!

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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    try NAGIOS

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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Hmmm.. haven't got one so they might be rubbish, but you can get a NetGear 12x1Gb L2 switch that claims you can add 12 fibre ports (mini-GBICs) for less than £400.

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    eduabncs's Avatar
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    Re: Network Infrastructure

    Nagios is good. But for monitoring bandwith. cpu & memorey use etc MRTG is better IMHO.

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