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Wireless Networks Thread, which switch for new building? in Technical; My school is expanding and currently constructing a big new building. The contractor asked us to specify which switches we ...
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    Question which switch for new building?

    My school is expanding and currently constructing a big new building.

    The contractor asked us to specify which switches we want in the building. I don't know since I've never installed a big network from scratch.

    The incoming signal from the existing building will come over glassfibre. The internal cabling in the building will be cat6a. We have a central connecting point where the fibre comes in and about 100 cat6a cables leave. Some classrooms will have their own switch as well.

    Which switches should I ask for? Specific models please. Cisco will be too expensive, I'll probably be looking into enterasys or HP. If you have had good experiences with other brands, please do share.

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    How many computers do you need to attach to it?

    We're got a mixture of procurve 26 & 28 switches, all very good.

    EDIT: Oops didn't read it carefully. A couple of 2810-48s should be grand.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 21st March 2011 at 09:21 AM.

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    I don't know the amount of computers yet (+100). Too much, if you ask me.

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    Out of interest, why are you having switches in classrooms?

    It will be slightly more expensive to cable back to a central switch cabinet but makes it much, much easier to manage and secure (switches in a classroom are likely to be fiddled with ...)

    You may also save money; instead of several small switches which might not have all their ports used, you just put in one stack of switches with about the right number of ports.

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    What do you have in your old building, make-wise?

    I find it best to make sure your entire network uses the same brand of switches, as it makes advanced configuration in the future a lot easier.

    What speed is your fibre going to be running at? 1Gbit or 10Gbit?

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    HI, we need more info but I recommend HP 2800's or Nortels 5500 Range

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    Abe
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    Your most important choice is whether to go with 10/100 Mbit or Gigabit capable ports, as this will make a significant difference in the price, unless this is no object (unlikely). Of course the backbone will be need to be Gigabit (possibly trunked) or 10G. I remain to be convinced that the vast majority of desktop computers will need any more than 100 Mbit for the foreseeable future.

    Consider fan-less switches for classrooms to avoid noise - We have some Procurve 2610-24 for this reason (the 48 port version is NOT fanless).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abe View Post
    Your most important choice is whether to go with 10/100 Mbit or Gigabit capable ports, as this will make a significant difference in the price, unless this is no object (unlikely). Of course the backbone will be need to be Gigabit (possibly trunked) or 10G. I remain to be convinced that the vast majority of desktop computers will need any more than 100 Mbit for the foreseeable future.
    depends when they are likely to be upgraded in the future might be worth paying now just depends how much more gb switches are and how long its likely to be before they get upgraded

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    Out of interest, why are you having switches in classrooms?

    It will be slightly more expensive to cable back to a central switch cabinet but makes it much, much easier to manage and secure (switches in a classroom are likely to be fiddled with ...)

    You may also save money; instead of several small switches which might not have all their ports used, you just put in one stack of switches with about the right number of ports.
    The cabling plans for the building date from before my time here and couldn't be changed. I would have preferred centralised switches. We install the switches in small locked cabinets in the classrooms, no fiddling can be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    What do you have in your old building, make-wise?

    I find it best to make sure your entire network uses the same brand of switches, as it makes advanced configuration in the future a lot easier.

    What speed is your fibre going to be running at? 1Gbit or 10Gbit?
    In the current buildings we have a range of brands and types, backbone is mostly managed Linksys, in the classrooms we use cheap (£20, secondhand) 10/100 switches by netgear. The network is getting quite old and we're planning updates over the next few years. We'll recable the backbone and probably buy new switches then, possibly the same as in the newbuild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by massy View Post
    In the current buildings we have a range of brands and types, backbone is mostly managed Linksys, in the classrooms we use cheap (£20, secondhand) 10/100 switches by netgear. The network is getting quite old and we're planning updates over the next few years. We'll recable the backbone and probably buy new switches then, possibly the same as in the newbuild.
    Regarding your backbone, what speed is it running at? 1Gbit? Will you be wanting to have it at 10Gbit in the future? The reason I ask is that if it is going to stay at 1Gbit, then 2800 series HP switches would suffice, else if it is going to move to 10Gbit, then 2900 series switches are better for where the fibre comes in etc...

    How are the classroom switches being connected to the building's central switch? ie. the fibre connected switch?

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    At the moment, there is no fiber in the old buildings and therefore no switches that are capable of connecting fiber. We will need at least 2 of these switches, one in the serverroom in the old building and one in the serverroom in the new building.

    We have 3 buildings connected with copper (cat5e). Our plan is to change this to fiber when we have the fiber going to the new building.

    In the buildings (both existing and new) the internal cabling is copper, in the new building this will be 1Gbit to the client. Current backbone is 1Gbit, 100Mbit to the clients. I don't know if a 10Gbit backbone is necessary?

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    Hi Massy,
    im amazed the building contractor has even asked you for your input, ive witnessed projects like this before whereby the infrastructue is installed and they leave you to your own devises to "connect" up, failing this contractors need only offer a connection and as such put the cheapest equipment in.
    Find out if there is a budget assigned and if so opt for the best you can, a couple of 48 port HP Procurves with 1Gb fibre modules should be your "entry level" within the New Build but you must also consider a 3rd unit placed within the old school to support the new fibre link running at a gig.
    Ideally a new chassis based HP5412zl would sit nicely in the new build and would offer a reasonable amount of future expandability i.e 10Gb options, power over ethernet, managed wireless etc etc
    Also you mentioned you have 100 x Cat6A segments installed thats impressive! 10Gb ready copper cabling to all areas make sure you get those all important test documents
    Also find out the specification and number of cores of fibre you have had installed and once again I cant stress this enough dont forget those test results.
    ;-)

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