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Wireless Networks Thread, Fibre Optice Switch Units in Technical; Please excuse my lack of tech speak but I hope you get my drift.. We have a 160+ computer network ...
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    Fibre Optice Switch Units

    Please excuse my lack of tech speak but I hope you get my drift..

    We have a 160+ computer network of desktops spread across two buildings currently linked by a pair of HP 48 port switches with the older style (8 years old) fibre optic running between then.

    I am about to bring on line a new teacing building (154 data points) and shortly after that a new admin building (48+ data points).

    The original idea is to add two new 24 port racks with the new style fibre optic cables to one end of my existing system to turn this into a star shape with 3 switches at the centre each linked using short copper Cat ## cables. Each one will then have a fibre optic cable running off it to the 3 other location.. 1 already in place the other two new..

    My problem.. the centre of this setup will end up with 3x24 data points which is overkill as the whole building consists of only 3 rooms, it just happens to be physically in the centre of the star for the other buildings...

    My idea... Can I put a fibre optic switch at the centre - for example a QLogic SanBox 1400 Series unit to do the fibre optic switching and then the existing local switch that is at the centre gets upgrades to the new style of fibre optic (cabling needs replacing as someone burried it in concrete...) this leaves me with just enough points at the building in the centre and then each building that is out on the edge can have what ever they need too...

    Please can I have some thoughts.. and ideas of what other types of units I might be thinking about to do the job.

    Many thanks, Tony.

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    Not with that switch you can't, it's a 'Fibre Channel' switch, it's a special switch for use with certain server storage products. It's not for general networking.

    Have a look at HP ProCurve switches.

    EDIT: I'm not 100% what you're actually asking, it might help if you gave a few more details about your current fibre.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 8th June 2011 at 04:09 PM.

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    I think I just about understand what your getting at - the switches you currently have only have 1 slot for Gbic/SFP's each?

    The fibre cables you currently have can be converted to the newer styles if you need them to be, most suppliers can get hold of ST-LC cables or just about any combination you could possibly need to convert from older styles to new ones (most commonly LC)

    Larger/Core switches generally have 4 or more SFP slots availible which you can fill with Fibre SFP's. You'll probably want a decent switch in the middle ideally close to your servers, from there you're right - you could stick pretty much any switch with one or more SFP slots on the edge

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    Most manafacturers will have something that will do it, personally on that sort of scale I like Netgear kit, and would go for something like the GSM7328S in the core. This comes in either 24 or 48 port copper varieties, both of which have 4 sfp ports to accept fiber modules, and 2 10gig ports, if you ever needed to upgrade the speed of any of the links. (the 10gig modules are pretty good value, we have our backbone running over them)

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    Have a look at HP ProCurve switches.
    EDIT: I'm not 100% what you're actually asking, it might help if you gave a few more details about your current fibre.
    Thanks. Ok, at the moment we have two buildings linked with one fibre optic link. At each of the link is a HP 24 Data Port (Cat 5/6) with one Fibre Optic point which is used to do the join.

    I would like to have a location in the physical middle of the school where all my future fibre optics come to. This is not the server room though as that will have to be physically in a building that is on the edg of the network.

    I only have experience of switches that have 24 or 48 Cat 5 data points and 1 Fibre Optic unit (with Tx and Rx on 2 cables).

    In my mind it makes sense that in the physical centre of the school where all the new fibre optics have to come to that I have some kind of switch that just handles fibre optics data. From this switch I have 3 fibre optic cables running to the 3 locations on the outer edge of the school. On the far end of each is a new 24 or 48 port switch or possibly a stack of switches to accomodate the number of data points that each building has. (daisey chained to each other)

    Is there such a thing as a 24 or 48 port switch (for Cat 5 cables) that has more than 1 fibre optic unit in it? I.e. can take 4? Can this be at the physical centre of my network?

    I hope I am making some sense,

    Thanks, Tony.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    All HP 24 port switches I've come across going back to even an HP 2324 switch has 2 module slots each slot could accomodate a fibre module allowing you to bring 2 fibres into one switch.

    Ben

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    plexer's Avatar
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    The only switch I have that has more fibre modules in it is our 4108GL chassis switch with several mini gbic modules installed.

    Ben

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Well, there are such things as pure fibre switches. If you want 10GbE over these fibres, they do the E6400cl - but this is likely overkill. Instead, I'd say go for one of their switches with 4 GBIC ports. They make a few -the 2610 series has some, the 2520 series does too.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Just browsing the HP site and saw some 4 mini gbic port switches.

    Alternatively you've got the chassis range such as the E4204 HP E4204 vl Switch Chassis (J8770A) specifications - HP Small & Medium Business products

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyR View Post
    My problem.. the centre of this setup will end up with 3x24 data points which is overkill as the whole building consists of only 3 rooms, it just happens to be physically in the centre of the star for the other buildings...
    The location for the centre of your network does not necessarily have to be the physical centre, the 'centre' of ours is way off to one side, just means some of the fibre cables have to run further than they might do otherwise which makes little to no difference really.

    Ideally with that many fibres running off to other cabinets you need an HP chassis switch to act as your core switch, something like the 4204vl will probably be adequate for your needs. Populate this with 1 x module which will accept 4xmini GBIC's for your fibre connections, and then the rest of the modular bays with as many network ports as you need for that cabinet at whatever speed you want. Ideally your servers should connect straight to this switch as well.

    Doing it that way will be pricey, but you will get a good setup as a result.

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    Netgear GSM7328FS has 24 SFP slots - Fill these with copper or fibre SFP modules makes an ideal distribution point for many topology designs.
    And it's a lot cheaper than a chassis based option....

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    They make a few -the 2610 series has some, the 2520 series does too.
    Erm, only two mini gbic ports on the 2610, 4 on the 2510, 2810 & (I think) 2520, 2910.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    Erm, only two mini gbic ports on the 2610, 4 on the 2510, 2810 & (I think) 2520, 2910.
    Ah, the HP site shows the wrong page when you click on product details for the 2610, linked me to the 2520 instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    4 on the 2510, 2810 & (I think) 2520, 2910.
    Be careful because some HP Procurve for SPF ports are dual personality so they can be 4 fibre or 4 copper or a mixer but kills off some of your normal Ethernet ports.

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    Rather than creating the star-shaped network, have you considered using triangles instead. By connecting each location to two others, you add a redundant link and potentially improve access speeds between buildings by reducing hops.

    Now sounds like an ideal time for you to do this... you currently have 2 building so adding a third means you just link to each exiting one. When the fourth building is errected, pick the nearest two to connect to (or better yet, all three!). Just don't run your fibre along the same conduits because that would defeat the point somewhat.



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