Switch Replacement/Upgrade Advice (low budget)
We are planning to move our main server base & ICT Suites to a new area of the school during the summer, and this will be a perfect time to review our infastructure and where approproate upgrade and enhance what we have in terms of switches.
Unfortunately, because we're spending alot just on the move itself, we'll be on a tight budget for infastructure upgrades, thus unable to go for the kind of switch hardware which is usually deemed desirable. A low-down of the situation at current:
6 cabinets throughout the school (labelled by number for reference):
- Cab A (current backbone): 1x Planet 24port, 1x D-Link 48port, 1x Planet with 4 Gib ports and 4x fiber ports (core switch)
- Cab B: 1x Planet 48port
- Cab C: 1x Planet 48port
- Cab D: 1x Planet 24port (this will be removed summer and become new backbone, with switches/hardware yet to be decided!)
- Cab E: 2x Netgear 48port, 1x Planet 24port
- Cab F: 2x Netgear 24port, 2x Planet 24port
All except cabs C & D have fiber.
Now, as you are probably thinking, we don't have the best switches in the world (in fact, some of you probably throw away switches better than most of what we have here). The planets are back from years ago and as the remaining ones have yet to breakdown (surprisingly), we haven't been able to justify replacing them.
Also, as you see, we don't have much consistancy in the model/manufacture, although the long-time plan is to get rid of every planet and try and consolidate what we have into just 1 or 2 types of branded switches.
I have extensively read many threads on this forum about folk asking for advice on switches to go for, and HP Procurve and their line of core switches is a consistant favourite. Regretably, we couldn't possibly justify this kind of cost, and considiering we have only ever gone for budget switches (as evident), to request a switch costing 10x more, for what appears to do the same (we know it doesn't), cannot be justified in any way to the powers that be.
Basically, in the HP range, all that is in our budget for cab switches are the lower-end web managed switches (1800-24 for instance). If we can't afford HP, which is a good recommended 2nd best out of dlink and netgear? We have more netgears than D-Link so netgear (for consistancy) would be a good choice, but of course the point of this thread was to gain some insight into what others have and recommend.
Please don't recommend cab-based switches in 4-figures prices as we simply can't justify that cost, and if we could, I wouldn't be here now asking for advise on the budget lines :)
However, for the core switch, we may be able to stretch to low-end 4 figure, but could I also ask for some cheaper, good alternatives (sounds too good to be true when you say it like that)!