Recommendations for an 'Edge' Swith Setup?
Our school's recently just purchased a new building on the same site and we're trying to decide on the best plan for adding it to our exisiting network. The contractors are going to run an 8-core multimode fibre from our server room to the comms cabinet there so we can connect it.
Currently in the rest of edge switches are 3com 4400s running in stack setups (usually 2 or 3 48-port switches). These switches used dedicated stacking modules plugged into the backplane of the switches but most companies (3com included) seem to have ditched the dedicated hardware stacking module approach in favour of virtual stacking over existing ethernet ports. Don't know if this is better or worse? I'm guessing that if you stack over a gigabit link the throughput will probably be sufficient?
The new wing will have slightly over 100 network devices so I'd want a stack with a port density of at least this figure which means at least 3 (48-port) switches I'd guess to allow for expansion in future. In terms of networking I think there are probably 3 options :-
1) Buy 3 x 48-port switches running in a virtual stack and fit a fibre module to one to run back to the server room. The switches could then be connected (via daisy-chain) to each other using local gigabit ethernet links.
2) Buy 3 48-port switches but fit a fibre module to each swich and run a dedicated fibre for each switch back to the server room. This would give each switch (and the 48 ports on it) a gigabit of bandwidth direct back to the core switch.
3) Buy a modular switch with enough capacity for 100 ethernet ports and a fibre module (possibly with 2 connection for resiliency) for connecting it back to the server room.
I think option 1) is probaly the most likely route we'll go down (as I dont think we'lll need the bandwidth provided by the setup in 2 and the modular setup looks like it may be too expensive for an edge switch) but does anyone have any thought's/recommendations on the above setups?