New Switch for my Business

By TorturedChaos ยท 11 replies
Feb 2, 2016
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  1. I'm looking to upgrade my switch that runs the core of my network to Gigabit Ethernet. Currently I have a ~10 yr old Linksys SRW24864 v1.1 switch that has severed me well over the years, but most of the ports are 100mb, with 4 gigabit ports.

    Unfortunately my knowledge of network is just enough to make me dangerous, but I feel like I'm getting out of my league when I look at the terminology thrown around on the higher end, higher number of port switches.

    Brief overview of my network:
    My Network is currently setup with a Router that handles all my DHCP and QoS, with it hooked to one of the gigabit ports on my switch. From there I have all my computers and printers hooked into the switch. I have my file server, and 2 of my graphic design, and the router hooked into the 4 gigabit ports. Into the rest of the ports I have my computers and various copiers and printers plugged in. All together I am using 28 ports on my switch (Although I think a few of the cords are not currently in use), including the 4 gigabit ports.

    So I would like a switch with room to grow, and was looking at 48 port switches, since they seem to jump from 24/28 port to the 44/48 range. So far I have been glancing at 48 - RJ45 port switches, since I'm not really sure what a SFP port is, and if I would use it.

    As far as the network load I will have as many as 8-10 computers in us at once, with 2-3 of them possibly doing heavy graphic design work (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign), using files that are stored on my File server. Another 2-4 computers accessing files to print (sometimes larger files as we print construction plans, which are commonly 24"x36", 30"x42" or 36"x48" size). 90% of everything we are working with or looking at is stored on my files server. Other computers do fairly lite work, such as Point of Sale computers and inventory for our merchandise.

    I know I am going to be capped by either the Gigabit ethernet on my files server or the total read/write speed of its hard disc. The file server is setup with FreeNAS v9
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    place servers on the gigabit ports

    that's right
    don't really need the design systems setting on the precious gB
    SFP stands for "small form-factor pluggable" and is a hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a switch port, allowing multiple options for connectivity.
    You've done well. Pictorially, you should think
    isp ====router=GB(1)=switch---- other work stations
                     (gigabit ports 3x)
                            +----- file server FreeNAS v9
                            +----- [ next switch for expansion ] - - - - more stations                      
    you can just extend off the end of one gigabit port :)
  3. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    Well good to know I have setup the network more or less correctly.

    Since I'm often working on large raster documents that are several gigs, it greatly speeds up transferring files to and from my server, and loading files into Photoshop directly from my server if I have Gigabit Ethernet hooked up to that computer.

    I would like to increase the speed of file transfers between computers, and between my workstations and server. So I thought was to upgrade to a gigabit switch. Looking for a recommendation for a Gigabit switch that would fit my needs.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Should be a straight remove/replace drop in.
    While you are at it, highly recommend adding cable tags to all cables attached to the router. It becomes defacto documentation and aids in future efforts.

    I fear that all stations are working (editing) across the network to the single NAS server, and thus the network is very busy all day and Joey's work will then impact Maryellen's.

    Are you familiar with Source Control systems where the paradigm is:
    1. checkout a file for work by Joey
    2. Joey does mods, prints proofs
    3. when this unit of work is done
    4. joey does a checkin as complete
    the work flow then becomes
                          (b) ----->checkout for joey ----> to joey's HD
    (a) NAS file server-------                                     joey edit's proofs
                           (c)<---- checkin by joey <----- work complete
    Ignoring other systems, the only time the network is busy is when (b) or (c) occure and the NAS(a) has less work to do to too. All the editing and Photoshop saving occurs to the users local HD, and joeys workstation doesn't interfere with Maryellen either
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

  6. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    I have never really thought about it much. I always encourage everyone to save to the server, and work off the server since their individual computers are not backed up, but the server is backed up both locally and off site via CrashPlan. I will have to looked into source control.

    But, as for the switch do you have any hardware you would recommend, or recommend I say away from :p.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Professionally, we always used Cisco networking equipment.

    btw: you do have a UPS under the NAS don't you and wired for auto shutdown upon power outage???

    Great. If the Joey's system crashed, only his current work from the last checkout would be lost and the server version from where it was obtained would still be present and current.

    If you want to create a test environment for Source Control(SC), you can take a copy of any file, and import / add it to the SC and then play with the SC tools for that one file. The original is left as the 'official production version' for others to still use. Later, you can toss that version and start over for real.

    The biggest challenge will be getting the whole staff up to speed on SC. If you're good with Powerpoint, you can create a presentation of the workflow, one page for each activity {add new file, checkout, checkin, compare (or diff) but that's useless for binary files like graphics, status (who's working on what and current versions)
  8. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    Yes I have a UPS with my NAS, Switch, and Router plugged into it, and it is hooked up to the NAS setup to auto shutoff if it looses power for more then 5 minutes, then it emails me when I comes back online.

    I will take a look at some Cisco switches then.
  9. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    Well I'm looking at this guy here then:

    Cisco Small Business 200 Series SLM2048T-NA

    It looks like it will support LACP so I can bond the 2 NIC's from my NAS together. Something I have wanted to do since I set up my new file server, but could never get the web interface to play nice on my current switch.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    :big grin: Use the QoS interface to put all streaming services at the bottom of the stack - - limits gaming performance to keep the team focused on work.

    Also, if possible, disable port 8080 / remote management interface access; frequently an open backdoor :sigh:
  11. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    I take it you like that switch :D.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    It's just fine - - I've been relating general principles all along w/no preference per se.

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