Adding a gigabit switch to a LAN

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We have a small LAN with all PCs and the server running 100 Mbit NICs. The server (W2k Server) NIC is capable of running at a gigabit and I woiuld like to utilise this feature. Unfortunately our switch doesn't have the capability, so I would like to know if it is possible to daisy chain a small gigabit switch like the 3Com OfficeConnect Gigabit Switch 5 onto our main switch and use the full capacity of the server NIC?
ASKED: February 18, 2005  9:35 AM
UPDATED: February 21, 2005  11:26 AM

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The gig switch should be downward compatible with the 10/100 switch, then comes the bottle neck?the 10/100 switch. Keeping in mind that you will need cat6 cable for the gig NIC to work plus if in the future you replace your 10/100 with a gig switch you have to rewire from 10/100 cable to gig cable standards?so yes you can use the gig switch but you won?t be utilizing the card to it?s potential for obvious reasons.

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  • Astronomer
    This all depends on your architecture. If you replace the high traffic section of your network with the Gbit switch then you could get significant gains. If you leave all of the other systems on the 100Mbit switch then you have gained nothing. The way I would do this is put your main bandwidth users on the gbit switch (e.g. 10 100Mbit users and the server connected to the Gbit switch would allow all 10 to get approximately 100Mbit from the Gbit server in parallel, barring other bottlenecks).
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  • Harg7769
    Cat 6? Doesn't 5e work with a gig card? The server sits beside the switch anyway so re-cabling isn't an issue at the moment as I can plug straight into the switch from the server. It's obviously not going to be an ideal situation but would the introduction of the gigabit switch improve LAN performance to any great degree, or would I only see a real improvement if the whole network was upgraded to Cat5e/6 with gigabit NICs?
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  • DrillO
    Cat6 is the standard fro G-Bit......Cat5e is not rated fro it. I agree putting the server and power users on the G-Bit switch is the way to go. Then, you can plug the other switches or hubs into it as well. You might as well use as much of the G-Bit switch to seliver as much as you can at 100 Mbits. Paul
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  • Ramheka
    cat5E supports up to a gig I think gigbit switches did appear before Cat6 which supports up to 10 GIG,usually running a gig bacbone brings an impovment to the network speed even if the clients still switching at 100Mb remember your switch is as good as its back bus as long as all your switches are uplinked at agig speed and your serves are hooked to a gig module for sure you will end up with a good overall speed
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  • Larrythethird
    Cat 5 cable is doing just fine for my gig users and servers. There's very little chance of getting a wire speed gig out of any single server anyway. Unless you have hundreds of gig of ram installed, the hard drives are just not fast enough to support tranfers at that rate. As stated in previous replies, your network is limited the to slowest connection between any two points. Depending on your existing switch, you should still see a bit of improvement by connecting the servers and anyone transfering a lot of data to the new switch.
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  • Harg7769
    Thanks guys - I'm looking at some switches just now so I'll hopefully have one arranged pretty soon and we can see if it resolves the issue.
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