How many switches for a small network?

5 pts.
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Network Configuration
Network design
Port Switches
Switches
im designing a network for a small business. There are three departments in the business retail sales - 80 employees, sale support - 10 employees, accounts - 15 employees. I've decided to use star topology. It will have one router connecting to many switches. I was thinking of using multiple 48 port switches. Would it be good to have one switch for each department or otherwise and how many switch should i use. The business is expecting expansion in the next five years. Thanks

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Generally you can use many switches in a line, but you should consider time delay in switching proces, and that all of them remain in same broadcast area.

I suggest you to use 3 x 48 port switch if you can connect all users in range of structured cabling system (90 m). These switches should be stacked, so that they act as one switch, and one of them should be connected to router.

If switches are not in range, then think about distributed star configuration, where access switches are positioned in cabling range, and these access swithces should be connected to main switch connected to router.

Good luck!

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  • jinteik
    yeah you can use multiple of 48 switches or u can even use 24 port switches. it actually depends on your future expansion too...if you have the extra cash get those with 1gbps switch so that you don't need to upgrade next time too.. and like Pop59 say, you will need to watch your length of your connection..
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  • Yorkshireman
    Homework question ? You'll need to do some research about line speeds and predicted traffic then. Will the applications use GUIs or block-mode interfaces? Makes a huge diference to the amount of data..
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  • Ushay
    what are the distances between the the dept? I Suggest you to use the two 48 ports switches in the retail sales dept and 24 port switch used in sales support and accounts. when your business will expand, increase your switches through cascading. kindly verify your cable length, it must be under 100 meters. bcz switches supports only in 100 m range. if your cabling is CAT 6, i prefer you to go with gigabit manageable switches.
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  • Richter13
    Excellent reply by Pop59. First thing is to be clear about the length of the cable-run you will need & if it is within the range mentioned in the other posts. you need not buy separate switches for each department. do all segregation of this nature logically, via VLANs. if the length allows you to have a stack of switches in the center, well & good. A non blocking, line rate switch does not suffer from the same latencies and lags at layer 2, which must be accommodated where Layer 3 has to be parsed. as long as it is frame switching between interfaces, the fabric will do fine as long as not saturated at the ingress. with a central stack of switches, you can add to them, further switches in the future, should expansion dictate such need. A stack of switches is a single logical switch, though comprised of physically separate switches. this will ease management, and also, spanning-tree within the stack is not required. otherwise, have a two-tier design of access switches connecting to an upstream core switch via trunks, and the core connecting to your router. STP will be a consideration in this design.
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