connecting the 5th and 7th floosr of a building

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Hi, Everybody My network covers the 5 th floor of an office building, and now we expanding to the 7th floor (a half-dozen users. All the servers and telecom closet are on the 5th floor and I have to provide network services to the users on the 7th floor. I would like to have the opunion of this distinguished panel on the solutions I have in mind as I have never done this kind of project before. 1 - Wireless solution get a powerfull antenna (any suggestion?) connect it to the lan on the 5th floor then setup a wireless router/switch on the 7th floor then wire the workstations to the router/switch. The main concern here is security/speed. 1 - Optic Fiber run a fiber from the 5th to the 7th floor and on each side I would use an optical switch/media converter. At this time I do not see the drawbacks of the second option but I am sure there are some. Please any input is very welcome specialy on the wireless option ie product/interference/security issues. Thanks for your time.

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Hi there,

Its all going to be your choice at the end of the day!
But some tips i can give you:
Wireless : Wireless access points can be very secure depending on how its implemented!
Line of site between the two antennas can be a problem if u r looking for speed, but that all depends on how the building is laid out, so if using antennas where r u planning to put it?I know that wireless transmission is the technology to go these days, but i still will still prefer fiber optics in your situation!It will all depend on how much you r prepared to spend on this project?With fiber optics you r going to have the speed you probably want and security can be set up to a maximum, both implemenations can be expensive to implement but as far as i understand with you wanting to connect two floors fiber optic will be the way to go!

Good luck

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  • Nephi1
    I agree with Wazz that at the end of the day its your choice and your burden to support. For wireless I would (personally and if I had full say) go with 2 wireless links (no SSID broadcast, WEP/WAP/AES(or what ever the strong encryption is), and MAC address locking) and if you go those wireless NICs/APs with 108mbps connection, it would give you a reasonable good speed as the load is shared. But for upgradablity I would go a nice fibre optic backbone (with a few dark fibres for spare (ones not used)) as this would give you the speed if the 7th floor usage increased a lot.
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  • BadFinger
    Why not just KISS it... Gigabit Ethernet is cheap and simple. After all we are talking about 6 nodes here and it's only 2 floors(20ft)...
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    In the event you find yourself in a similar situation two years from now, running fiber on the vertical plane is absolutely the way to go. If you go wireless, your performance will be problematic and you will multiply your security problems. Run fiber up the "riser", between closets, switch-to-switch. BTW, is the building not already "wired" between floors? If not, try involving building management in a "modernization" project to get some cost and risk sharing going; good luck!
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  • Suntigen
    Everything depend on your budget... but I would recommend to NOT use Wi-Fi. The speed of Wi-Fi as a bridge is unacceptable when you're talking about the distance of two building floors. While 54Mbps (and later 106Mbps) may be acceptable today it probably won't be as your organization and its' need for data grows. Wi-Fi is also subject to all sorts of interference which could cause you unforeseen intermittent problems. Your best bet is to bring fiber up both ends of your floor (so you have redundant paths). If you're pulling new fiber, pull as much as you can afford, but pull at least 6-pair per run. The cost of fiber is miniscule compared to the cost of pulling it (especially factoring in your time and energy getting all the necessary approvals to pull more fiber around another tenant). Depending on your cable run distances, set up an appropriate number of Intermediary Distribution Facility (IDF; a.k.a. Remote Switch Room) with a direct link to your Main Distribution Facility (MDF; a.k.a. Core Switch Room). Use a switch where you can directly traceive your fiber (probably multi-mode). Switch manufacturers such as Cisco, Foundry and Extreme all make great switches which can accomplish this. An added bonus to looking at Foundry switches, is you can get a 96-port 10/100 switch w/ 4 1000 Base-T copper/fiber ports for a very reasonable cost. You would also get basic layer-3 routing so you would be able to wire-speed route different networks on your floors. Just my $0.02 (actually... I'm paid $225/hour usually... so this is my $~$100) - matthewk
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  • HumbleNetAdmin
    The fiber solution is by far your best choice. The only draw back to this solution is that it is slightly more costly in the fact that you would need someone to come in and place the connectors on your fiber end, unless it may be possible to order the length of fiber you need with the ends already attached, that is possible for certain lengths I know. Make sure that you get the correct fiber, end connectors and fiber switches for the fiber type. Another option to adding a fiber switch to your telecom closet on the 5th floor is just to add a media converter that you connect the fiber too, and then an Ethernet cable from the converter to an existing switch in the telecom closet, and then of course a fiber switch on the new floor. The plusses to using fiber; almost unlimited bandwidth expansion in the future, secure verses the WI-FI and no chance of EMI, you would not have to worry about further cable upgrades in the future if it is needed (unless of course you exceed that of the fiber), and you would not have to worry about bandwidth requirements in the future overwhelming you WI-FI solution. If you run the fiber your self, make sure that you ad a several feet extra into the cable for future use (just in case you need it, a feet on each end would be best). You can?t stretch cables (of course you know that), however if you don?t get your CAT5 long enough it?s not so bad to pull another, a little more of a problem for fiber. If someone else runs it, you make sure they leave some extra on both ends. And of course as mentioned by an earlier posting, WI-FI injects more security concerns for you network that must be taken into consideration.
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  • Dfng2002
    Going with fiber would be your most secure and safest bet. Too many weakness' with trying to deploy wireless to such a small group, or too much of a cost trying to cope with security issues for so few. Unless its the brass ring that wants wireless for 'name' sake.
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  • Senomango
    Thanks to all of you who took the time to give their take on my project. I really appreciate the substance of what ha been said on this panel. I was leaning toward the fiber and now my conviction is made. But for the sake of comparing I would have to come up with a wireless solution, would you please suggest (based on your experience) reliable products such as for antennas/switches, and optic switches as well. I do have an idea about the products but I would like to hear from experienced professionals. Many Thanks.
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  • Suntigen
    for wireless solutions... I'd go with the Cisco product suite. Depending on how you can "sight" the two floors, find an antenna (hopefully you can use a directional one) which will work. For a optical solution... I would look at putting a Foundry 9604 or 2402 in both our core and your edge locations (depending upon needed port densities). These switches are relatively inexpensive, and you should be able to bond two pair of fiber together and have a 2Gbps "trunked" span between the two floors. This will enable you to VLAN and set up security zones across all the switches.... and with Foundry switch's basic Layer-3 switching, wire-speed routing between are easy to do. - matthewk
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  • Jayaramks
    Hi There My Choice would be the Fibre Optic because of 1. Scalability 2. Speed 3. Expandability 4. Security After all As Net Admins we have to plan ahead and Fibre Optic will suit such Plans. I had done few Wireless solutions but later on decided to go for Fibre Optic as Business is growing, there is lot of Demand on the connectivity and Speed. As correctly said at the end of the your are master and you need to decide
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  • Skp02in
    i would suggest fiber...if you're occupying 7th floor on a long term basis. you just need to run a pair of them for DATA and for voice you can use normal copper raiser cables. You will need fiber to ethernet converters on both end so that you can connect the uplink/downlink to your normal 10/100 switch.
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  • Karl Gechlik
    Fiber is the way to go and I would get HP Procurve switches that allow for the fiber module to plug directly into your manageable switch. You will forget about the connection after a little while like I did. We just recently expanded to a second floor above us. We had the fiber run for us when they did our drops. We tried wireless and wired ethernet and wireless dropped way to often for our requirements and we saw a significant slow down on our gigabit network with cat6e. Fiber all they way!
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