What happens if we add more switches on the network

20 pts.
Network performance
What happens if we add more swiches on the network,Is it affect to the performence and is there any limitation for that.

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Usually the reason for adding more switches to a network is to add port density or increase the reach of the network. Adding switches will not typically increase network performance unless you are replacing old 10/100 switches with 100/1000 switches and doing etherchannel between the switches to provide higher bandwidth between them.

To add to the above answer, understand that the speed of your network is only as fast as the slowest component. This is to say that if you do add faster switches but are not upgrading node NIC(s) to that same 100/1000 switch, then a GB switch is uselss.

(WS) Similarly, consider your network topology when adding more switches. If you have 4 floors and the main switch which goes to your servers is on the first floor, attempt to wire the 4th floor switch directly to the 1st floor switch (GB) and not daisy chain through switches 2 and 3. To attempt to clarify the issue: a 4th floor workstation user wants to save a 2 GB file to the server. Poor network implementation would force this through the 4th floor switch, then through the 3rd floor switch, then through the 2nd floor switch, then through the 1st floor switch and finally into the server room. Not only would this file have to pushed through several switches, it would also be slowed down by any other information being pushed from floors 1, 2, or 3 because the information is being bottlenecked into one connection. Better network implementation would have a GB link from the 4th floor directly to the 1st floor so the information follows the path of least resistance. For you main backbone you should have all GB because that is where traffic is the heaviest.

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  • Jmkelly
    Adding switches could actually degrade the network's performance. The dirty secret of switches is that they do not, by nature, work with Ethernet's approach to minimizing congestion. A hub (remember hubs?) forces each station to retain its data until the network is free*. This is by design. It has the effect of keeping congestion out of the center of the network. A switch, by nature, will freely accept frames on one port no matter how busy the other ports are. There are no collisions, which looks really good in the sales brochures -- instead, frames just stack up in the switch's memory, and any frame that isn't forwarded within 1 second is simply dropped. In a TCP session, that means timeouts and retransmissions, i.e. much worse performance. Rather than blindly adding switches, assess the quality of the switches you have and the loads they're handling (as Labnuke99 suggests). Which ports have the most traffic? Which ports can have their bandwidth throttled down so you can increase the bandwidth on other ports? Are some switches getting totally swamped? Is the center of the switch fabric fast enough to handle the aggregate traffic? Are your switches intelligent enough to tell you any of this and let you do something about it? Can you set up VLANs to channel the traffic into streams that don't interfere with each other (thereby enhancing security as well)? If not, you need new switches, and not cheap dumb ones. There's a reason why the people who run big networks don't buy cheap dumb switches. A top-of-the-line Cisco switch is going to have a big price tag -- but it'll save you a lot of headaches and a lot of staff time in the long run. *The mechanism that enforces this is called "collisions"; Rich Seifert says now that he wishes his team had called them something else, like "medium access arbitration events," because people seem to get all freaked out when they hear the word "collisions."
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