Reply
initqq
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-12-2007

Switch connectivity

I have 3 Linksys managed switches plus 2 more managed switches which are not linksys.  My question is what is the best way to link them up?  Currently I have each switch connected to one another via a port on each switch.  I believe but I may be wrong that all the traffic is being routed via that port.  So I want to know the best way to link everything together.
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Switch connectivity

It depends on your requirements, e.g. on the wiring you have available between all rooms, placement of the switches (wiring closet or in the rooms), the traffic patterns, etc.

Do you have/need VLANs?

Generally, for a start I would recommend to use a simple structure where you only have a single path from one computer to another.

While it is possible to chain switches, generally it is advisable to avoid this. Connect all switches to one core switch or to your router if it has multiple LAN ports.

Devices which require a lot of traffic between them should be put on the same switch if possible.

If the bandwidth of the single connection between two switches it not enough, you can join two or more ports to a single "logical" connection increasing the bandwidth on that leg.

Depending on the LAN traffic patterns a cross connection may be helpful. Once you do that, you should have STP enabled on your switches for them to learn the topology and best forwarding.
initqq
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-12-2007

Re: Switch connectivity

thanks for your reply. No, we don't need vlan's small company, with 2 floors.  I'm not that experienced with switch connectivity and I'm just looking for the best possible way to connect everything to the network without causing bandwidth issues.
initqq
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-12-2007

Re: Switch connectivity

Are there special ports to hookup the switches?
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Switch connectivity

[ Edited ]
I would start with a simple, single path setup. One core switch (unless you take the router). Connect all the other switches from there, i.e. any LAN packet crosses at most 3 switches.

If you find a bottleneck on some switch-switch connection either create a LAG group and connect two ports on both switches.

Continue from there. This gives you the best insight on what traffic patterns you have and what you need. If you simply connect everything with everything it will still work but you don't really know how your traffic flows in your network which is valuable information for the future.

Regarding special ports: In general, no. There are no special ports.

All ports are the same. Some switches have shared ports, though, e.g. some managed Linksys switches have GBIC ports for gigabit fiber connections. Those ports are usually shared with the wired ethernet ports which are closest. "Shared" means you can either have a GBIC module connected or use the wired port but you cannot use both at the same time. The manual of your switches should clearly say which ports are this way if any.

But the wired ethernet ports are usually all the same.

Message Edited by gv on 12-14-2007 01:05 PM