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Designing Small-business network for a hotel

Last response: in Networking
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December 20, 2013 2:32:51 AM

Hi, I'm working in one hotel with 50 rooms and 5 floors. Every floor has 5-8 rooms some of the are apartments. Unfortunately the hotel doesn't have enough money for buying professional equipment for building a good network. We are using a switches using TP-Link, Repotec and CNet switches with 5-8 ports. Before 3-4 weeks there was electrical shock and some of theme are not functioning properly. Wi-Fi is using D-Link DI-524 per room. I want to upgrade the network dealing with 50-75 Euro per month budget. Starting from this month I want to buy 1 16-port switch. I was looking at CISCO SF100D-16 which has 5-year warranty and costs 50 euro. It's unmanaged and the question here is do I need managed/smart If I'm not going to build VLANs? Will gigabit switch last longer in my scenario and should I connect it to coupler with surge protection? On this switch I'm going to connect 1 TP-Link WDR-3600 router for AP on the same floor which got 5 rooms. In the future I will add 1-2 more of these routers and connect the using WDS. Right now I don't want to use 802.1x authentication. WLAN controllers are too expensive and I don't want to deploy them and btw I don't know how. I have only CCNA certification, studying CCNA Wireless, but I think I will need some other certification to be a wireless designer.

Topology is very simple

There are 5 floors with two entrances. Every floor has 1 or 2 switches working as if it was the distribution layer to which we connect the AP. Every room has one AP. The core layer is the main switch which is connected to Cisco 1811 router. Our work network also is within this network, and the PCs are connected to this main switch also.
December 20, 2013 3:46:08 AM

Keeping 1 ap per room is a good design although those AP are getting kinda old.

That switch should work as well as any other unmanged switch. The only other advantage to a managed switch is troubleshooting problems you can see utilization and mac addresses etc etc where a unmanged on you are blind. You might as well go gig even if you don't really need it there is very little difference in the cost lately.

Power tends to be the largest factor that changes a design. Most cheap surge protection is worthless and the ones that work well tend to cost a bit. Because of the cost of these units many times you concentrate your equipment even more. I know we use small UPS both to protect and provide during a tiny outage. We run PoE AP so they are protected by the same ups. Hard to say what to do in your case. It depends on the distance but running multiple floors from fewer rooms/switches makes it easier to provide good power protection.

You want to avoid using WDS. This is not a standard it is a very loose recommendation and there is massive issue with compatibility between vendors. You already have cable so I would not use wireless extender of any kind. Most the trash you see on the market transmits and receives on the same channel. What you want is a real repeater that uses 1 radio to talk to the main router and a second to provide AP services to the clients.

CCNA wireless will give you a very good background in the topic. The largest thing to learn is that things that work well using commercial gear sometime are compromised by price using consumer gear. Repeaters being the best example. Right now vendors call everything "range extender" confusing people even more that really need to know the difference between a AP and a client-bridge and a repeater.

Hopefully you have vlans on your main switch you do not want your work network on the same network you provide open connections to clients.
December 20, 2013 7:33:08 AM

These AP are crap, Apple products don't connect to them. Only TP-Links right now are able to handle them. WR-841ND and Linksys WRT54GL are very good solutions.

You mean Cisco Small Business 100 will handle equally as this switch
Repotec RP-SW16P
http://www.altech.bg/bg/product/7898
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December 20, 2013 9:05:15 AM

Never saw that brand before and they specify the switching rate funny in packets per second.

Most switches ,even $20 4 port ones, specify the backplane speed of the device. most use terms non blocking or wirespeed. The key to knowing that the switch will never bottleneck the packets is if the backplane speed is 2xportspeedxnumber of ports. So a 24 port 10/100/1000 with a back plane speed of 4.8g can simultaneously run all ports at 1g out and 1g in. I suspect the only place you would ever actually worry if a switch could do this was in the core of a big datacenter.

From what i have seen unmanaged switches are all about the same. The key is when you get to managed switches that you will find difference not so much in the thoughput but in the ability to control the traffic with vlans and QoS and stuff.

TP-link has some pretty good product they seem to be giving more well known vendors quite a bit of competition. That linksys router WAS a good router I would never buy it again ...unless it was $5. The money is much better spent on something more modern.

December 20, 2013 11:57:34 PM

OK, the gigabit switch will provide less delay, am I right?

EDIT
And now I'm looking at the HP ProCurve, specifically these with web management. I don't know if they're going to be enough good but I'm going to buy one 8-port gigabit with web-management.
December 21, 2013 3:46:17 AM

We use lots of procurve switches so far they work very well and they are quickly catching up to cisco for features.

Delay is probably not the best description. Most the advantage to gig switches is they allow you to transfer more data in a period of time than 100m. How much advantage this gives in the real world depends on your application. It will of course make no difference on most internet connection because the internet is seldom even 100m. It does help on some file transfers and backups.

The pricing is getting so close for 100m and 1g switches I suspect nobody will sell 100m switches pretty soon.
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