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24 Port Gigabit Switch, what would be best for our setup?

Last response: in Networking
August 31, 2010 1:55:08 PM

Hey all,

I am hoping some of you network gurus can help me out. I am knowledgeable/very expected with computers and building/maintaining them. But I don't have very much experience/play time with the whole network side, beside my small home gigabit network. I am trying to find the best 24 port full gigabit switch for our setup

I have been tasked by my company to setup a little sever/network, 24 people at the most. We are going offline from our corp. IT. They have not been able to fix ours issues (on-going 2 year battle), management is tired of the battle and decided to make a change themselves. So with that said I will be managing this server/network and computers connected to it from here on out, don't asked how I got selected.

With that said, the only thing that will be accessing/transferred over this server/network is SolidWorks models and drawings. They will range from small to extremely large models (30,000+ piece parts) and the drawings will range the same, small to large (200MB). We will be using SolidWorks 2010 ePDM to manage everything. This entire network will not have outside internet access.

We have inherited a brand new (1 year old), never been used server from another group within our company. It will be running Windows Server 2008 R2. If needed, I can provide the specs of everything but I didn't think it was needed for my question.

I am looking for a 24 port full gigabit switch. In doing my research, I have learned a good deal in the last few days but not enough to feel comfortable in making a decision on one and it being the best one for our setup. I am not sure if we need a unmanaged, managed or web-managed one. In learning what POE is, I believe, we don't need that. Seeing the prices and how they can be all over the place, I want to spend $1000 or less for the switch.

Really at this point I am looking for some advice and anyone with knowledge/background to help me increase mine, to allow me to select the best switch for our setup.

Please let me know if I need expand and provide more info.

Thanks and I look forward to the discussion/learning session for me.
August 31, 2010 3:07:43 PM

After doing a little more research. I believe a unmanaged switch will be best for us. That way each port will have full bandwidth and I don't have to manage each port. I am still looking into Smart switches. It initial looks like they are b/w unmanaged and managed, sound right?
August 31, 2010 3:13:45 PM

If you don't want to get too technical and deal with the switch, an unmanaged switch is the way to go.
A managed switch will let you set up VLANs and ACLs and all that stuff. 24 users pulling 200MB drawings won't really kill a 24 port gigabit switch. Though, you'll want to make sure everything is running on gigabit if possible.

I'd recommend almost any 24 port Cisco unmanaged gigabit switch. $500-$600 range is my guestimate.

If you server has a fiber connection, grab a switch with a fiber port and you can plug the server directly into the switch at fiber speeds. Overall though, I'd say you would be fine using a 24 port switch with everything attached. It won't be getting hammered constantly. The server may be the slow point with the read/write of the hard drives trying to serve and write data from people accessing it.

Check out Newegg or even CDW if you have a rep there to buy a switch. Cisco is an awesome brand for your environment. Other brands exist but Cisco is pretty much around 98% of the world's environment.
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August 31, 2010 4:40:22 PM

After reading all the reviews of the NETGEAR JGS524 from Newegg. I am kind of thinking it is the way to go. I also see the Netgear can do full duplexing with a max 2 GB/s. I'm not sure if the Cisco can, I assume it can do 1GB/s but not sure.
August 31, 2010 7:25:49 PM

Yeah, that'll work. Don't fall into the hype of the reviews though. It is all based on the same technology. The cisco switch has 2 ports on it that you can plug additional switches into or plug your server into directly (I believe on this model it is design for switch or server, maybe just switch). The benefit there is a dedicated channel for data communication.

Either way, either switch will easily serve your needs.
August 31, 2010 8:10:09 PM

Sweet, thank you for the help. I really appreciate it.