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Which 8 or 16 port switches for 100 ppl LAN party

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April 14, 2011 6:50:07 PM

Hi everyone

I'm part of a group which regularly hosts LAN Parties at our university. Usually we have been borrowing switches from the university's IT department: 24 or 48 ports high end managed switches (HP, Cisco or similar) which is in reserve for the main university network.

New head of IT -> we cannot borrow them any more... to much work for the IT-department.

So we will go ahead and purchase our own. We will not be bying 10x 24port switches (as we usually borrow) since each "table" usually has less than 10 people, so 24 ports will be a waste (but when you borrow them, what the heck).

So we are looking for some 8 and 16 port switches. They will be linked like this:



One "main switch" with 1Gbit on each port. One 8 or 16 port switch for each 10-12 person table which will link back to the main switch. The switches the users will eventually link to should probably just be 100Mbit on each port and maybe have a 1Gbit uplink port?

The reason why I'm asking which switches to buy and not just buying http://www.ebuyer.com/product/54225 or something is:

I've for many years attended a "professionally" hosted LAN party ($50 tickets). They use some 8 port D-Link consumer/home switches for their last tier and they break down all the time and needs replacing or restart. And I know from my home DSL Router (supplied by my ISP) that it simply cannot route traffic for 10 computers, even though it in principle should be able to route for an "unlimited number of computers". The same situation could apply for switches - buy some cheap $50 switch and it will crash on you if you really load it on all ports for extended periods of time. So that's why I'm not too keen on buying regular $50 home networking switches.

What do you guys think?

Best, Wuhtzu
April 15, 2011 7:34:11 PM

Business class switches would be your best bet. BUT, if you don't know how or have someone to program them, they won't do you much good.

"Green" in the name means it won't hold up for extended amount of time. Look around at some computer shops, or ebay for some used ones. You might also check some companies and see if they have some old ones they will sell you.
As for the lower end switches. I only have one which isn't too much different from the one in your link. I only have 2 comps on it though.
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April 16, 2011 3:56:28 PM

sturm said:
Business class switches would be your best bet. BUT, if you don't know how or have someone to program them, they won't do you much good.

"Green" in the name means it won't hold up for extended amount of time. Look around at some computer shops, or ebay for some used ones. You might also check some companies and see if they have some old ones they will sell you.
As for the lower end switches. I only have one which isn't too much different from the one in your link. I only have 2 comps on it though.


I have 3 of the switches i linked go (Green D-Link 1Gbit) and they work perfectly well for a few computers - i do not know how they hold up if you connnect 8 computer to it and max out the 8 connections for prolonged periods of time.

So "business class" switches was also what I was thinking - but which ones to buy? What will a medium sized company og school buy when looking for 8 or 16 port switches?
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April 27, 2011 8:08:30 AM

No suggestions?

Thank you - Wuhtzu
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April 27, 2011 4:03:53 PM

There is also the option of getting some used Cisco 24 port switches -- www.usedcisco.com has some advertised for $134 (about 10% of the new cost)
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April 27, 2011 4:32:00 PM

http://www.staples.com/Cisco-SRW224G4-24-port-10-100-4-...

i'ts a 24 port, but my reason is this.

24 Ports allow for expansion later.

You can handle more users with less switches (this increase bandwidth as even layer2 switches take a hit on your bandwidth)

Cisco is a really good brand, and allow many setup options.


How many tables of (10ish people) are you planning to have?

Is this permanent setup in a room or temp (you plan to store it between lan parties?)




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April 27, 2011 8:32:40 PM

Thank you for your replies.

The reason for me opting for 8-16 ports is that we mainly have these tables of 10-15 people and taking 24 port switches would create quite a large overhead. Of course, as you say, 24 ports will leave room for expansion. But having 24 ports centrally placed on a 24 person table would require people to have quite long network cables (we are a comfortable LAN, people have 1.6 meters table :p )

It's a temp installation - we move in on Fridays and move out on Sundays.

No doubt Cisco is a quality brand when it comes to networking.

Do you know if it is possible to get a 8 or 16 ports switch with each of the 8-16 ports being 100Mbit and 1 special uplink port being 1Gbit? So each client can communicate at max 100Mbit, but up to 10 users can do that at the same time... Because if I buy a 16 port 100Mbit switch 16 users will be sharing those 16Mbit, but maybe going for full 1Gbit switch is the only option.

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May 16, 2011 9:16:48 AM

A friendly bump.

Thanks again,
Wuhtzu
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