here's a quick (probably no-brainer) question for you:
We have 5 cat5e runs coming from the switch in the server room to our main office, where 5 computers are connected.
So essentially all computers have a dedicated cable run from the switch to the computer, and the server is also connected to the switch.
Let's say we want to add more computers in our main office, what would be the best approach?
For example, we could either:
-Keep the 4 cables going from the switch in the server room to the computers in the main office, and plug the 5th one in a new switch located in the main office, and plug all other computers in that new switch.
-Keep only 1 cable from the switch in the server room to the main office, and connect it to a new switch in the main office. All computers in the main office would then be connected to that new switch.
I'm wondering how network bandwidth is affected by either of these solutions. I have mixed feelings.
Am I wrong in thinking that the 'weak point' is the single cable run between the server room switch and the server, so it doesn't really matter how computers are connected to the network downstream?
The single cable won't really be a "weak link" if it is CAT5e cable and the switch and server adapter are gigabit, and personally I would prefer a single cable to 5 cables, although that would be okay too -- just not very esthetic. If you want to add more computers you can get an 8 or 16 port gigabit switch placed near the computers, which are quite inexpensive, and unless you need really huge bandwidth you should be fine.
It is highly unlikely you will exceed 1g. We for many years would put more than 100 users behind a single 1g uplink. Now we use 10g in new buildings but we seldom see even over a few hundred megbit of traffic so 1g would still be fine.
Your best solution if you were to need more than 1g is to use special switches that can combine multiple 1g ports together. This feature is called 802.3ad.
I really doubt you will need more than 1g no matter how loudly the users say they do.