1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 15, 2012 5:01 AM by Zak Kahl

    Network Environment Architecture...Need ideas for creating an ideal network.


      So here's the situation. When I started off at my current facility, the network architecture was all out of whack. We have one giant Cisco 4510R switch with several layers where everything is directly connected to it via Gi Ethernet. The problem I can see happening is that if this switch goes down (which Lord willing it shouldn't) every single connected device will go down as well; that means servers, wireless access points, workstations, printers, the whole nine yards. I am looking to reconstruct the architecture of the network where there are failover safety measures accounted for. Here's the caveat. Since we invested almost 100K into this switch, we would be under-utilizing its capabilities if I were to purchase some smaller Cisco devices with 48 ports or so and place those in various areas of the facility. Also, since each device is connected directly to the switch via ethernet cable, we would be pulling wires (and teeth for that matter) left and right to clean up the building.


      So here's what I'm looking for:

      1. A fail safe network enviroment with better utilization of dependencies (i.e. if a child switch goes down it doesnt effect everyone)

      2. Full utilization of our current Cisco Switch

      3. Cost efficient. (lets face it the project would be expensive but rewiring the entire facility is a sure no go.)


      Thoughts anyone?

        • Re: Network Environment Architecture...Need ideas for creating an ideal network.
          Zak Kahl

          This has been a challenge for many in the last 10 years or so.  Some of newer hardware from Cisco and other vendors addresses it.  For example the 3750 stack switches, if one of the members fails another will take over.  But from what you are describing, a child switch shouldn't affect any one else unless there is another switch dazy-changed off it.  Best practice is to have each switched home-runned back your 4510r.


          What if the 4510r fails?  To solve this you would install another switch, and setup HSRP between the two for all the VLAN's.  Also, setup dual uplinks from the child switches, one two each parent switch.  Make sure you have spanning tree enabled setup correctly!  If the child switches are L3 capable, then you can also build this using a routing protocol on the uplinks instead of L2 and spanning tree.


          Hope this helps and gets you going.


          Zak Kahl