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10mb or 100mb Switch for Small Packets?

By accolon ·
Greetings all,
I've searched and searched, but can't seem to come to a good conclusion yet, and would appreciate any switched packets experts who could comment. :)

We have a number of campuses, each with a number of classrooms, who use a 3Meg ADSL connection to get to the net.
In addition to the classrooms doing basic browsing and some downloading, we also have a number of thin clients (Windows 2000 Terminal Services using RDP) running in the admin offices. These thin clients are making connections to the head office, over the internet, through the same ADSL from above.

The thin clients only have 10Mb NICs in them, and the same with the hubs in the classrooms (although they may get changed out for 100Mb switches soon).

While bandwidth saturation isn't a problem, I'm at a quandry as to what you use as a main hub/switch for the closet.
In other words, some are arguing that since the ADSL connection is the tightest bottleneck, it doesn't matter what I use in the closet... andthat I should re-use an old 10Mb Hub.

From what I read, I am convinced that a 10Mb Switch would at least help to make sure that the latency to the thin clients is reduced as much as possible... but now wonder if a 100Mb switch would help any morebeyond that.
(speed of the backplane, etc, ???)

Dunno... looking for a definitive answer, if anyone has any thoughts. :-)
Thin clients has a billion little tiny packets, and any latency of these packets is the killer.


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Ahh the joys...

by radiic In reply to 10mb or 100mb Switch for ...

You have your answers already but I will just reconfirm some things for you.

1) You are only as strong across your wan as your weakest link. In your case your ADSL connection.

2) Moving from hubs to switches, helps at that segment of your lan. Why. Because a switch works at layer2 and builds an arp table of the mac address and associated ip address of whats connected to each switch port. Hubs work at Layer1 and broadcast the packets to every port on the hub instead of directing it tothe right port. If you want to improve performance of the traffic then move to switch's if you and your users are ok with your current speed then stay with the hubs. My personal opinion is to move to the switches.

One thing to look out for if you move to switches are those old arcaic nics you might have that dont play nice with the beautiful feature of autosensing switches. Also you will have problems with laptops...Most of the time you will have to tell the port how the lap nic works (ex.10mg full duplex)

I just working for this company about a year ago, and one of the first things i recommended changing was the 3 com hubs at each end of the wan to Cisco switches. I have a 128k frame relay between the points. I used to average 67k of throughput before the upgrade now its 117k. Almost double the Throughput.

Try this tool


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Will 100Mb offer any reduced latency?

by accolon In reply to Ahh the joys...


Will 100Mb switches offer anything much to my layout, and the small multiple packets?

Even if, just due to the fact that their entire technology is newer? ie: speed of packet travel

Or are we already running near the limit with 10Mb switches?

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To what do you attribute

by road-dog In reply to Ahh the joys...

this performance increase? The existing 3com switches should overdrive the WAN link. Did you implement some Cisco proprietary switch/router configuration that increased throughput? Or, were there some existing problems with the 3com gear that went away during the upgrade? Did you see anything indicating layer 1-2 problems pre-rollout?

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