Designing a network using unmanaged switch

By dw-lim ·
After searching around, looking for solution but without luck, I decided to post my problem.

Currently, the users in the company I'm working for are complaining that the internet is running too slowly (Yes, you can't believe how slow it is). The speed is worst than the 56kpbs.

I'm suspecting the culprit of this problem is the poor network design.

The company first started out with a small amount of people thus using 1 switch. As the company grows, so do the network, thus 1 more switch are added to the previous switch to expand the network. Very soon, the same situation happens again and again, one more switch is added to the previously added switch. Wireless AP is then added to the switches in order for the laptop to have wireless access.

The result? Only 1 port of the router is used, the remaining router ports are not used at all and switches are stacked. 3 wireless APs are deployed even though the size of the company is small.

Currently, the current network design looks something like this:

My proposed setup is to make use of the remaining ports of the router by connecting the switches to it instead for having switch connected to switch and connect to switch again (like the previous setup).

Also, I proposed to move the network storage that are only shared by individual group to their respective switch that they are connected to and reduce the Wireless AP to only 1 since its redundant to have 3 considering the small office space.

Thus, my proposed setup would look something like this:

The cisco router (DHCP) is the one serving IP addresses and all the switches are unmanaged.

My question is how feasible is my proposed setup. Feasible as in will it work? Will it ease the bottleneck? How effective will this setup be in terms of scalability in future? Do I need to change hardwares?

I know VLAN might works since the CISCO router most likely have the ability to do so, but I have no experience in configuring it therefore would like to find another way with the current hardware the company have if possible.

Pardon my ignorant/poor design as I'm still a beginner when comes to networking.

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All Answers

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My guess is that your performance issue

by robo_dev In reply to Designing a network using ...

is mainly your switch 'daisy chain' topology.

Assuming that the uplinks are 100mbs and the user ports are 100mbs, you're waaay over-subscibing those uplinks.

It will help to connect each switch to the router, but only partly.

What you really need is to have your edge switches have Gigabit uplinks, and have something like an 8-port gigabit switch as the aggregation point...then hang your internet connection(s) off that.

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by dw-lim In reply to My guess is that your per ...

Well... my company is already using gigabit (but in daisy chain, hmm didn't know that's what it called) although some of the older models PCs doesn't support it but majority do.

Forgive me, but...

1) What do you means by edge switches? The first switches that connects to the router? The ones at the edge or perimeter?

2) What's aggregation point?

3) What do you means by hang your internet connection off that?

So, in any case, is it possible to make use of the gigabit unmanaged switches? Or do I need a managed switch?

EDIT: Oh wait, does that means that I have to get the switches to be gigabit (which already is) but restrict the speed of the user's network card to use only 100mbps or maybe 10mbps instead of allowing them to have gigabit connection too?

Is this what you mean?

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by robo_dev In reply to But...

The edge switches are where the user PCs connect. The 'core' or aggregation switch (sometimes called backbone) has to be faster/higher bandwidth to handle all the PC traffic.

Typically you give them 100mbs and use one or more gig or faster links as the uplink to an 'aggregation switch' capable of handling high speed server traffic as well we all the user traffic from the edge switches.

If you do gig to the desktop, then you need 10 gig as the uplink/core speed.

For example, if a twelve-port 100MBS switch has all 12 users doing a file transfer at the same time, they would be oversubscribing a single gigabit switch uplink and absolutely hammering a 100mbs uplink.

The general 'core' network design also assumes that you have some server, such as a database or mail server. Ordinarily, this switch would be connected to the core/aggregation switch at gigabit or faster speed so it can serve all user PCs.

When I mean hang your internet connection off that, I mean that the core/aggregation switch is typically separate from the router or routers that connect to the internet.

The internal switch that is built into a router is typically a fairly slow 10/100 switch. This may be fine for a home user with five PCs, but it's waaaaay too slow to use as an aggregation point or core switch for multiple edge switches.

Managed versus unmanaged really does not matter. A managed switch may have some features you need, such as VLANS, but it won't be any faster.

Sorry I cannot see your diagrams...blocked by the proxy here.

read the section about duplex mismatch..this is a very common problem that will slow down your network.

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by dw-lim In reply to Answers

Thanks!!! I really appreciate your detailed tips and explanation. It really enlighten me and saves me lots of time trying to dig around the internet for information when nothing really shows up.

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Listen to robo

by Churdoo In reply to My guess is that your per ...
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Thanks, I appreciate that.

by robo_dev In reply to Listen to robo

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