General discussion

Locked

Hubs and Switches

By nyflyer ·
Currently we have a peer to peer network in an office with approximately 7-10 computers on at a time. We are trying to upgrade performance for pulling and saving data. One of the machines is currently a P4 which is acting as a server No one actuallyuses that machine with the exception of myself. I believe upgrading from a straight hub (Kingston 16 port) to a switch would help. But what brand of switch do you recommend and also is going to a dedicated server better. We are a financial services company and accessing a proprietary database and also the internet. We do have a dsl connection utilizing DHCP. The operating systems that we are using is Win 98 SE and XP professional on the server. Also is going to Win XP Professional on all the machines going to help. Or is Home Edition enough and leave the new machines that we are getting with Home Edition alone. and The Win 98 machines alone Thanks

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

13 total posts (Page 1 of 2)   01 | 02   Next
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by dave.osborne In reply to Hubs and Switches

Do not go to XP Home as you cannot network more than 5 computers together. As far as a switch is concerned, why not take a look at some of the larger makers like belkin, cisco, linksys, or netgear. I'm not sure you are going to find one that is much "better" than another, but you might find one more suited to something you specifically do.

Hope this helps.

-Dave

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Hubs and Switches

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by BudTheGrey In reply to Hubs and Switches

Your network is small enough that there may not be a great deal to gain by swapping the hub out for a switch. This will be somethig to gain if it's a 10 megabit hub, and you're computers are 100megabit capable, or you have a mix of 10 and 100 megabit computers. I've had very good luck with 3Com switches, although last I used them the Kingston units were quite good as well.

Having a dedicated server will also help speed things up. If you only use the server for file sharing, you might wantto consider a network attached storage (NAS) device. They cost anywhere from $600 up, depending on features & storage capacity. They have low administrative overhead, and some are RAID capable, adding a dimension of saftey to the data.

However,you say you have a "proprietary database". If this is a program that you purchased, can it be hosted on a client/server database platform, such as MS/SQL, mySQL, or Oracle? If so, converting to the client/server platform will _dramatically_ speedupdata processing, even with only a handfull of users. The drawback is that doing the conversion may be expensive, both in hardware/software, and in services.

HTH.

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Hubs and Switches

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by ewgny In reply to Hubs and Switches

Some databases can put a heavy load on your network. I have seen some 3rd party databases really dog down a network. You should first determine what is causing your network congestion.
a 100Mbps Hub should be good with such few workstations. Make sure you have a 100Mbps Nic in each workstation. You should also check your cable if it is Cat3 consider upgrading it to Cat5e to handle 100Mbps. Your xp workstation that you are using for a server is limited by Microsoft to only 10 concurrent connections at a time so you may want to look into a server for the future. A dedicated server would be a much better choice for many reasons. A small server with fault tolorence and a tape backup can be very affordable. Windows 2000 will allow you to mirror 2 drives for fault tolerence, through the operating system. This could keep the price of the server down by not having to purchase a controller card. A windows server will also give you the option of running your database on terminal services. Terminal services can acomplish two important things for you. First is database stability. Since the workstations only receive screen images and no data is sent across the network the chances of loosing data because of workstation or network problems is eliminated. Also you would dramatically reduce network traffic, by only having screen data sent to the workstations, which may solve your speed issue right there.
The server will also give you a more secure network as well. You should also have all of your workstations windows 2000 or XPpro as well if possible for many reasons. Security, stability and built in terminal service licenses to name a few. - Good Luck

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Hubs and Switches

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by shmaltz In reply to Hubs and Switches

Your network isn't big enough that it should be worth it to get an expensive Switch, the only difference usualy is that the more expensive ones offer remote management, while the cheaper ones don't offer any management at all. In you case you don't need to disable ports 2 buildings away, so there is no need in a manageable switch, the cheapest one will do the job.
Don't use XP home. It is limited to 5 connections.
Dedicated server:
Depends on what you want to accomplish. If just for performance, it is the OS that makes the difference and not the fact that someone is using it as a workstation for business applications (unless you are watching movies or rendering video files). Windows Servers perform much better as file servers than XP Pro or Windows 2K Pro.
If you also want to do centralized backup and security management (passwords) then you should go with a dedicated server using a Server OS (like windows 2000 Server). Again you can use such a server as your workstation with mostof the time little impact on the network, however certain programs tend to make problems (sometimes) for Servers that are also domain controllers, that's why I never reccomend doing it. Unless it is just a file and printer server.

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Hubs and Switches

Poster rated this answer

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by AirHockeyNinja In reply to Hubs and Switches

Ok, this is a situation I see often, where many admins shoot themselves in the foot and often slow their networks down even more by improperly deploying switches. Here we go;

Switches and hubs are very similar, and most never understand the key difference. More on this in a minute.

First off, you need an acutal server OS if you want to maximize your performance.
Definitely upgrade all computers to XP (or at least 2000 Pro) if you can. The driving reason being that you are a financial services company, and I am sure you have all kinds of sensitive customer data on your machines. You cannot achieve reasonable security with 9x series OSs. The best advice I can give you is to hire someone with network administration experience to design and secure your infrastructure. Failing that, you need to understand a few things.
Most importantly being that any info you have on a 98 box will be completely open to anyone who gets into your network.
The windows 2000 platform (including XP) provides permissions to keep sensitive information from those that shouldn't see it.

Out of room, I'll finish up in another reply....

Collapse -

Hubs and Switches

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Hubs and Switches

Poster rated this answer

Back to Networks Forum
13 total posts (Page 1 of 2)   01 | 02   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums