what is difference between home run and switch fan-out?

By redhat ·
in designing the wiring runs of a comptuer network, what is the difference between pulling home runs from the main network switch to individual desktops 200 feet away, versus pulling 1 cable 200 feet, plug that into a small switch, and then plug 5 computers into that?

Do you need to worry about bandwidth congestion, data collision?

It seems easier and cheaper to use the second switch as a fan-out point...

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Home run vs fan-out network design

This question is dated, but I feel that it deserves an answer...

In most SMB networks, distributed switches would not have any impact on network performance, although the typical usage of the network needs to be considered when planning the network infrastructure. If the five computers are putting a heavy load on the network by accessing large files or streaming video, there can be bottlenecks in the single drop strategy.

If the switch is inexpensive, it probably can not handle all of the traffic that the combined workstations are capable of sending out simultaneously. A gigabit home run would help, if the switch backplane speed is capable of forwarding packets fast enough. Just because the port is compatible with other gigabit ports, does not mean that the switch is fast enough to use it's full capacity.

Essentially, network performance is dependent on typical use and quality of the infrastructure devices (you get what you pay for).

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so where do I go from here?

by redhat In reply to Home run vs fan-out netwo ...

ok, so consider this as typical usage of the network. Web surfing, word processing (all data stored on SBS server, not on desktop workstations), outlook on exchange server. whould it still work in this case?

and how do I find out the capacity of the switch (is this in the specs?) and how do I know what is good (just compare with other switches and pick the one with the highest rate?)

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you are right - it will work.

by sgt_shultz In reply to what is difference betwee ...

i would calculate exactly how much money it would save me in cable to show the boss.
at least pull a spare or two in there, is my two cents. as insurance so in the future when you grow lots faster than you thought or you want to put in gigabyte networking or something, you have a prayer of being able to do it. cable is cheap compared to labor is not and personally i like to err on the side of too much cable. label everything.
go to or google 'home networking for your basic instructions.
get your switch (or hub) rated at the same speed as the nic's you will be using. it's all gotta match. be sure to get good cat5 or better rated wall jacks. use plenum rated cable and do not terminiate it with rj45 plugs (terminate your wall cable at the wall and use patch cables to switch and the pc's)

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Your biggest concern is network design, not cableing cost

by Forum Surfer In reply to what is difference betwee ...

It all depends on what type of network you are dealing with and what they are doing. There are several questions to consider.

Is it a larger number of computers in different areas? Is the network large enough to justify a core and distribution layer or simply a collapsed core? Or do you simply have a handful of pc's in one room in which a single run from the router to a switch in a separate room will do fine?

Are you running VOIP? If so, QoS is a huge concern. You will need to separate and tag the traffic on both ends necessitating quality, managed switchgear. QoS may even need to be utilized if you are running video intensive apps.

How should you plan to take future upgrade paths? Do you expect growth?

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Just a little late don't you think?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Your biggest concern is n ...

Well only 3 years after the question was asked.

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