New office network

While I'm relatively comfortable in designing a LAN with CAT6, I'm trying to get a place to start evaluating using fiber to create the LAN for a our new building and try to build in some excess capacity for the next decade. Other than phone issues which I have at least an inkling of some of the copper to fiber problems, what other areas should I watch out for? NIC's would be a problem. Switches are a problem. The major advantage I have is size; this is a 8,000 ft building in which we will use 4000 to start for our 25 employees which will increase to about 40 over the next 5 years. All use the network extensively (insurance operation, paperless, image transfer, etc). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Desktop NICs are practically a commodity product. Dlink NICs would work fine for most PCs. For servers, I recommend Intel NICs.

For switches, take a look at HP. HP's 26xx series of switches is priced competitively, offers great support, and are generally very reliable.

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Spam Catcher

KNowing little about your operation, I'd go for maximum flexibility. Run in trunks from your central data closet a bundle of UTP and fiber. Buy the fiber factory terminated at one end and put that end out at on the drop locations. Leave the fiber unterminated in the closet for future use. Run six or twelve UTP cables to each drop location. Put your drops up in the ceiling on a small patch panel. Run long patch cords from there down to the floor. That way when someone refurbishes the office, or the modular office folks rip things apart, you still have a usable cable plant up in the ceiling. All you are out are a bunch of easily replaceable patch cords.


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