Catalyst 2960's. Chain or star?

Brief Question, if anyone cares to help...

If I have a stack of 2960's (about 6), each with two GigE uplink ports...

Would it be better to chain the uplink ports together, from one switch to the next to utilize the GigE bandwidth?

Or would it be better to run them all in a star configuration off of one central switch to better isolate the traffic, even if that means that the uplinking lines are at 100mb?

Thanks for any advice you can give!


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I suppose it helps to know what kind of bandwidth you expect and where?

The star will give you better resiliency against problems, but will be more of a bottleneck on this type of switch if there's alot of traffic going from switch to switch.

The chain will give you bigger internal bandwidth, but one bad switch in the chain can bring down your network beyond it.

Your choice. Either are valid.

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Doug McIntyre

Thanks, that's what I needed.

I was a bit concerned with the chaining, since all of our users tend to access the same set of servers primarily. Until now, I've done a star of all user switches off of the same switch the servers are on.

I appreciate the advice.


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If you can obtain the budget, you would be best off to dual homew each switch to two centrl switches that are both interconnected.

This topology address both bandwidth and redundancy issues.

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If you have the available ports you could do dual or quad channel etherchannel in a star configuration. That would give you 200-400mpbs from the spoke to the hub, and it would provide some semblance of redundancy.

So lets say you use 4 ports. The hub would need 20 ports for this purpose (5 switches X 4 ports). You could then use the gig ports on the hub in a similar fashion and have a 2 gigabit uplink to the rest of the network.

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