Back in 1998, the office I work in was just switching to 100BT networking with fewer than 15 nodes. I bought a Baystack 450-24T before Nortel bought Bay Networks, and bought another one after the purchase when we grew beyond the 24 port limitation. Well, it's time for another upgrade and I'm wondering what direction to go in.
The first consideration is absolute growth. I really can't see the organization grow beyond 96 nodes (double) in our current building. We're nudging 48 with our office space just about at capacity and an overcapacity of network printers. We don't have any Gigabit ethernet devices, though I'd like the option of adding a few servers at that capacity for the back-office servers. Since the vast majority of my devices are 100BT (with a sprinkling of 10BT), the idea of a switch with gigabit uplinks looks very attractive. That or a chassis-based switch.
One nice thing about the 450-24T is the upgrade module. I currently have to support a 100BASE-FX run to a warehouse location more than100M from my network core, so would need to find a way to replace that. The 450-24T hasn't ever seemed to support this configuration in full duplex mode, so I'm not too married to the current hardware. Any suggestions for re-using my fiber run with different hardware (perhaps just a 100BT transciever?) would be appreciated.
What class of hardware? We haven't really grown that much, and I'm wondering if manufacturers of consumer level equipment have caught up to my small-office needs? Netgear makes a model, the FSM726S, with over a 12Gbps backplane, cascading, and 2x1000BT uplinks. That's a bigger backplane than my current Baystacks, with what looks like most of the features (except for the redundant cascading that the 450-24T has...). Anything wrong with a guy with < 100 ports considering this class of hardware?
I've looked at chassis-based switches from a couple different manufacturers and can't seem to get the economics to work out when comparing to a couple of these Netgears at $500 per.
Any thoughts, pointers, or reccomendations?
Thanks in advance.