Networks Advice needed.... what switches do I need.

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by GaryP, 15 Aug 2017.

  1. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    Mate of mine is moving premises and wants to set up a network that he can hopefully expand easily later. He asked me if I could do it and I said I don't see why not. He has a mate that will put all the trunking and cables in but can't wire them up

    We have planned and will fit 16 network sockets dotted around the building. I haven't installed one before but wiring everything up is simple enough I have got the punchdown tools and tester. Only 9/10 will be used initially.

    Obviously all the trunking and cables will be coming back to the switch in his main office. His exact words were 'I don't want a snakes nest under the desk like I have here'.

    My questions are
    Would I have a need for a patch panel ? I can't see any obvious advantages.

    Would I need a managed switch or could I use an unmanaged one. A couple of machines he has will need an fixed IP address but I can configure that at the router. I have not needed a managed one on my home network and am not all that familiar with them. I have read up a bit online but it seems a bit OTT for our needs unless I am misunderstanding it.

    Would it make sense to have a second switch at another point in the building near where the machines are and run less cables in the trunking back to the main switch?

    Cheers for any advice.
     
    Last edited: 15 Aug 2017
  2. keir

    keir S p i t F i r e

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    A unmanaged switch would do, you can do all the configuring at either end. Just make sure to go gigabit.
    5 or 8 port ones are only like £30
     
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  3. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    If this is in a business setting, I'm a big fan of plan for the future. A small investment now will save a bit of heartache down the road.

    If I was putting in this set up I would be quoting for a small Comms rack that can be mounted in the corner of the room, a patch panel, and a modest 24 port managed switch. You'd not have to run the switch in managed mode but the control you'd have if needed is beneficial.
    Also if you are doing the termination of points for him, maintain your twists!
     
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  4. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    What do you mean maintain your twists ?

    I am doing this as a favour, of course he is paying for kit. If the business gets any bigger he would have to move premises again !

    I fully agree about leaving room for expansion, that's why we are running a minimum of 16 points.

    I am not sure what the advantages are of the patch panel. I am happy to put one in but in my dopey head I haven't seen the need.

    This is a classic case of a mate thinking I know way more about 'computers' than I actually do !

    Thanks for the replies by the way :)
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2017
  5. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    When you punch down your pairs you want to maintain the twist of the pair up to the point of termination. The signals are meant to arrive at preset times, inconsistencies in the twist of the pairs can introduce skew delay. Mostly likely it won't affect the installation you're doing but it's just best practice. If you were to test the run with a fluke it would fail if the twists weren't maintained.

    Mainly because male terminations aren't as reliable as a punch down connections.
    Also easier management and it just looks better.
     
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  6. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    You don't need a punch down patch panel necessarily. You could use a coupler panel.

    Even a Netgear sort-of managed gigabit switch would be better than unmanaged, you could at least set up a guest VLAN on unused ports to stop ransoms plugging in.
     
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  7. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    Gotcha. Yeah I thouht I had missed something.

    I think we will just go without a patch panel for now.
     
  8. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    We are thinking of going down the rackmount route. Anyone suggest a supplier of rackmount wall brackets/cases and what size is most common ? Thinking of a case/wallmount, patch panel, switch and power unit.
     
  9. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    https://www.comms-express.com/ for kit. I'd use 6u or 9u rack dependant what you want.
     
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  10. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    Thanks very much. It's really appreciated.
     
  11. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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  12. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    My personal preference is NETGEAR. Also yes, it should just plug and play.
     
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  13. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    I was 99% sure of that. Ordered.

    Thanks for all your help. Next week is when I attempt not to balls it up. Going for Cat 6 cabling etc. Longest run is less than 20m so I happy and only 24 cables. Thouhgt it was going to be 40 odd at one stage but he has decided just to put all the equipment needing connections in one part of the building and we have spare capacity to expand a bit if needed.
     
  14. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    Good luck, any issues just let us know :)

    Quick tip, for Cat6, best practice is not to use cable ties. Use Velcro ties instead.
     
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  15. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    Got plenty of velcro for the big bundle of cables. Thought it would be easier in the long run.

    OK to use cable ties on the patch panel backbar ?

    I picked one with support for the cables so they are not pulled from the back.
     
  16. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    I 'think' it's kinda ok for Cat6 but not for Cat6a.
    Here is some information you might want to peruse regarding cabling with Cat6 over Cat5e
     
  17. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    If I had read that before we ordered I would have been using cat5e !
     
  18. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    Yeah, there is a lot more scope to play with when installing Cat5e.
     
  19. GaryP

    GaryP RIP Tel

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    Changed the order to Cat5e bits and all cables installed and working through the patch panel. I am trying to set up the switch, we have no router modem in the building yet as waiting for BT. Problem is when I put plugged my lappy into the netgear and installed the software it sees the switch but said subnetmask is different. When I look at control panel on my lappy it says unidentified network with a warning triangle between pc and switch and obviously no internet connection. Is there any way I can just make this thing work like an unmanaged switch and just plug and play ?
     
  20. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Routers hand out IP addresses but those switches don't. Until you get a router or configure a PC with a static IP and a DHCP server you're going to get errors :thumb:
     
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