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69 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 11160 6-Jan-2007 14:14
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I would like to confirm or deny something in my head, basically it's a theoretical versus real world situation.

Please bear with me as I try to explain the situation.

Say I have a 100Mbps switch with a server plugged into it as well as say 10 pc's, all these 10 pc's have a good 100Mbps connection to the server.

Now say 50 meters away I connect another 100Mbps switch to the first one via ethernet cable and connect another 10 pc's to this new switch.

This second group of 10 pc's have a 100Mbps connection with the server and theoretically operate over the network as well as the first group of 10 pc's BUT in the real world is this really the case especially if the network traffic is quite busy.

I kind of equate it to cars on a road, the first group of 10 pc's have their own road into the first switch while the second group of pc's are all sharing one road from the second switch into the first switch so if the network traffic is quite busy the second group of 10 pc's will have a degraded connection to the server.

Now this is a small network to explain the situation but also consider this in a bigger implementation, am I right in saying that pc's with a direct cable into the same switch as the server can have a better connection than pc's connecting via another switch?


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1318 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 57103 6-Jan-2007 16:29
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Reon: Say I have a 100Mbps switch with a server plugged into it as well as say 10 pc's, all these 10 pc's have a good 100Mbps connection to the server.

As the name implies, a network switch provides dedicated bandwidth for networked hosts unlike a switch where you share the capacity with all systems. However, you need to look at the aggregate load and also check that the switching backbone in your devices support it.

11 hosts with 100Mbit/s = 1.1Gbit/s, or on the other switch, 10 hosts with a max aggregate load of 1Gbit/s. If you have a Gigabit NIC in the server and the switches have "uplink" ports that supports the high speed, things would work much nicer. How much actual throughput a server with a 100Mbit/s connection can offer to 20 clients depends on several factors, including the NIC, CPU power, hard disk speed and possibly also how the switches in question handle high traffic loads.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 57114 6-Jan-2007 17:56
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Yeah I'm gonna be the first one to say the magic word - bottleneck. The link between the two switches is 100mbit. As they say on Mythbusters ' well theres ya problem'. The computers on the second switch all leeching warez are are 100mbit untill they need to connect through to the first switch where the server is. That's only a 100mbit link and will be shared between all the computers that use it.

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  Reply # 57719 12-Jan-2007 13:39
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sorry if this is a stupid question, but if there are spare ports on both switches would multiple interconnects between them reduce the bottleneck? Does this work and would it increase the speed to 200M if you had 2 connections??

been wondering this myself to increase bandwidth at LAN parties.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 57721 12-Jan-2007 13:43
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You mean bonding or teaming? It would, but only if your switch supports the feature. Low end ones don't usually.

836 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 57780 13-Jan-2007 16:02
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As Juha points out, in a low end switch bonding is very unlikely to be supported. If the switch is particularly crappy and does not support STP (have not seen this in some time) then it will actually break your network by causing traffic loops

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