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I have 2 switches a procurve 1800-24g(24 port gigabit) and a 3com baseline 2928 -24 port gigabit switch.

I have a router with 4 ethernet ports(100 mb port)and trying to connect 12 machines on the whole network.

Presently only a single Procurve switch is used to connect all the computers.Would adding the additional switch improve bandwidth/latency if I connect both switches directly to router?Cabling used is Cat7.

Please advice what are the best ways to achieve best performance and improve latency?

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Are you having performance problems related to the network? If not, then why do you want to fix a problem that doesn't exist? –  joeqwerty Jul 7 '10 at 14:03

3 Answers 3

Connect your gigabit switches to each other, not the 100Mb router; otherwise the router becomes a bottleneck between the two halves of the network.

PS Cat7 is serious overkill unless you know you're getting crosstalk - you can run 10Gb over Cat6A, and even that is greater than the capacity of your network.

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This answer depends in large part on how and to what the 12 devices are talking.

Assuming the 12 devices are primarily communicating with each other, then keeping them on the same switch would give you the most performance.

If, however, they are primarily communicating with devices outside your network i.e. on the other side of your router, then the router's 100Mb interfaces become your bottleneck.

(Take this next section as somewhat hypothetical) If this in the case then you might be able to split your network up into two segments with 6 devices each and with two outbound interfaces (like a big 'X'). Assuming the switches support vlans, this could still be accomplished with only one switch.

There are other then other considerations such as: switch performance (i.e. non-blocking), network traffic patterns, routing architecture (asymmetric routing), etc.

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Shouldn't need another switch: that's a tiny network. I actually run internet for 500 people through a 4 port procurve switch.

Your router is much more likely to be an issue, though, again, 12 people is pretty low.

Since you have a 100mb router and a 1gb switch, I'd make sure that those ports are talking to each other correctly. If possible, I'd set the port on the router and the port on the switch to autonegotiate (in my experience procurves aren't happy unless they're set to auto). If you can't set them to auto, better set them both to 100mb. If they're NOT talking correctly you can lose 80% of your bandwidth easily.

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I have an experince where the Procurve set to auto caused issues. It had to be set to 100 Full(in our case) on the switch and the device. Have also had this issue with a Cisco 1800 and a wiirelss WAN radio. AUt caused MANy dropped packets. But as @SatanicPuppy says, a misconfiguration can cause big problems. Do you have actual latency issues(numbers please?) –  Dave M Jul 7 '10 at 14:21
    
@Dave M: My problem was that one side was set to auto and the other WASN'T. I assumed that the one that was would correctly match with the one that wasn't. Long story short: it didn't. –  Satanicpuppy Jul 7 '10 at 15:32
    
We have had support folks tell us Auto/Auto is perfect. Next person says no and that fixes the issue. This used to be very common a few years ago. We still have several devices where documentation shows maual set only on both devices. –  Dave M Jul 7 '10 at 17:46
    
@Dave M: Yea, I've heard exactly the same. What I've heard from various router support people is that that "used" to be the case but that it's "better" now. It did fix my problem to move it from manual to auto, but that's just anecdotal. –  Satanicpuppy Jul 7 '10 at 19:58

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