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I have this topology in my network at the company where I work:

enter image description here

Where the only router is the 'main router' (is here where we receive the internet signal from our provider) the others networks points are switches, so today my network is in cascade and I wonder if this is the best topology for my network. If not, what would be ?

EDIT: This is the structure of the company where I work:

enter image description here

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migrated from Feb 23 '12 at 13:26

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A star topology or extended star seems to be how most networks go these days. With added levels of redundancy etc. – Sirex Feb 23 '12 at 11:08
Really depends on the size/data transferred, speed of links between switches. Where are your servers? Do you have any obvious bottlenecks? Are your switches managed or unmnanaged? – HaydnWVN Feb 23 '12 at 11:19
It's a company with 17 computer connected. We don't have any server by our own. We don't have bottleneck so far, but we have problems if some switch is not working okay, then part of the network start to have issues too. Our switches are unmanaged. – Valter Henrique Feb 23 '12 at 11:22
for 17 machines, you should be able to just buy a 24 port switch and a spare one in case it breaks or a pair of 48 ports if you predict expansion. This assumes geographical separation isn't an issue. – Sirex Feb 23 '12 at 11:39
+1. This is tiny - my office of 3 people uses a 24 switch port just for itself. – TomTom Feb 23 '12 at 13:31
up vote 6 down vote accepted

With only 17 computers, you really should only be on a single 24 port switch. This is assuming that home run cable pulls aren't out of the question for some reason.

You may not be seeing any bottlenecks right now, but are introducing points of failure, and additional overhead when it comes to troubleshooting. You are also giving employees the ability to plug devices into your network without your knowledge.

As a side note, I once saw a general manager of a hotel plug a WAP into an extra port in his office which went unnoticed for about a week and hotel guests were connecting to it as if it were an open AP. That would be one of my bigger concerns with your setup.

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Have to agree with this. A good topology/design mantra for a network is "Design the simplest thing possible that solves the problem. Then stop." and plugging multiple devices into one another does not meet this ideal. In your circumstances here, if you need more than one switch due to geographical reasons, I'd still limit myself to as few as possible, all of which should be plugged directly into the "central" core switch, not into each other. – RobM Feb 23 '12 at 13:49
A switch with 24/48 ports would be nice, but the structure of the building would demand pulling too many cables. – Valter Henrique Feb 23 '12 at 15:56

I agree with the other comments that a single switch should suffice, but I think the best answer also depends on the physical lay-out of your office. If you need very long cable runs to accommodate say 5 of your users, you might opt to run a single cable and deploy a desk switch instead.

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But if you have to run one, you may as well run a bundle. – DanBig Feb 23 '12 at 15:11
Agree with Dan. The expensive part of that is the time of the person doing it and making good any structural changes from pulling the cable. The costs for pulling 10 cables instead of just 1 through that run really shouldn't be that different. – RobM Feb 23 '12 at 15:14
Good point. If I could, I would. But we still don't know much about the physical lay-out, which might constrain the number of cables. – Sagi Feb 23 '12 at 15:19
It seems to me you should be able to drop a bundle from the 3rd floor all the way to the router and distribute accordingly. I did cabling for a long time, as long as you are within the length limits of the cable, it will be well worth it in the long run. – DanBig Feb 23 '12 at 16:19
No, its usually easier to drop cable down, than run it up floors. Once the bundle is the whole length, peel off the necessary runs for each floor, all terminated into wall jacks and a patch panel at your router. – DanBig Feb 23 '12 at 18:11

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