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My workplace consists of 4 access unmanaged network switches from three different computer rooms connected to a router. The router contains three 100mbps ethernet ports and one Gigabit (GigE) port.

I'm wondering if it would increase overall network performance if I were to buy a layer 2/3 switch as a core switch and connect that to the GigE port to the router, than to connect the access switches directly to the router.

Also all computers and printers in these rooms should be in the same network...

Would it be worth the effort? Is there a better way?

  • I'm wondering if it would increase overall network performance - This is one of those questions that is trying to solve a problem that probably doesn't exist and makes a general statement that can't be quantified. What does better mean in this context? What specific network performance issues are you having? What data have you collected that supports your assumption that you need to make the network performance better? – joeqwerty Sep 30 '14 at 0:16
  • I couldn't specify before as I was unsure if it was an issue. Previews network admin simply put all access switches into another same switch then to router, I thought I solved it when I put them directly to router, but today during busy times internet performance reduces a good deal sometimes getting cut off completely. – DonD Sep 30 '14 at 13:02
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Yes, it will help in two ways:

  • If there is a lot of communication between the various networks (switches) this will mean less traffic will have go through the router, eliminating a bottleneck
  • If the switches have gigabit ports the throughput will be increased tenfold.

This will, however, create an additional single point of failure on your network. If the new switch (the 'core switch') goes down everything goes down. That's currently the case with your router, but it's an additional component that can fail so the risk of failure is increased.

  • makes sense, thanks for your answer, I will give it a try see what happens! – DonD Sep 30 '14 at 13:03
  • When you do let me know. I'm interested to hear how things work out. – Gene Oct 2 '14 at 7:21

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