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Here's a quick rundown:

We currently occupy half of a large facility which is 100k square feet. In our current space (which is 50k square feet obviously) we have about 50 work stations and 40 IP phones. Everything terminates to our closet, which has the patch panels and the rack with the servers, etc. There are two different LANs, one for the phones and one for the data which are not connected to each other and have separate WAN links. The switches in use are both Netgear, a GS752TP for the phones and a GS748T for the data network.

We are now planning on taking over the half of the facility. The things is, it will be too messy to wire everything with copper back to the current closet. What we are considering is wiring everything to a local closet on the other side and then possibly running fiber between the switches to connect both sides. The distance between both is about , so copper cable isn't really an option.

My questions are:

  1. This seems sane. Any reason why it wouldn't be?
  2. All switches (we will use the same on the other side) have SFP ports, what kind of fiber cables do we need?
  3. If we are probably going to have another 50 workstations and 40 phones running on the other side as well, how many fiber links do we need? This can't all be carried over one fiber cable per network effectively can it?
  4. Anything else I am missing?

Thanks to all for the help.

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  • possible duplicate of Can you help me with my capacity planning? – Tim Brigham Dec 29 '14 at 15:29
  • @TimBrigham IMHO it's not a duplicate of that question. Yes, there are capacity planning aspects to it (question #3), but overall, it's not a capacity question. – EEAA Dec 29 '14 at 15:32
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This seems sane. Any reason why it wouldn't be?

Perfectly sane.

All switches (we will use the same on the other side) have SFP ports, what kind of fiber cables do we need?

Purchase pre-terminated multi-mode (probably LC ends) cables, in the lengths you need.

If we are probably going to have another 50 workstations and 40 phones running on the other side as well, how many fiber links do we need? This can't all be carried over one fiber cable per network effectively can it?

"50 workstations and 40 phones" means nothing. You could have 10k workstations hung off of a single 56k POTS line if they're not consuming much traffic. It's unlikely you have 10GB networking gear, so you're looking at multiple 1GB links. I'd plan for at least four fiber runs between your switch closets. Assuming you have two switches on each end, you'd connect two fiber runs to each switch pair, configuring each dual run as a port channel. This will get you 2Gbps aggregate bandwidth between your closets. Ensure you have spanning tree configured correctly so that one of the uplink sets remains disabled, but available to be enabled if a failure occurs.

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  • Thanks that really helps. We actually do have only 1 10GB switch but thats connects between our large server and the iSCSI NAS. The connection from that server to the network though is only 1GbE anyway so not concerned about that. – redhat Dec 29 '14 at 15:54
  • How much bandwidth would it take to overload one of those fiber links? I'm assuming it also has to do with the switch on the other processing the packets coming in, but is there a number at which the cable will get too saturated? – redhat Dec 29 '14 at 15:55
  • The fiber is not the determining factor - it's the optics on each end that will determine your bandwidth. – EEAA Dec 29 '14 at 16:03
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Contact a local cabling contractor and explain the situation. This is all very routine and normal.

They would likely run 6-strand fiber cable, so you'll have multiple pairs to leverage. And yes, one or two cables could probably work for you, depending on the nature of the traffic traversing the line(s). Based on the switch models you've described and my experiences in similar facilities, I'm assuming ~2 runs would work.

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