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We have 1 main core HP Routing Switch in server room that connects other data closet switches and 6 Data Closet switches that connect the clients.

We only have 3 VLANS. I have 2 questions:

1.) Should we be using RIP protocol? If so which version?

2.) If yes to #1, should RIP Protocol be enabled on all VLANs? How do you decide which VLAN to have RIP on?

3.) If yes to #1, should RIP Protocol be enabled on all switches in network or just the main server room routing switch?

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(1) RIP works well for small-medium LAN's, as the protocol only supports a maximum hop-count (TTL) of 15. RIPv2 is superior to v1 in that it supports VLSM (variable length subnet masking). This is preferred in the case of a more complicated IP address plan (resulting in a discontigous network etc.). For larger and more robust networks, a more powerful routing protocol such as OSPF (open standard) would be better.

(2) RIP will need to be enabled for the VLAN networks that require routing (connectivity to other non directly connected networks).

(3) A routing protocol is required for hosts in VLAN's to communicate with hosts in other VLAN's assuming they are not directly connected. If VLAN's are all configured on one layer 3 switch and all the hosts are connected to said switch, routing isn't required (this is not your scenario). If hosts are on different switches with their respective VLAN's, routing can be configured on all switches that support IP routing, or you can go with a router on a stick solution (where layer 2 switches connect to a router that performs all IP routing). Hope this helps a little!

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  • Thanks for the info, very helpful! In your opinion though, is RIP even necessary in this situation of having 1 main switch and 6 other closet switches connected to it? I'm trying to gauge if I should enable it or not, benefits vs the extra overhead on network... – Matt Weick Jan 18 '15 at 15:26

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