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Speed up network, New switch?


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#1 bdpoop

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 04:00 AM

Hello

 

I have a customer who has a print shop and a peer to peer network

 

There are two Apple Macs connected to a Netgear Readynas 102 6TB Nas drive, several Xerox copiers, 4 PC's running Office and also a MIS App that runs across the network and a Vpop mail server.

 

The main issues is network speed.  Clearly there is a lot of traffic for a small peer to peer network but on occasions at least one pc drops off the network, one of the printers becomes unavailable and the two Macs and one in particular seem to be having real problems opening large artwork files from the NAS.  The switch thats installed is a Netgear Prosafe 1GB Unmanaged Switch and is 8 years old. 

 

They have had network issues for a while but its got worse in the past few months.

 

To me it sounds like a switch issue which is rare I know.  I was going to replace it with a similar 1gb switch but wondered if there was a better solution.  Would a managed switch be better and how can I increase the speed for the two macs and the NAS?

 

Just after some thoughts and recommendations.



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#2 Wand3r3r

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 06:28 PM

Not uncommon before a complete switch failure to experience these kind of issues.  I would recommend a managed switch though since you can see if there are network errors you are blind to now.  Most network equipment should be replaced every 3-4 years imo.

 

I hope that NAS has raided drives and they are doing backups to tape/dvd/cloud.



#3 bdpoop

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 06:23 AM

Not uncommon before a complete switch failure to experience these kind of issues.  I would recommend a managed switch though since you can see if there are network errors you are blind to now.  Most network equipment should be replaced every 3-4 years imo.

 

I hope that NAS has raided drives and they are doing backups to tape/dvd/cloud.

 

Thanks and sorry for not replying until now.  The NAS does indeed have raided drives and is backed up onto two 3TB USB drives one of which is always held off site.

 

I wondered about a Managed Switch but know very little about them or how they work.  It might be useful as both the MIS database and the two macs that access artwork over the network on the NAS require the biggest priority for traffic but presumably even with a managed switch they are only going to get  maximum of 1GB throughput?  On a small network I cant see how their access speed would be faster than an unmanaged switch but as I said I know nothing so I am very willing to be enlightened.

 

What I want to hopefully avoid is getting the customer to spend a lot of money only to find out its something else which is why I was tempted just go for a 24 port new unmanged switch at less than £100.

 

Thanks again.  The link above by the way Masher seems to go to some site about Essay writing?



#4 Wand3r3r

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 11:20 AM

Just to clarify 1gig at full duplex is 2gig throughput. 

24 port switch for 10-12 devices is going to leave you with a lot of unused ports.  If thinking of adding devices in the future I would again recommend a managed not unmanaged switch.

Even my home network has managed switches.  You simply can do more with them.

 

BTW what link are you referring to?



#5 bdpoop

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 01:17 PM

Thanks.  There was a link from another first time poster before.  I think it was spam so its been removed.

 

 

All 16 ports in the current umanaged switch are taken up and as they may be moving soon it makes sense to go 24 for expansion.  Are you saying with a managed switch using full duplex you can get 2gb throughput even with the standard NIC thats in the PC?  I think the NIC in the Readynas will be 1gb.  If your telling me there is a way to double the access speed from the Mac's to the Readynas then I would be very interested to know how and with what product.

 

This may be the way to go then.  Any recommendations?  Needs to be something easy to use and manage.



#6 moxom

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 12:12 PM

Hi bdpoop,

 

It makes sense to go for 24 if your current switch is filled.

 

What you have to consider is that even if all your computers have a 1gb NIC, you will still have to divide the speed amongst all the clients using the NAS, as you only have a 1gb NIC in the NAS.

 

I don't have much experience with any other vendor than Cisco. I know with these switches that you can configure etherchannels (bundling up to 8 ports together for shared bandwidth), it would be ideal for your network to configure this for your NAS (remember extra NIC's for the NAS). Cisco is an expensive solution, but at least you're covered by a life-time guarantee. I would recommend Cisco 2960 series - they're kinda affordable as well.

 

If you go with this solution and need help configuring, feel free to send me a private message and I'll help if I have the time :)

 

Good luck!

moxom

 

 

P.S. before making any investments, remember to check the bandwidth usage of your NAS - if it's taking up less than 10% of your 1G NIC when your clients are struggling, then network bandwidth most likely wont be the problem.


Edited by moxom, 21 December 2015 - 12:15 PM.





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