Daisy-chaining switches

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Binary Bob

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May 16, 2008
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Greetings. I'm wondering if there are performance hits if you use several daisy-chained switches versus running cable from each work station to one switch. For example, you have 16 users with four users each in four offices. You could run 16 cables from each workstation to one switch, or you could put a 5-port switch in each of the four offices and run only four cables back to the main switch. Is there a performance difference between these two scenarios? Thanks.
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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Under normal loading conditions, this will work fine.

It's not an ideal situation, since there are some potential bottlenecks. If you have a lot of traffic between workstations in different offices, the connections to the small switches may have excessive traffic. If you have a gigabit connection from the server to the switch, the same situation applies to the path between an individual workstation and the server.
 

Binary Bob

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May 16, 2008
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Thanks very much for the info. I should have mentioned that I work for a small school district and the networks at most sites just provide a path from student workstations to the internet, with no local servers other than the firewall.
 

JohnWill

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It'll probably work fine, since I suspect the Internet bandwidth will be the limiting factor.
 
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