Switch Limitations

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zeusss

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Jan 19, 2005
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Does anyone know why you can only connect 6 to 8 switches together? From what I've read that seems to be the limit.
 
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If you are having that many switches ganged together, you might want to just consider getting larger switches. I don't like even using one additional switch if I don't have to. Even then I'll try and put network printers, DSL routers, and any slower equipment on the second one. Performance should be greatly improved.
 
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Aug 12, 2000
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Hi Zeuss

The issue lies in the degradation of the signal as it passes between the interfaces. The signal goes in switch number 1 nice and clean, then degrades gradually as it passes across consecutive interfaces until it becomes indecipherable.

I have seen networks with 12 switches stacked together and miraculously working, but I have also seen networks with 9 switches stacked where the signal was gibberish when passed across the whole stack.


If you are looking at enterprise class switches take a look at the stacking options on offer as some manufacturers now offer an independent uplink system at the back of the switch that in essence turns them all into one big switch.
 

zeusss

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
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7
Thanks for the info Hermes!! I need to connect 10 LANs together. The distance is about 75' between each. Also I have to go through a coupler between each segment. I was told that I would be lucky if I could get up to 4 switches. They suggested using routers between each LAN. But I'm confused as to why the signal would degrade on a switch and not a router.

Thanks
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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A router is a store and forward device, a switch typically has much less buffering. In truth, while network performance is affected by daisy-chaining switches together, I once had eight switches in series on a bench, just trying to determine the limits. The network still seemed to be working fine at the end of that mess, but it's not a configuration I would recommend.

You can run up to 100 meters, so I'd bring a few of those networks to a common switch and then connect then in a small star arrangement. This should allow you to have a maximum of three switches end to end, and will probably not be noticable.
 
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