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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here is my theory, tell me if I have holes in it...


In the office I'm going to put an Airport Extreme to serve as my 4 Port Gigabit Router and Wireless Access Point.


It will connect to an RJ45 connection in the wall which is run out to my living room, behind the home theater, in the wall. That RJ45 connection in the wall behind the home theater will be hooked up to a 5 or 8 port gigabit switch...which will be where I plug all my home theater equipment to, such as my Tivo HD Series 3, XBOX 360, Samsung Blu-Ray player, and possibly my AVR.


Anyways the theory is my aiport extreme will be hard wired with a CAT5 cable, that from one end is in the office, via the wall plate, running out to the living room via wall plate, connected then to a gigabit switch. Allowing all my HT equipment in the LR to have hard wired LAN access to the internet.


See any issues here? And please don't mention WiFi, I have that going now, and its fine, but want to hard wire all the HT equipment now.


Thanks.
 

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That will work yes but just a word of caution the airport extreme has only three ports


Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by captaincondor /forum/post/15562588


That will work yes but just a word of caution the airport extreme has only three ports


Regards

Yes I noticed that so what if I bought 2 switches, say an 8 port switch and hooked it up directly to the Airport Extreme in one of the 3 ports, that would give me 10 open ports there, and then another 5 port switch out in the Living Room, for another 5 ports...


That would work too right?
 

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That should work.


This may or may not affect your current network usage or in the future. Keep in mind, when you cascade switches via uplinks, you will be limiting traffic between the switches to the bandwidth of the single connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by WonHung /forum/post/15566053


That should work.


This may or may not affect your current network usage or in the future. Keep in mind, when you cascade switches via uplinks, you will be limiting traffic between the switches to the bandwidth of the single connection.

WongHung,


In my office where the Airport Extreme will be, do you think I need another switch? I will have at most 2 PCs in there to hook up to the AE, and that leaves me one connection on the AE to connect to the wall, that goes out to the Living Room wall RJ45, where I'll have the switch hooked up for my multiple connections for the Home Theater. Since the AE is a gigabit and the switch out in the Living Room will be gigabit, I should have a gigabit bandwidth between the two right? Or if I decide I need a 2nd switch in the office to hook to the AE, if I had a gigabit switch there, again, the connection between the two switches and AE would all be gigabit, so I'd have gigabit connections running from router (Airport Extreme aka AE), to swtich 1, then from switch 1 to switch 2, all gigabit...is that right?


Should I invest in CAT6 cable for this?
 

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Your plan sounds fine all the way around. If it were me, I would do CAT6. I mean, if you're going to do GigE switches, why limit the network by using CAT5e cable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn /forum/post/15571908


Your plan sounds fine all the way around. If it were me, I would do CAT6. I mean, if you're going to do GigE switches, why limit the network by using CAT5e cable?

I figured this would be the case. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to network the rest of my house or just the Living Room...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 /forum/post/15571619


WongHung,


In my office where the Airport Extreme will be, do you think I need another switch? I will have at most 2 PCs in there to hook up to the AE, and that leaves me one connection on the AE to connect to the wall, that goes out to the Living Room wall RJ45, where I'll have the switch hooked up for my multiple connections for the Home Theater. Since the AE is a gigabit and the switch out in the Living Room will be gigabit, I should have a gigabit bandwidth between the two right? Or if I decide I need a 2nd switch in the office to hook to the AE, if I had a gigabit switch there, again, the connection between the two switches and AE would all be gigabit, so I'd have gigabit connections running from router (Airport Extreme aka AE), to swtich 1, then from switch 1 to switch 2, all gigabit...is that right?


Should I invest in CAT6 cable for this?

You should be fine unless you see yourself taxing your network with big bandwidth uses like numerous large file transfers from multiple devices across this uplink connection. In setting up networks, engineers design the layout to try to keep large intensive communications between devices on the same switch as the backplane of the switch usually has more than enough bandwidth to accommodate huge bandwidth transactions. For example, the Cisco 2960G series of GigE switches have the ability to support 32 Gbps across its backplane. So if you have say 4 boxes pulling at about 1 Gbps each on the switch, then you have a 4 Gbps load. Now let's move two of those boxes to another GigE switch but they have to communicate to the two others on the other GigE switch across a single GigE uplink connecting the two switches. Now can you see where the bandwidth contention comes in to play?


Like I said, some users may never see this as a problem while others might. In the older days when 100 Mbit was state of the art, you saw 100 Mbit switches which included uplink ports. These uplink ports behaved like normal switch ports but with one differentiation. They were usually GigE so that connecting two switches across this GigE uplink connection would minimize any performance issues with cross switch communication. But with GigE switches, most of them don't have higher speed uplink ports. The uplink ports which these switches have are the ones which support fiber for spanning switch connections across significant distances. Some GigE switches do come with higher speed uplink ports but that speed is 10 Gbit which is prohibitively expensive for most businesses to swallow.


In a GigE environment where you want to minimize any cross switch network performance degradation, the use of managed switches that support link aggregation is used. Link aggregation allows more than one port to be grouped together to act as one logical connection. Most managed switches support up to 8 physical ports in a link aggregation group. In my home infrastructure all my uplink connections between switches are done with 2 GigE ports in a link aggregation group for an effective 2 Gbits of throughput per link.


So that's the lenghty explanation behind some considerations when you connect multiple switches together.


As far as the use of Cat5e cable, you're fine using it if you already have it in place. My entire house is wired with Cat5e and I'm running a mix of 100 Mbit and GigE on this setup without any problems. If you are just starting fresh, Cat 6 would probably be prudent but not required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all that great information! I really can't thank you enough.

Do you know if this level of Linksys Switches have the aggregation group creation possibilites? These are what I plan to use.


8 Port Switch
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/EG008W


5 Port Switch
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/EG005W


These might not be managed I don't know? If not, can you recommend ones that are managed with link aggregation and not ENTERPRISE priced...this is for the home? Also if you use that feature, and have configured a 2gb link like you mentioned above, aren't you limited by the CAT5/6 cable and switches on each end? Maybe I'm not fully understanding "link aggregation" and how to set it up? Also if all my devices have only 1 NIC does this do me any good? I'm not understanding how you get 2 ports configured to push 2gbs of data over a network cable from one switch to another?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 /forum/post/15573763


Thanks for all that great information! I really can't thank you enough.

Do you know if this level of Linksys Switches have the aggregation group creation possibilites? These are what I plan to use.


8 Port Switch
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/EG008W


5 Port Switch
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/EG005W

No problem. Glad to help.


Let me say this upfront. What I talked about concerning uplink bandwidth contention will probably not affect most home users. I put it out there as it may affect some home users who are "power" users. It would definitely be a concern in a business environment.


That said, you have to pay for a managed/smart switch which is in the realm of business class products. The switches you provide a link for are not of this type. They are "dummy" switches with no advanced feature capability. You need to find a switch which supports IEEE 802.3ad (link aggregation.) The cheapest GigE smart switch you'll find which is a Dell PowerConnect 2708. I think they're going for around $70 to 90 for an 8 port switch. You'll need two of them on both ends of a aggregated link connection. I have a 2708 in my office and it runs fine. I've owned it for about 4 or so years now. The only thing about the 2708 is that it doesn't support jumbo frames. The 2708 is link aggregated to my backbone switch being a Netgear GS748TP which is also link aggregated to my Cisco 2960G 8 port switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by WonHung /forum/post/15574670


No problem. Glad to help.


Let me say this upfront. What I talked about concerning uplink bandwidth contention will probably not affect most home users. I put it out there as it may affect some home users who are "power" users. It would definitely be a concern in a business environment.


That said, you have to pay for a managed/smart switch which is in the realm of business class products. The switches you provide a link for are not of this type. They are "dummy" switches with no advanced feature capability. You need to find a switch which supports IEEE 802.3ad (link aggregation.) The cheapest GigE smart switch you'll find which is a Dell PowerConnect 2708. I think they're going for around $70 to 90 for an 8 port switch. You'll need two of them on both ends of a aggregated link connection. I have a 2708 in my office and it runs fine. I've owned it for about 4 or so years now. The only thing about the 2708 is that it doesn't support jumbo frames. The 2708 is link aggregated to my backbone switch being a Netgear GS748TP which is also link aggregated to my Cisco 2960G 8 port switch.

I will look up the Dell PowerConnect 2708, $70-$90 is not bad, but am I going to see a connection speed increase with this? I mean I am feeling its a bit overkill for my home theater situation. I think this setup you are suggesting is good for throughput, multiple file transfers, but I don't need that do I?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 /forum/post/15580278


I will look up the Dell PowerConnect 2708, $70-$90 is not bad, but am I going to see a connection speed increase with this? I mean I am feeling its a bit overkill for my home theater situation. I think this setup you are suggesting is good for throughput, multiple file transfers, but I don't need that do I?

I would say, no. I only brought up the bandwidth issue with a single uplink connection because some people may be impacted by it. Since, you don't know if your usage is going to cause issues with the single GigE uplink, I would say leave it alone and go simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the info WonHung, I'll be getting the non-managed Linksys switches I originally mentioned, a 5 and 8 port version. Then I'll get the Airport Extreme and be set with a nice "internal" gigabit network. The PC Server has a gigabit NIC, so when I stream music/movies/tv from the Windows Media Center on that PC Server to the Xbox out in the Living room, it should be a gigabit speed from one end to the other.


You've opened my eyes and had me doing all kinds of networking research, I am glad to have learned a lot!


Thanks.
 

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BTW, how are you connecting your AEx to the internet? You'll need it to be in the same room/place as your cable modem.
 
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