what's better switch or router (level) for this scenario?


  1. Posts : 90
    Windows 7 x64, ultimate/pro/home, SLES x86 & ia64
       #1

    what's better switch or router (level) for this scenario?


    I'm setting up a small business network between 2 rooms.
    room 1 consists of ~10 windows 7 pc's.
    room 2 consists of a windows 7 server and a linux server, along with something like a synology DS3612xs NAS.
    room 1 and 2 is connected by fiber.
    I need to get a new switch/router for room 1 at least, having a fiber option.
    I expect on average 5 users in room 1 moving data back & forth from the ds3612xs.

    (a) disregarding the fiber option for arguments sake let's say i have a cat6 cable run instead between room 1 & 2, would i be better off using a switch or a router regarding cost and performance and why? I'm asking from the perspective of when to use a switch vs router and vice versa perspective.

    (b) given the fiber connection i need network hardware to support that, what network switch/router would you recommend?
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  2. Posts : 2,298
    Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 ; Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
       #2

    ron7000 said:
    I'm setting up a small business network between 2 rooms.
    room 1 consists of ~10 windows 7 pc's.
    room 2 consists of a windows 7 server and a linux server, along with something like a synology DS3612xs NAS.
    room 1 and 2 is connected by fiber.
    I need to get a new switch/router for room 1 at least, having a fiber option.
    I expect on average 5 users in room 1 moving data back & forth from the ds3612xs.

    (a) disregarding the fiber option for arguments sake let's say i have a cat6 cable run instead between room 1 & 2, would i be better off using a switch or a router regarding cost and performance and why? I'm asking from the perspective of when to use a switch vs router and vice versa perspective.

    (b) given the fiber connection i need network hardware to support that, what network switch/router would you recommend?
    Based on the scenario I would have a switch in room 1 and another switch in room 2. This is just to enable an interconnection between the devices. Alternatively you could use VLANs and perform the same separation on 1 switch however that depends on how much knowledge you have as it is a feature typically only on enterprise grade equipment.

    I would then place a router that is connecting to both switches and routing traffic between them. Side note, you would need to use 2 subnets for this scenario. For example room 1 would be 192.168.1.0/24 (255.255.255.0) and room 2 would be 192.168.2.0/24 (255.255.255.0).

    Why use a router? Good question and in actual fact you could just have an interconnection between the two switches and have it all one network however this poses some risks. For example, you said you had servers in room 2. Just by having 2 switches connected together you will have extremely limited security options in terms of protecting the servers from potential attacks. By having a router in place you offer some security protection and therefore reduce the risk of an attack on the servers.

    Network Design is a subjective process that needs to take in to consideration all aspects whether it be cost, security or expertise of the people managing the network ... etc. Just because I say I would use a router doesn't necessarily mean that I am correct or wrong but rather what I feel would be necessary. Someone else may say, save the money and just connect the two switches.

    Hopefully this shines the light on a couple of things,

    Josh :)
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