How bad is it to daisy chain network switches?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by kevineugenius, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. kevineugenius

    kevineugenius [H]ard|Gawd

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    So, the internet comes into my house in the attic of the top floor... cause Comcast hates me I guess. We've run wires under the floor, so the upstairs is all networked. Then, dad put a computer in the basement because it's not so hot down there, so we ran a wire outside the house down into the basement. Now, the wife and I have moved back in, but we've taken over half of the main floor instead of upstairs where I used to live when I was younger, and there are no network cables at all on the main floor (house is: basement, main, upstairs). I'm on wireless right now, and it's slow/laggy as can be. I have a wireless-N router that I'm going to put in, but I don't have 100% faith in that either. Mom doesn't want any more holes drilled, and I don't blame her, so the easiest thing to do to get a wire would be to put a switch in the basement, then run a wire through the heating ducts to the main floor. We have three computers on the main floor, so I might need a second switch to hook them all up. Is that going to give me issues and/or should I just stick with the 802.11n?
     
  2. SockMan!

    SockMan! 2[H]4U

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    Using a switch should work fine.
     
  3. QwertyJuan

    QwertyJuan [H]ardForum Junkie

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    well... it's NOT really 'bad'..... we have one switch in one building at work that connects to another switch in another building(GB)... and it has been working flawlessly for roughly 4 years.
     
  4. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Small network, 3x computers...you're fine. Once you get into dozens and dozens of computers...heavier steady loads..you want to do the right thing with switches. But a home network...bah...fine.
     
  5. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Which is?????

    I've ALWAYS ran my networks in a Star...
    Back in the server room I'd connect switches together in order so everything can talk between switches.
     
  6. Gambit

    Gambit Gawd

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    The problem with Daisy chaining one switch to another is signal loss. As the signal is passed from one switch to another, the signal degrades. After enough degradation, the data will have problems being sent properly, need to be resent, and in the end just muck things up. In the case of signal degradation, you'd want a repeater to boost the signal. Since you're really only looking at hooking up a switch to a router, you'll be totally fine with that.
     
  7. NetJunkie

    NetJunkie [H]ardForum Junkie

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    No. Signals don't degrade on switches. They don't just pass the signal. It gets regenerated every time it goes through a hop. There used to be some passive hubs or bridges but those are long gone.

    No worries chaining switches.
     
    rive22 likes this.
  8. LGZdarkside

    LGZdarkside [H]ard [H]eaded

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    Spanning Tree has a depth limit of 7 daisy chained switches, exceed that and it will start giving you fits....
     
  9. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yea- I knew that... Anytime I actually need something that DOESN'T regenerate the signal- I have to forcibly look for it anymore!

    Why is this?

    Seriously I've never had any issues daisy chaining so I was wondering the issues...
     
  10. LGZdarkside

    LGZdarkside [H]ard [H]eaded

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    The default spanning tree protocol timers outlined in the spec (802.1d) assume that the network diameter is 7 hops max. I forget where I learned that , A Cisco class I believe.You don't have to use STP, but it helps in a large network, and most switches have it turned on by default...
     
  11. Captain Colonoscopy

    Captain Colonoscopy 2[H]4U

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    Ummm, running ethernet cables through the heating ducts is BAD. You could use plenum rated cable but . . . I personally wouldn't want that in my house. Maybe through the air-return . . .
     
  12. p3n

    p3n Gawd

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    That sounds alot like loopback, try doing some heavy bandwidth across those switches and see what happens...
     
  13. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've done some heavy bandwidth stuff before, but like I said I've never had issues.

    How do you do yours then?

    So the whole daisy-chaining thing is only dependant upon the STP?
     
  14. kevineugenius

    kevineugenius [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, I got my wireless-N network set up, and I'm getting horrible signal still... need to run some wires. Seriously, the router is like 25 feet above and behind my computer, and I'm getting like 85% signal strength at 130mbps... Still get quite a bit of chunky lag in WoW, which is the part that bugs me the most.

    I'll see what I can do about getting a wire run; turns out the heating ducts are all soft ducts that run from the outside halls of the upstairs, then run sideways under the floor, then one duct straight down, then along underneath the next foor... long story short, I'd have to make it through probably 100 feet of non-smooth duct surface and go around at least 5 corners. I don't see that happening unless I get some Mission:Impossible spy robot gear to drive into the ducts with the wire.
     
  15. Eva_Unit_0

    Eva_Unit_0 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't understand what you mean by "the internet comes in the top floor." Assuming you have some sort of standard home cable or dsl service (I think comcast is cable, right?), then it comes in from any cable jack or phone jack. Why not just move your modem to a more convenient location? Is your house really old and it only has one cable jack or something?
     
  16. kevineugenius

    kevineugenius [H]ard|Gawd

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    100+ year old house and we don't have any TVs, so there's no cable jacks anywhere. It comes in the house in one spot and goes straight into the modem. If I move the modem, then I have to figure out how to get networking to my parents computers in the upstairs, so it'd be the same problem but in reverse.
     
  17. QwertyJuan

    QwertyJuan [H]ardForum Junkie

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    and?? Does your dad play wow? Would he notice a few extra ms lag?? I doubt it.... I use wireless all day long, and at 70-80% signal, I'm MORE than happy surfing the net and checking my email....
     
  18. Rabidfox

    Rabidfox Limp Gawd

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    1) you're a home user
    2) you don't have to worry about layer 2 considerations other than gigabit or FE(wireless has other considerations, read a book).
    3) If you can measure the 1-2MS(IF ANY) delay by having a large 2 topology, then you're a better man than me and waaaaaaaaay more discriminating.
    4) Your energy is better spent on the places that re-write packets (NAT/PAT devices), or make decisions (Stateful firewalls, packet filtering routers)


    In your situation, just do it. You won't run into a wall at home unless you're specifically trying to.
     
  19. Drakan290

    Drakan290 2[H]4U

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    Two words: Powerline Networking
     
  20. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm not generally a big fan of wireless for fixed installations, but with high gain directional antennas, it should work. I would personally just do it the right way and run network cables (and coax cables) in the walls and patch and paint afterwards though.
     
  21. bobdole369

    bobdole369 Gawd

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    Shudders.










    The ham radio operator in me hates even the mention of powerline networking. It does work, it just has so much interference... BUt most folks don't listen to anything but am/fm over the air, so have a blast...
     
  22. QwertyJuan

    QwertyJuan [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Powerline is through the electrical outlets in your house... what does that have to do with AM/FM?? :confused:
     
  23. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The wires are like a giant antenna. The power line networking signals going over them can interfere with nearby equipment on certain frequencies. I would call it "almost" a non-issue though I can believe that ham radio people might have issues with it more frequently than most of us.
     
  24. Gambit

    Gambit Gawd

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    Hmm... I knew it was an issue on hubs, right? I wasn't sure on switches, so I did a search and that was the response I found. Of course, I can't find that site anymore.
     
  25. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It was an issue on some hubs. The bigger issue on most/all hubs would be utilization, unless it is a very low traffic network with a lot of hosts.
     
  26. kevineugenius

    kevineugenius [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hee hee hee, I have discovered that I can run a cable through the closet that the cable modem is currently in, around underneath the upstairs floor (there's like a 3-foot crawlspace in between), into a heating duct (or beside it if there is room) that goes straight down into the furnace room (unused, there won't be heat in the ducts) where the disconnected ducting is about 8 inches away from the duct that leads straight into the room, about 4 feet away, where my computer sits. I won't have to use any switches at all (unless I use multiple computers on my desk... which is likely) and can run straight from the router to my PC. I am giddy with anticipation.

    Just as a side note, wireless-N sucks on Vista 64. Maybe all wireless does, I'm not sure. If you put a heavy traffic load, it basically hard-locks the system. I've tried multiple cards, multiple drivers, and it works just fine... until you do something like a file transfer. Then it locks up again. I though SP1 had basically fixed Vista, but it appears there's still a few little quirks.
     
  27. Rampage1329

    Rampage1329 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Pretty sure this isn't true. Signal won't degrade with a switch, it only degrades over distances between devices. The problem with daisy chaining a switch is if there are two many switches in correct setup will cause switching loops, and certain devices might close connection because the reply time is taking too long. For instance a dhcp request might time out because of the amount of devices between a switch and a dhcp server. I don't think this is giong to be a problem. Just make sure you don't create any switching loops and you should be fine.
     
  28. kevineugenius

    kevineugenius [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, after crawling in the underbelly of the house, I now have two wireless routers hooked up... I had a switch as a backup in case the routers fought with each other, but it's working beautifully. Now, I have wired internet for my desktop and the wireless signal is way stronger for when I'm on the laptop (because I have two wireless routers now, and one is twice as close as the original was). My average ping dropped from around 280 to 60.