Need Core Switch Recommendations

We just met with a client today that has a really old network that needs upgraded along with a camera system upgrade. The campus has two buildings with a main server room (MDF) plus four switch rooms (IDF). Each IDF is connected to the MDF with a fiber run. We are looking into the capacity of the existing fiber, but for discussion purposes, we can assume it is able to handle 10Gbe.

This entire network was built out in the mid 90's and has had very few upgrades since then. The fiber runs are using 10/100 media converters into 10/100 copper switches. They do have one Cisco Gigabit switch in one of the IDFs, but still all copper. Their current "core" switch is a Linksys 10/100 consumer switch. Yes, it's a mess.

We need to recommend a new core switch, preferably 10Gbe layer 2. We won't need a layer 3. They already have a Cisco router in place for routing. They will need a minimum of 5 SFP+ ports in the core switch, one for the switch in the MDF, plus four IDF switches.

Then we also will need five new PoE switches for replacing the aging Dell and Linksys 10/100 switches. We may reuse the existing Cisco Gbe switch somewhere, but it's lack of SFP+ ports makes it less valuable.

So, I am looking for product suggestions. Hopefully units you have experience with, not just a google search. We need to know how viable this upgrade is by giving them some rough up front numbers and decide if it is worth spending the time with a formal design/proposal.


Netgear makes one very close to that but only has four ports SFP: Netgear GS728TXS

You might able to find one with five ports but it will probably be a much more expensive so two of these stacked will still likely be more cost effective. Netgear's also got a wide range of cost effectiv PoE products.

Thanks Nathan! That was very helpful. I was thinking 5 ports or bust. I didn't think about stacking two 4 port units. I should have, but I didn't. :)

I have a pretty high opinion of those Netgear ProSafe switches. They are pretty good.

I used the Gen 1 switches in a stacked configuration on several jobs. The SFP ports worked great.

I just found out that their existing fiber is only rated up to 1Gbe, so I guess only SFP (not plus) is needed. Since that's the case, we can stick with the UBNT Edge Switch 48 as the core (2-SFP and 2-SFP+). This would cover the core and MDF switching needs, eliminating the need for the fifth SFP port.

I just saw this article, hope I'm not too late, and I think you might want to look at the Cisco 200 series (very popular and SMbusiness category, or the 30 series. "Nobody ever got fired by specifying Cisco." you can find the specs online with a google search, and buy them through Anazon. The smallest POE they go is an 8 port, but they have a few power option. In the 200 series, you might want to look at the SG200-10FP, 8 poe ports and 2 uplink ports. Amazon Prime has them for around $275, the SG300-10FP is around $350.

I would stay in switching families for consistency sake, both of these series will support VLAN if you want to hook them up together and leave them on seperate networks (if you need to power non-camera devices like Accesspoints... but that is a computer network engineer question...

I hope this helps,

David