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A switch into a switch into a switch?

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by czeman, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. czeman

    czeman Network Guru Member

    The above subject was recently brought up at work. It was stated in a seminar that you should can plug a second switch into a port of your first switch, but if you need a third, it has to plug into the first, because otherwise the switches will no longer act as switches; they'll act like hubs and packets will start getting lost. Once that was brought up, we immediately made changes to our network setup.

    I was searching online for more information about this today and was unable to find anything. I figured I would bring it up here for anyone to confirm or deny what I stated above, and perhaps help others who may be having network issues related to a switch into a switch into a switch. :D

    Have fun!
  2. matthiaz

    matthiaz Network Guru Member

    I'm not beliving this. Putting it into the first port is only inportant on old switches which do not have autosense. Or how will you be able to do a central switch, eh...?
  3. czeman

    czeman Network Guru Member

    I wasn't saying they had to plug into port one; only that every additional switch you add has to plug into the first switch.
  4. RTSAnime

    RTSAnime Network Guru Member

    it is not that the switches will act as hubs it is just that it will generate a lot of extra traffic on your uplinks. it is best procedure to always have one main switch that all of your other ones uplink to.
  5. SimonMackay

    SimonMackay Network Guru Member


    I have dealt with a home network in the house I was in that ended up being engineered this way. As part of renovations in 2000, we wired that house for Ethernet with 3 ports -- in rooms where computers were being used.

    Then I installed a Linksys BEF-SR41 router and uplinked it to the network's switch via its crossover port. My machine was hooked up to this switch and provided print and file sharing for the home network. All points were wired to a Netgear 5-port switch which had one port as user-selectable between MDI (standard) and MDI-X (crossover). Previously, I had bought a no-name 5-port switch from a computer fair and used it as a regional switch where there was more than one computer in one room. There have been some situations where data passed through three switches because there have been some times where there was a laptop plus a desktop in one room benefiting from resources available at the Linksys switch. In this situation, there wasn't a packet loss issue going on between the three switches even though data was being run between all machines. In some situations, this was "real-time" data like games while there was bulk data like file transfers, print orders and Web (http) and e-mail (smtp / pop3) traffic.

    A good thing to do to test this out is to use a router and two switches. Hook the router to Switch 1 via a LAN port. Then hook Switch 2 via another port on Switch 1. Connect a workstation to Switch 2 and either connect a workstation with some music or video to a spare LAN port on the router. If you use a workstation attached to the router, stream some music or video from the workstation to the workstation on Switch 2. Dropped notes or frozen video could indicate packet dropping.

    Hope that this is of information to you,

    With regards,

    Simon Mackay

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