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Old 09-06-12, 14:32
mondrawy mondrawy is offline
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Default Extended LAN switching problems

So I have a wired lan setup covering an area roughly about 20 buildings with the purpose of providing cheap internet access, all switches are within 100m of each other. I have a server setup in a central location for bandwidth throttling and QoS and so far everything has been going well except for one thing. Almost every other day, I have to reboot some switches because sometimes some users receive no data on the farther switches. I've ran over the cables several times and everything is fine, however the switches seem to freeze over sometimes and require a reboot (specially the ones after switch #4). It used to be like once a week but the frequency has begun to become unmanageable.

This is a fairly amateurish network built with regular cheap commercial switches of various brands, Dlink, tplink, 3com ....etc. I realize this may not be the optimal setup for a home LAN and quite likely the equipment may not be up to the job.

So I'm asking for some advice on how to improve this network, add some stability, perhaps some type of switching fail-over, and most importantly resolve the constant interruption of service. I've linked a crude network topography to help explain the layout, hope you don't mind my awesome mspaint skills
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File Type: jpg Crude Network Topography.JPG (20.7 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by mondrawy; 09-06-12 at 14:38.. Reason: oops, forgot to add a LAN topography
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Old 09-09-12, 10:31
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foogoo foogoo is offline
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Default Re: Extended LAN switching problems

I think you're breaking the rules
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/art...s/netrule.html
When an Ethernet signal travels from its source to destination station, it can travel through:
- maximum of 5 segments
- maximum of 4 Repeaters/hubs
- maximum of 3 populated segments
(Populated segments have more than 2 nodes connected, un-populated segments have only a node at each end).
There can be more repeaters/hubs in the complete network, and an Ethernet signal can pass-by more than 4 Repeaters/hubs, as long it does not have to go THROUGH more than 4 Repeaters/hubs.

OR you can get a IP controlled power switch like this one
I have some at work from http://www.digital-loggers.com/lpc.html and remotely reset the units to prevent have to go out to them.
Last idea, just spitballing, use hubs past switch 4.

Last edited by foogoo; 09-09-12 at 10:40..
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Old 09-13-12, 22:45
handygal handygal is offline
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Default Re: Extended LAN switching problems

If it's mostly 6 & 7 that has an issue, you might get away with wiring 6 & 7 to #4 instead of #5.

For the wiring, do you have Cat5e or Cat6? Is it running outside? Where are the runs that are 100m? If it is building to building and is outdoor, is it outdoor rated cable? Gel filled to avoid condensation? Is it worse on colder days?

I would try moving the setup if possible and then i would check the details about ethernet cable limits. There is more to it than you can run it 100m.
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Old 10-07-12, 19:22
mondrawy mondrawy is offline
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Default Re: Extended LAN switching problems

Thanks for the replies, sorry for seemingly abandoning this post, I got sidetracked by other issues but now I'm back to resolve this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foogoo View Post
I think you're breaking the rules
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/art...s/netrule.html
When an Ethernet signal travels from its source to destination station, it can travel through:
- maximum of 5 segments
- maximum of 4 Repeaters/hubs
- maximum of 3 populated segments
(Populated segments have more than 2 nodes connected, un-populated segments have only a node at each end).
There can be more repeaters/hubs in the complete network, and an Ethernet signal can pass-by more than 4 Repeaters/hubs, as long it does not have to go THROUGH more than 4 Repeaters/hubs.
Well technically switches 6 and 7 are the 4th repeater. The problem is 5 is also part of the problem. Infact I believe the problem is there at 5, since if it fails i can't access the rest of the network. I've replaced the switch a couple of times and even put a bigger 16-port one hoping perhaps it can handle extra load if that was the issue. I've also replaced the power cable running to it from switch 4 (separate cable), I've yet to actually test the current/voltage coming to the other end but I'm fairly certain its more than enough to run a 9v (or 12v) adapter for a switch.

Quote:
For the wiring, do you have Cat5e or Cat6? Is it running outside? Where are the runs that are 100m? If it is building to building and is outdoor, is it outdoor rated cable? Gel filled to avoid condensation? Is it worse on colder days?

I would try moving the setup if possible and then i would check the details about ethernet cable limits. There is more to it than you can run it 100m.
I'm using Cat5e, almost 80% of the network is running outside, though all outside switches are placed in protective boxes. Switches 1, 2 & the main switch are all inside, the distance between them is under 15 meters. Distance from main switch to 4 is about 70 meters, so is the distance to 5. Distance to 6 & 7 are very close to 90m. The numbers could vary a few meters though. Since last posting this I've done some minor changes, I've added a second switch at 3 & 6 to increase port capacity from 8 to 16, minus the small cable connecting both of them ofcourse.

After a reset, I can run a bandwidth test between my main server & PC's on switch 6 & 7 and get almost 8-10MB/s or more which is fairly good. It can stay like this for quite some time, but sometimes I get signal deterioration and can get a throughput of perhaps 1MB/s or a complete failure which forces me to do a reset, afterwhich things return to normal. I can go almost 2 weeks without having to do a single reset, but other times I can't go 2 days without having to do several resets.

I don't quite understand your suggestion about moving this setup, move it to where ?
As for the weather, its been summer for the past few months so its been fairly hot here. I don't believe winter added any problems. I don't know about the cable's outdoor rating, how can I verify ? It definitely isn't gel filled though
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