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I am setting up our small office of around 30 users, divided into 2 rooms.

Plan A:

  • 1x Router
  • 1x 48-port smart switch
  • 2x Wi-Fi APs
  • Room A (10m x 7m) has developers which need 1Gbps link, 17 Users. So, 20 LAN ports, 1 wireless AP (less than 5 users).
  • Room B (5m x 7m) has developers which need 1Gbps link, 13 Users. So, 16 LAN ports, 1 wireless AP (less than 5 users).
  • All the users get wired to the 48 port switch, and I end up running 17 cables into the second room (running 17 cables of 20m would be approximately 350m of cabling).

Plan B:

  • 1x Router
  • 1x 48-port smart switch
  • 1x 24-port unmanaged switch
  • 2x Wi-Fi APs
  • Room A users and AP get connected to the smart switch. Room B users and AP get connected to the 24-port unmanaged switch, and we connect the 24-port switch to the smart switch. I end up using less wire here (one wire of 25m), but my link from Room A to Room B suffers because of a bottleneck if 3-4 users are transferring data between Room A and Room B.
  • Is there a way to connect Switch A to Switch B with a higher bandwidth line (maybe more than 1Gbps)? I know I cannot connect 2x lines from Switch A to Switch B. Is there any way around it?
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    Does the server(s) have a connection faster than 1Gbs? If not, the uplink will likely not be more limiting that the server connection. – JFL Apr 16 '16 at 19:22
  • Technically speaking, we don't have any servers. We use a mix of Linux, Windows, iOS devices in the network. Even though if we put an active directory system inside, the server will not need more than 100mbps. The main bandwidth will be those two groups of devs. – user2967920 Apr 17 '16 at 16:59
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You can only connect switch ports at the lowest common speed between the connected ports. Some switches can bond multiple ports to look like a single link, but unmanaged switches can't be configured that way.

Typical users are not using the full bandwidth all the time. Cisco recommends a 20:1 access to uplink bandwidth ratio for access switches. For every 20 access ports at 1 Gb, you need 1 Gb in the uplink.

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