I would check out a Cisco Catalyst 3750G-48TS which will give you 48 copper 10/100/1000mb/s ports and 4 SFP ports. They also have 24 port models which will work aswell. We use many of the 3750 models on our network and they are very good switches and work well for basic routing.
Jeremy, many thanks. The 3*** series were the ones I was looking at. Can you confirm that they can actually handle 1 - 2gbps in a real world environment? e.g. do you have any of those switches doing more than a gig constant?
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They are stacked.
I suspect the 1 gig limit maybe refers to their layer 3 capability. There's for sure no such issue at layer 2, the aggregate load on some of ours must be well in excess of 12 gigs at any time - and as I said the Gigachannel back to the core 6500 is at >3 gig most of the day.
The 3750 is okay, but there is nothing all that special about it for the price Cisco is demanding. If it were my money, I'd be looking at something like the Nortel Baystack 5510 or the Force10 S50. MSPR on those switches is significantly cheaper than the 3750. The performance will also be measurably better on the Force10 or Nortel products, but you won't get the cool brushed aluminum faceplate of the 3750 or the bragging rights that you purchased Cisco hardware. (for whatever that's worth)
We use the 3750s with PoE as wiring closet switches, and we have ~3500 of them in the field as a result of our IPTel rollout. Even though there are advantages to using Cisco phones with Cisco switches (namely auto-VLAN assignment based on CDP), we were prepared to go with another switch vendor before Cisco resorted to massive discounting to win the bid.
In any case, 3gbit is well within the capabilities of the 3750.
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Using purely layer2, the 3750 will push 4Gbps easily through the UPLINKS (which to the ASICs are really no different than the other ports, when in layer2 mode). =)
That's true, although there's a bit of a difference when running Gigabit Etherchannel as in this case. Although I have no firsthand experience with Etherchannel (because I prefer L3 and OSPF), at least one credible source has told me that you can't reach anywhere near the stated performance capability of 8gbit while running Cisco devices in Etherchannel. If true, this would not surprise me in the least. It would not be the first time Cisco has blatantly lied about the performance of their hardware. Although I do trust the poster who purports to move 3gbit via Gigabit Etherchannel, I'd be curious to know if these frames are typical 1500 byte frames, jumbos, or 500-smaller.
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You should also take a look at the force10 S50 datacenter switches.
They have 48 10/100/1000 ports, 4 SFP ports, and module slot that you can add a 2 port 10GigE module to. They also have a built in stacking ports and can do full line rate on every port including module ports simultaneously.