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High performance switches - on a budget

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serrix

New Around Here
Hey there,
I'm trying to find the "best" 24port, managed gigabit switch which runs wirespeed.
These will be used in gaming events for ~50 people.

So far the SMC8824M TigerStack II seems to be the obvious win with a switching capacity of "up to 176Gbps" and a thoroughput of "up to 95Mpps".
I can't find a switch that gets even close to that, most switches around $2000-$2500 NZD are 100mbps or have a thoroughput of ~35Mpps.

Will having a managed switch help us? (i.e. performance) or does it just add options?

Can anyone suggest any reasoning for this, recommend any switches or point out any issues with using this switch?
Cheers,
Serrix
 
Of the big LAN parties I've been to over the years (100+ people), there's usually some fairly standard HP or Cisco switches running the show. Games tend to not take too much bandwidth, so I wouldn't think you need much.
 
Thanks,
At the lans over here there tends to be a lot of leeching as well as gaming, its the leeching that takes the bandwidth. But even then, your right that the switches are quite overspec'd.
I'm looking for the highest performance switches i can find for $2-2.5k so that the specs will lure people and also so we can futureproof.
 
do u currently have 24 things to plug-in? if so id go for a 48-port switch which leaves some breathing space.

A managed switch is likely to be overkill and will probably just add some un-needed complexity. Unmanaged switches however, dont usually come in sizes larger than 24-ports... although you can get web-managed switches that do. They are ideal for people who want alot of ports and bandwidth, but not alot of features, and an easy to use web-interface.

You shold be able to find something for well under that price, probably for ~50% of what you're asking:
24-port from d-link:
http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=329
48-port from d-link:
http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=367
24-port from linksys:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9997/index.html
48-port from linksys:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10002/index.html

Those will definately be future proof...how well they lure people in depends on how 'network savy' your lan party goes are lol...if they know their stuff they will probably realise that many of the managed features are not really applicable to lan parties. The features on this should be more than enough for what you are doing.

By leeching you mean copying some files to their computer's from server/eachother right?

With the money you save hire some showgirls for your lanparty... that will make me come more than the ability to stack your switches !!!! :D
 
One of the nice things you can do with managed/higher end switches is set priority ports and sometimes some QoS to mitigate the problem with leaching/downloading/porn sharing and all the other stuff the tends to go on at LAN parties. Of the guys I've talked to who've run really big LAN parties this is basically all they do.

Personally, I like Cisco and HP switches, albeit Cisco's are wildly overpriced. I would think with some basic management in place you'd be fine, as opposed to looking for the highest spec switch out there.
 
Most web-managed switches have 4 Qos queues (levels) which should be sufficient for these purposes.

'Cisco' branded switches are generally expensive, however 'linksys' branded cisco switches are fairly reasonable.
 
a

Fan of HP ProCurves here....
On a budget, the Linksys SRW series are OK.

Due to how a LAN party is generally laid out..lots of tables spread around, you'll usually have to have at least several switches. So shoot for a nice switch "at the top"..by your server. Any people close to the server will be plugged into this. Also plugged into this, will be patch cords running to other switches spread around the room(s). Other people plug into those switches. Try to avoid having yet other switches uplinked into those switches. Nobody should be farther away from your server than a 2 switch hop.

I used to help setup/run lots of LAN parties..some quite large. For ~50 peeps...not much to worry about. I'd seek a switch with a couple of gigabit ports for your servers, the rest are fine at 100 speed..but if you want to spend for all gigabit...hey. But remember..gaming is not about high LAN transfer speeds, it's about lots of small packets needing low latency.

We ended up always writing up a list of "rules" everyone would get before the LAN party, that allowed us to get up and running quickly. This list was made after quite a few of our earlier attempts at LAN parties..which ended up with many of us spending 1/2 the morning helping to get people up and running.

*Clean running computers, no malware infested rigs.
*Set your NICs to "Obtain Auto"..as you'll be running a DHCP service on your LAN
*Close open shares on your PC, unless you don't mind other idiots at the LAN party messing with your computer. There's always a few knuckleheads at LAN parties who know enough about computers/workstations..that will see whos computer they can mess up badly.
*State which games you will be running, and what map maps/options/patches/etc you will be running...so that all guests should have those downloaded on their PCs before showing up to the LAN party.
*Use of P2P/torrent stuff is prohibited...the focus of this LAN party is to GAME..and optimal LAN performance is the goal. Tell everyone to keep that junk at home, and state that anyone found doing it will be verbally ridiculed and asked to leave because they're killing the LAN performance for everyone else.
*Ask people to bring their own surge strips/battery UPs, and patch cables.
*Headphones or small desktop speakers are preferred over high powered 2.1/3.1 systems. No need to drown out other people like a bunch of thump thumping rice cars in a parking lot having hatchback subwoofer competitions.

Your Game Server
*Run it on a nice APC battery UPs, as well as your switches/router. Chances are you may push the power of whatever place you're at..and trip a breaker. After too many of those...you're crossing your fingers each time you boot up your server again.
*Secure your server..remember..lots there who think they're funny by trying to hack into stuff and mess with it. Any share you feel you need..such as a share for game patches/mods/packs...give it read only rights, not full.
*Antivirus on your server, low system impact, tweaked
*SCSI or SAS drives on the server for optimal performance.
*A true server OS...it can handle the many concurrent connections better than a desktop OS.

//end of long winded post...goes downstairs and fills cuppa coffee again
 

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