condensing ethernet connections?

August 18, 2009 at 15:30:59
Specs: Windows XP
I'm looking to take a shortcut, if I can, in connecting a wired network (as wireless is not really an option in this case) across two parts of an old building. What I'd like to do is take several Cat 5e Ethernet cords from computers in one room, connect them all into some device which would allow me to carry all of their signals over a single Cat 6 cord to another such device, and connect a corresponding Cat 5e cord for each computer from the latter device into a router in another room some distance away from the first. This would save a significant cost in both time and materials, in connecting the computers to the router. Is such a device as described (a "network condenser", perhaps?) available for purchase somewhere? If so, what would it be called?

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#1
August 18, 2009 at 15:34:58
What you are asking for is referred to as trunking and this is done between MANAGED switches.

You would want gigabit modules in each switch for this connection.

How long would be the distance between these two switches?


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#2
August 18, 2009 at 15:49:35
A cheaper solution might be to just buy two gigabyte (or 10/100 depending on your speed needs) switches. Put one at each end with a CAT 6 cable between them. Then connect computers to each end as necessary. You probably don't need to use the more expensive managed switches, or mess with trunking. Of course, the specifics of what you need and how to set it up depend on your existing network.

-Ryan Adams

Free Computer Tips and more:http://RyanTAdams.com
Paid Tech Support: Black Diamond


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#3
August 18, 2009 at 17:54:44
The two rooms are just down a fairly long hallway from each other, close enough for the one computer that is currently in place to be connected with a single repeater roughly midway. The actual distance between the computer and router is less than 85m, but it is impractical to connect them along a more direct (physical) path than already in use (as it would also be to run several cords alongside each other -- primarily due to the building's materials, floor plan, and limited-sized passages through walls). It would be relatively easy to install a (powered) box (i.e. some sort of network hardware) just inside the rooms at either end of the hallway, which would make the physical connection length between said boxes amount to less than 65m. The current computer is (necessarily) physically isolated a good distance from the rest of the network, connected directly (modulo a repeater in a maintenance closet) to a central router by a narrow, rather long, path. What I'm planning to do is install up to three or four (but never any more -- no need or floor space) additional computers where the current isolated one is. I'd like to connect each to their own port on the central router if I can, as cheaply as is practical, while minimizing network speed penalties.

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Related Solutions

#4
August 18, 2009 at 18:22:54
Why do you feel you need gig speed?

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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#5
August 18, 2009 at 19:10:29
@jefro It was wanderer and RTAdams89 who mentioned Gb-enet (in replies).

It would be satisfactory for now if each computer could use a 10Mb connection to the central router (though I'd end up upgrading later so the newer computers which will inevitably eventually replace them could each have a 100Mb connection -- but that wouldn't likely change the architecture I use, just the type of wire (unless I install Cat 6a now to forgo pulling wire a third time later) and the network hardware on either end of it). The important goal is for each of the distant computers (which will all be close together) to connect to the central router as if it had its own direct Ethernet connection to it (ruling out a simple hub, which would cause to much congestion whenever more than one computer was network-active concurrently), while spanning the middle majority of the distance between the computers and the router with a single network cable.


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#6
August 18, 2009 at 19:44:18
@wanderer,jefro From what I've read, I believe trunking (splitting one larger connection into several smaller parallel connections) is the exact inverse of what I'm trying to accomplish: to combine several smaller parallel connections into one larger connection.

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#7
August 18, 2009 at 23:07:44
With all the additional info you have provided, it sounds like you can just take the cable which currently goes to the single computer in the room and instead plug it into a (100mb) switch. Then connect the original single computer and the others you want to add to the switch. Is there a reason you feel something this simple wouldn't work? Did I miss something important?

-Ryan Adams

Free Computer Tips and more:http://RyanTAdams.com
Paid Tech Support: Black Diamond


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#8
August 19, 2009 at 12:27:58
"I believe trunking (splitting one larger connection into several smaller parallel connections) "

Sorry its just the opposite. Trunking is where you have one or more connections between switches that are dedicated to switch to switch communication [which is what you were asking for].

Might want to review this
http://searchnetworking.techtarget....

For example you can have two gig wired connections between the switches and by "trunking" them you can get a combined thruput of 4000mbps [full duplex gig is 2gig which doubled is 4gig]

In your case it would appear only one wire would be required between switches.

I would suggest not limiting your thought for transfer rate to that of the router. I have to assume you want pc to pc communication also. Gig is the standard in todays networing hence the suggestion.


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#9
August 20, 2009 at 00:15:15
I guess the computers at issue don't really need to each connect to its own port on the router (as long as the same functionality incl performance can be achieved), so a single switch in the isolated room seems to be the simplest & cheapest solution. In retrospect that was kind of obvious, but I suppose out of habit from my main job I was expecting a one-to-one sort of symmetry, wherein each physical connection at one end has a corresponding one at the other. It would still be quite convenient later on, when wiring up other parts of the building, to be able to cheaply concentrate and split data lines (as with pairs of (semi-)passive "muldexing" devices akin to a less "stupid" version of a hub). I'll probably just end up using a spattering of switches instead (which will probably add up to a demand for a faster router).

Thanks for all the tips.


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