we will now look at selecting distribution switches so in addition to all the general features we outlined at the start of this session again the distribution switch is only a layer 2 device avoid vendors who try to sell you lots of layer 3 and other fancy features that you simply do not need 12 or 24 copper ports are usually sufficient how many edge switches do you have in the building that you're trying to connect to the distribution switch if you have decided to use fiber to connect edge into the distribution then look for switch with fiber ports and here you want to look at one or two 10 gig fiber uplink ports you may start with a single 10 gig and then later on bond the two together to give you 20 gig capability to the core the distribution switch aggregates the edge switches towards the core of the network they may also be used to connect end users an initial roll out of a campus network and later on as more edge switches are added then these users get moved out there copper ports could be used for the edge aggregation and the fiber ports of course for the uplink we've included some example distribution switches we mentioned the cisco 2960x before in the edge case it can also be used in the distribution case got 24 10 100 000 ports and uplinks with two 10 gig ports moving up a gear the cisco 3850 introduced lots of layer 3 features over the 2960x but otherwise looks very very similar to that 2960x and of course you don't need the layer 3 features the nice thing with the 3850 is there are also some fiber options so the 12 port sfp fiber and the 24 port sfp fiber could be options as a distribution switch for the compass connecting by fiber to the edge and then you have the uplink ports two 10 gig uplink ports and an extension module to let you connect to the core so summarizing this the edge switch we focus on access ports fiber to the building distribution or is copper enough if you're building a brand new network today i would be putting fiber from edge into distribution if you're expanding existing network maybe carry on with the copper for now you definitely do not need any layer 3 capability don't be taken in by vendors who insist or pressure you into buying their three features the distribution switch fiber ports are connecting to the edge switches 10 gigabits fiber link into the campus core Again, you do not need any layer 3 capability.

© Produced by Philip Smith and the Network Startup Resource Center, through the University of Oregon.

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