As a customer's network needs grow, multiple switches and hubs become an inevitable necessity. Get tips and suggestions for handling the complicated process of adding switches, including suggestions on avoiding Ethernet loops.
Whether your customer's number of PCs is growing and they're running out of ports, or their PCs are spread around separate areas of a building; chances are, you're going to need more than one switch, and of course, you'll want to hook them together so that the customer's users will be in the same subnet. In this tip, we'll look at things you should know about connecting switches together.
The first step in successful switch configurations is understanding what flavor of cable is being used. Whether or not you're safe with "cross-over" cable or "straight through" is dictated by the switches and their connections. For example, a Fast Ethernet switch with UTP CAT5 and RJ45 connectors requires "cross-over" cable, where the wires inside reverse themselves from one end to the other.
This was first published in April 2007