Data networks and Telecommunication

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Other than the answer provided below what other questions can you ask if your boss says, "Get me some prices on switches," then what questions would you need to ask and what information would you need to pin down before starting to look at vendors?

I think the first question I would ask here is about budget. There's obviously a price difference between small switches with 12 ports, 24 and 48 ports. There's also a price in terms of thoroughput, if it can handle Gigabit Ethernet and if it has managed switch and QoS capabilities included.

Once I had an idea about budget, I would then figure out the inventory of the office to make sure for our LAN (or SAN) that I had an idea of the proper amount of hosts that needed to be connected to figure out how big of a switch that needed to be purchased at a minimum. Also a factor into this is understanding the distance between everything in the office to our switches to make sure that from a cabling perspective, we can get the right number of ports on switches and to make sure that everything is covered by the plan.

The last piece of information I would then pin down is why I was asked to look at switches and find out what type of network topology that we currently had. There comes a point where not needing to create a large LAN comes into play if your office is a 3-man crew with 6 devices and we do not need a large amount of thoroughput.

With that said, I would also pin down how scalable our switch solution needs to be, whether we need to buy product that can fit a particular topology, such as core-edge.

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