I've got a network that has a failing 24 port Cisco (unmanaged) gigabit switch. This particular office has 14 workstations and soon just 1 server (AD, DHCP, DNS) and a good number of network printers. The issue is that they recently had some new ports ran all over the office by the electricians (who screwed up the wiring on the Cat5e, go figure). So they now have about 4 wall jacks that aren't event hooked into the switch so they are dark. I wanted to bring these ports live for when someone hooks a laptop up for conference, and replace the failing Cisco. Unfortunately I'm in that nasty point where buying a 24 port replacement wont do the trick for ports, and a 48 is almost overkill but also costs a lot more and the only decent ones available are managed.
This particular office doesn't seem like it would really benefit from a managed switch, unless I'm not taking into consideration certain things. There are no VOIP phones, separate subnets, or anything like that. They simply access Quickbooks files via the file server and work out of them over the network. The only other thing I've got running on the server is a simple OpenFire server for interoffice chat/file transfer (rarely file swapping). I don't really see the benefit of a 48 port switch that's managed and there aren't any quality unmanaged switches. I recently installed a Cisco ASA 5505 and configured it with a simple Inside/Outside (no additional Vlans).
What I perceive to be the best options are....
A) Purchase 2 x 24 port unmanaged switches and run one off of the other. If needed to separate things out, I can always use the ASA to "Manage" them and simply hook the 24 port switches to the ASA.
B) Purchase 1 x 48 port unmanaged switch (crappy quality from what I've seen), and pay the extra cash, 200-300 bucks more than 2 x 24.
C) Purchase 1 x 48 port managed switch, very expensive in comparison. I'd be running this in the most opened manner and wasting the features that were paid for, but retain the ability to down the road manage the network via the switch if need be.
This office is not likely to "expand" as they are fairly cramped in their office and already expanded out the office last summer by buying space from the renters next door. They decided to make this their long term home, one or two more systems at max being added. However, I can see the addition of other devices like more networked printers. They already have a new phone system in that allows them to manage it via a web interface, so I don't see VOIP going in anytime soon either.
Found this 24 port unmanaged switch. I'm not in the habit of purchasing junk hardware, but with the glowing reviews, its a bit hard to ignore this switch.http://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/P ... 6833704065
Any takes on TP-Link, I've used some of there stuff against my will and they seem like another Trendnet, a no frills networking company. It does come with a 5 year warranty... which means nothing if the company won't back that warranty though. For $100 bucks that seems to be a very affordable way to get into some 24 port gigabit switches. The Cisco equivalent runs $375, one hell of a difference there.