Advice : Switches / routing, mid - large scale

Hello folks,
So the company i work for is moving premises soon, so that means new infrastructure.
now i can set up small - mid networks, no problem. but this is a bit different..

essentially, there will be 5 rows of warehouse racking, each row consisting of 4 'blocks', each block is to contain 40 or 60 end points, which will be punched into patch panels, then plummed into a switch, with a feed off to another switch, that all 'blocks' of that row connect to, before going back to the server..

3 of these 5 are relatively low bandwidth req. (about a 110mb file to be PXE booted)
the other 2, are for windows deployment.

(18 of each 60 is for redundancy)

so a short recap, 2 x (60 x 4) = 480, or 2 x 240
and 1 x (4 x 40) = 160

for the 110mb pxe boot

1 x (60 x 4)
1 x (80 x 4)

for windows deployment..

now, we dont have the budget for data centre class switches..
so as much as i would love to have a L2 gbit ethernet switch for every 24 ports with a 10gb sfp back to the server cab into 2 24 port L3 10gb fibre switches, the cost is simply ludicrous..

SO! reality check... realistically, without spending silly money, im going to have restrict the deployment to 120, and 160. meaning..

row 1. 160 end points for windows deployment, 160 for the 110mb pxe boot.
row 2. 320 end points for pxe boot
row 3. 120 end points for windows deployment, 120 for pxe boot.
row 4. 240 ports for pxe boot
row 5. 240 ports for pxe boot

rows 4 and 5 are pretty easy, 5 x 48 port gbit switch, gbit sfp(for each) to server cab.
row 3 2 x 48 port + 1 24 port with 1gb sfp to the server cab, and 2 x 48port and 1 48port..
row 2 6 x 48 port + 1 24 port with 1gb sfp to server cab.
row 1 3 x 48 port + 1 24 port with 1gb sfp to server cab.

so thats 19 sfps, into gbit l1 fibre switch, with a line to the pxe server..

now ideally, i want multicasting for the windows deployment, what with it being roughly 8GB in size..

reccomendations on switches??

anything you would different??


Without knowledge of budget constraints it'll be hard to make a solid recommendation.

Port density, support, and price can vary greatly, if you'd prefer solid warranty support and can't afford high end Cisco or Juniper hardware, look at HP ProCurve switches. They have a CLI menu for the less command line inclined out there, and their syntax is similar to Cisco albeit a few things are done differently.

If these are still too expensive, D-Link's would probably be the lowest end you could go and expect somewhat reliable service. As long as power is stable and constant, and you aren't implementing too many features they would work as well.

Draw up a Visio as well, will make things a lot easier.

im ok for the rj45 switches, really its the fibre switch i need advice on.
and the best way to tackle the multicast aspect.
im assuming, layer 2 switches to plug the endpoints in to, and then carry those over to more layer 2 switches, stacked into a layer 3 switch, witch then connects to the server..

but i have no experience with fibre at all.

could i get away with copper right up to the server, then fibre from server to the first switch?

i myself dont know budget constraints, i am the only network savvy person in the business so its all on me..
obviously, the cheaper the better. but it has to work, and work well.. sorry to be so vague....

When looking at fibre then you need to add in the cost of the SFP's, as those can easily cost more than the switches you purchase when you start adding more and more ports. Are you running single mode or multi mode? What's the extent of your multicast setup, i.e. will you require features like IGMP snooping?