This chapter provides cabling guidelines for determining how to build networks using FastHubs.

**Note **Before connecting to any network device, install the FastHub according to the procedures described in the "" chapter.

The IEEE 802.3u standard defines two different classes of 100BaseT repeaters, Class I and Class II. Class I repeaters limit a network to having a single repeater. Class II repeaters allow networks to be built with more than one repeater. In addition, Class II repeaters allow longer cable distances in single repeater configurations than do Class I repeaters. The FastHub 100 series, FastHub 216T, and FastHub 300 series are Class II repeaters. Moreover, the FastHub 116T, FastHub 216T, and the FastHub 300 series exceed the specifications for Class II repeaters, allowing the use of longer cable lengths than standard Class II repeaters.

The FastHub 116T can be connected to other FastHub 116T units as well as to other Class II repeaters, such as the FastHub 100 series, FastHub 216T, and FastHub 300 series.

FastHubs can be cascaded using the standard 100BaseTX ports on the front of each FastHub. When one FastHub is cascaded to another FastHub, using Category 5 UTP cable and the 100BaseTX ports, the two FastHubs appear to the rest of the network and to the management consoles as two logical repeaters. shows how cascading two FastHubs results in a maximum of 30 stations on the same segment.

Figure 2-1

Cascading FastHubs

You can build networks with two or more Class II repeaters in a single collision domain. With two Class II repeaters, you can have a short segment connecting the repeaters while maintaining 100-meter Category 5 UTP connections to the attached stations. Using more than two repeaters in a single collision domain requires considerably shorter connections to attached stations. shows the connection of two FastHubs to form a collision domain with up to 30 ports.

Figure 2-2 Collision Domain for Two FastHubs

This section provides two simple network configurations, as specified in the IEEE 802.3u standard, using the FastHub. These configurations were designed to satisfy the requirements of most networks that are built to the EIA/TIA-568 wiring standard. This standard specifies 100-meter Category 5 UTP connections from wiring closets to desktops. If your network requirements cannot be met with one of these configurations, or if you are building networks mixing FastHub units with other Class II repeaters, see the "FastHubs in Extended and Multivendor Configurations" section in this chapter.

**Note **Because the FastHub 116T, FastHub 216T, and FastHub 300 series exceed the specifications for Class II repeaters, the cable distances specified in the following configurations are greater than those specified in the IEEE 802.3u standard and apply only to networks configured with these FastHubs.

In any configuration, the maximum Category 5 UTP cable length is 100 meters.

With only Category 5 UTP cable segments, the maximum length for any cable segment is 100 meters, as shown in .

Figure 2-3 Single FastHub with Category 5 UTP Cable Segments

The maximum Category 5 UTP cable segment length is 100 meters. When stations are connected to the FastHubs with 100-meter Category 5 UTP cable segments, the Category 5 UTP cable connecting the two FastHubs is limited to a distance of 23 meters, as illustrated in .

If all of the Category 5 UTP cable segments connecting stations to one or both of the FastHubs are less than 100 meters, the length of the Category 5 UTP cable segment connecting the two FastHubs can be increased. See the "FastHubs in Extended and Multivendor Configurations" section for more information.

Figure 2-4 Two FastHubs with Category 5 UTP Cable Segments

The previous cabling examples applied to configurations of one or two FastHub units with Category 5 UTP segments assumed to be at their worst-case distance, 100 meters. When the maximum Category 5 UTP segment length is less than 100 meters, longer inter-repeater links or more repeaters can be deployed. On the other hand, when FastHubs are deployed with the FastHub 100 series or standard Class II repeaters (Class II repeaters that meet but do not exceed the IEEE 802.3u specification), the maximum span is decreased.

A specific calculation of maximum cable length is required in the following cases:

•Deploying more than two repeaters

•Connecting FastHubs with other repeaters

Allowable repeater configurations are determined by the longest path between any two stations. This path constraint is determined by cable segment lengths, cable types, number of repeaters, and repeater types. The arithmetic underlying this determination can be reduced to a constraint on the sum of the segment lengths between the two furthest stations. The constraint is expressed in total meters and assumes that all segments are Category 5 UTP.

**Step 1 **Confirm that no Category 5 UTP segment is greater than 100 meters.

**Step 2 **Confirm that the sum of the Category 5 UTP-equivalent segment lengths between any two end-stations (including bridges, switches, or routers) is less than the maximum value specified in . For multirepeater networks, it is critical to evaluate not just the paths passing through the most repeaters but also the station-to-station paths (if applicable) passing through one, two, or three repeaters.

Table 2-1

Determining Cable Lengths

It is possible to add a third FastHub in the same collision domain to increase the total number of connected stations to 48. Using , we see that the maximum Category 5 UTP equivalent distance between any two stations connected by three FastHubs is

149 meters.

In the following example, all three FastHubs are in the same wiring closet, separated by

1-meter Category 5 UTP cable segments. Substituting this information into the formula shown in , we see that B + D = 2 meters, A + (2 meters) + E ð 149 meters, and therefore A + E ð 147 meters. If A is 60 meters, then E would be 87 meters.

Note that after assigning cable lengths to A and E, we must check to see if the configuration rules for stations separated by two FastHubs have been violated. That is,

A + B + C ð 223 meters and C + D + E ð 223 meters. For the first configuration,

we get: A (60 meters) + B (1 meter) + C ð 223. In this case, C must be ð 162. For the

second configuration (C + D + E ð 223) we get: D (1 meter) + E (87 meters) + C ð 223.

In this case, C must be ð 135.

To satisfy both paths (A, B, C and C, D, E), C must be less than or equal to 135 meters. Note that these are Category 5 UTP equivalent meters.

Figure 2-5 Adding a Third FastHub

It is possible to build networks combining FastHubs with other Class II repeaters from Cisco or other vendors (see ).

Using , we see that A + B + C ð 214 meters. Note that these are Category 5 UTP equivalent meters.

Figure 2-6 One FastHub and One Other Class II Repeater

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