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Distrabuted Access Switch Design



I have been asked to do some research on a network design that eliminate the need for IDF's or at least the most of them. So we are going to add a new location which will have 3000 drops and instead of running all those drops back to a IDF or MDF, the estimated cost for each drop would be around 400. The plan is to setup switches on the ceiling or somewhere closer the actual drops which would also be more cost efficient. Since you won't need to run the cabling long distance and have to terminate them. Does anyone have any advice or have tried something like this before.


So basically instead of having IDF closets you're going to put the switches in the ceiling closer to the users?  In effect you will create more "IDFs" but with shorter drops.  Then I assume fiber uplink all of those access switches back to the core?


Technically there's no reason that can't work.  The network doesn't care where the switches are located.  I just don't see how this saves any drops.  


You also need to be concerned about fire codes.  I doubt that the switches are rated to operate in the plenum.  You may need a climate controlled cabinet which is both heavy and costly.

Yes that's plan. There is no drop ceiling in the new building so the switches would be out in the open. The plan isn't to save drop's but eliminate the long distance cabling to the IDF's. instead of have 200 cable be run to the IDF you could have 8 fiber(2 for each SW) uplinks run the core/distribution switches.

Isn't that how you would do it normally?  You would have longer cable runs and potentially bigger IDFs by putting the switches in a closet, but 99% of the time your IDF is going to be fiber uplinked to the core.  


The design that you are suggesting really only saves copper cable length.  But I don't know how much of a cost savings that is going to be because you are now running 2 fibers from several more IDF switches which means more fiber and more ports used on the core.  There's an expense with that.


If you stick with a bigger IDF design then you can use stackable switches and only need 2 uplinks from each IDF closet.

OK,great I just wanted an outside point of view thanks for help.