Bildad, to get inter-subnet communication working you have to use a router. You must understand that unless you've got gigabit LAN cards, your hosts are most likely talking in 100mbps.. you wont lose speed going through the switch to the router.. the 10/100 switch just means it supports both ethernet (10mbps) and fastethernet (100 mbps). Most switches are autosensing so they know what speed to operate at.
VLANs operate at Layer 2 and the end hosts have no idea about them.. you're getting into slightly sticky territory with VLANs when your basics are not down. I recommend you read the routing section that Tom told you about as well as
Networking/Connectivity/Switches and Bridges
from the main menu bar.
You must understand the segregation of Layer3 and Layer2 devices.. think of it this way.. the routers at Layer3 are like traffic cops directing where cars go, whereas the switches at Layer2 are like the roads you're travelling on.
"Bildad, to get inter-subnet communication working you have to use a router. You must understand that unless you've got gigabit LAN cards, your hosts are most likely talking in 100mbps.. you wont lose speed going through the switch to the router.. the 10/100 switch just means it supports both ethernet (10mbps) and fastethernet (100 mbps). Most switches are autosensing so they know what speed to operate at."
All of the nodes in the prepress portion of the network have gigabit NICs except for some of the printers. I would like to create at least three subnets. I would like to subnet offfice portion of the network which is on the 10/100 switch, and then two subnets on the gigabit switch. There are 3 W2k servers that perform very specialized services and pass large raster files to one another and to some proofing devices. I would like them segregated from the other W2k server and the the Mac and PC workstations. These are all plugged into the same gigabit switch. If I subnet, the packets will have to pass out of that switch, through the 10/100 switch to the router, and then back again, no?
What is the best way to get the two subnets on the gigabit switch talking to each other. I'm thinkng that I need a managed switch. I have an HP ProCurve 2724. I'm thinking I should have bought the 2800 series. Can anyone verify if this switch is layer 3? On their website I see no explicit statement that it is a layer 3 managed switch like I do on some of NetGear's.
Based on the date of the last post I will assume you are not so new any more. You probably found the answer to your last question as it took me less than a minute on google to find.
The HP ProCurve 2724 is a low-cost, unmanaged 24-port 10/100/1000 auto-sensing port switch. The HP Procurve Switch 2724 offers HP Auto-MDIX on all 10/100/1000 ports and are ideal for building networks with connectivity for any combination of 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps devices.
It would be unnessary to subnet a network with 30 and 20 nodes. It is much simpler and easier to just use more private class C network addresses i.e. 192.168.1.0, 192.168.2.0, 192.168.3.0 etc. You have all the private class C addresses of 192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 available to you. That's 256 nework address with 254 host addresses each.
However, if you expect to grow to the point you will need more than 254 nodes per network you need to move to either subnetting the class A private address of 10.0.0.0 or use class B private addresses in the range of 172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255.
All of your other questions seem to have been well answered.