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Thread: help setting up small office network

  1. #1

    help setting up small office network

    wats up guys im currently trying to setup a network in a real estate office for a friend of mine... he wants to keep it low budget since its going to be very user friendly. here are some info on infrastructure.

    A total of 16 computers...4 of which are going to access the same files... 1 printer/fax everyone will access the internet and 1 wifi connection point for the public....help me out here guys ... he kinda wants to stay away from expensive server since its going to be real user friendly and only 4 people are going to be using private files.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Most real estate offices run on internet based ASP stuff these days..but some old school ones/smaller ones still do a lot of local files. Contact management, etc.

    2x things...for the file storage...you must keep the wireless separate from the office network. Easy enough these days with some SOHO/small biz rated hardware, many of which can make this easy through a feature called VLANs. Effectively a VLAN will create individual networks...that are not able to access each other.

    Do they rely heavy on e-mail?
    Do they have remote access needs?

    Even though you only say 4x PCs will access the same files....if remote access, e-mail, and shared fax are a need of theirs....look into Microsoft Small Business Server. Another feature SBS has is Sharepoint...which they may find handy. SBS starts with 5x user cals...do you think they may have approx 5K in their budget?
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  3. #3
    yea they have 5k... doesnt sound bad but im a little confused with VLANS.. another thingis that im having a brain fart on how to do the physical connections... meaning from the dsl to a router and then what... I know I need a switch or two but where do I connect the wireless access point for internet access for the public..I have knowledge of networking im just having some trouble changing gears.thanks for the help... BTW the 2x you mentioned above is that application server software correct?

  4. #4
    oh yea and they somewhat rely on email...nothing big... and they dont care about remote access

  5. #5
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Super budget alternatives....
    Setup a small peer to peer network with the 4x machines that need to share files...have the fastest, newest one with a large hard drive..share out a folder. Setup a backup routine on that PC, using something like an Iomega REV drive.

    Or get a little NAS appliance to do the sharing.

    But I'd push for the SBS approach first. My experience with businesses...they may say up front that they don't want a server or all of that stuff....but soon as they see all these cool functions you can do with SBS..they love it, and start using it much more...and then they get a sense of value.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  6. #6
    ok sounds cool...but how exactly do i set it up....

    meaning...from the dsl port on the wall to a router? and from router to a switch?

    This is when i get lost...i mean i know the encapsulation each of these network adapters uses but i dunno y im having a hard time trying to "SETUP" the network. Thanks for your help

  7. #7
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    How you set it up depends on the hardware that you have, and what other equipment you're mixing in.

    Generally yes...broadband modem into router...router uplinks to a switch. However...if you have a server running a domain...you need to do a few more things....check this link for a peek...
    http://www.speedguide.net/read_articles.php?id=1660
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  8. #8
    good info man... another question... what type of ISP service will I need...meaning would I be able to use a regular $35 per month service that is used at home or would I need something with more options... also one of my CCNA TEACHERS is going to hookme up with a cisco 2600 series router but it has serial ports to connect to other networks and 2 fast ethernet ports...howcan I go from lets say the dsl modem to that from....I know about DTE/DCE but I cant putit to work...thanks for the feedback

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    SG Enthusiast koldchillah's Avatar
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    What are the other 12 workstations used for?

    The network you're describing screams for Small Business Server. I would definitely look into that.

    For ISP, I would recommend a business class DSL or cable broadband connection, however look into whose providing services in your area.

    Nowadays, several Telecom companies are issuing split voice/data T's with great calling packages, and most importantly a Service Level Agreement that will guarantee a certain uptime for the office, whereas most of the DSL and cable providers make no such guarantees.

    Another note: Many business class internet providers are now giving away modems with built-in routers as part of service. If this is the case, then technically you won't need a Cisco 2600 or any other router for that matter, unless of course you are looking for a particular feature such as VPN capability. In many cases, where my customer has their own router/firewall that they want to use instead of the ISP's, I actually have to call the ISP and have them log into the modem/router that they supplied and turn off the router portion of the modem (NAT - Network Address Translation).
    "Nobody's invincible, no plan is foolproof, We all must meet our moment of truth." - Guru

  10. #10
    well downtime isnt that much of a big factor... maybe just as much as a factor like if it were to happen at home.... so that i dont worry much about....as a matter of fact i just spoke to my friend a last night and he told me that for now he is only going to have a total of 6 computers...but hes going to get more ppl to work for him and thats y he wants 16 clients.

    I was just wondering how can i set certain static ip's and still be able to get on the web. because i cant do that at home even if i statically enter the same ip my DHCP handed out to me. And also how about my WIFI acces point in the office...where can i throw that in. Can i go for example from a cisco rv082 into a wireless linksys router or something.

    BTW i gave the cisco 2600 router back to my proffesor since it was an overkill and he kinda needed it. Thanks

  11. #11
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobe1424 View Post
    I was just wondering how can i set certain static ip's and still be able to get on the web. because i cant do that at home even if i statically enter the same ip my DHCP handed out to me. And also how about my WIFI acces point in the office...where can i throw that in. Can i go for example from a cisco rv082 into a wireless linksys router or something.
    We're talking about different sides of the router for static IPs here.

    A static IP account from your ISP...ensures that the public IP address of your network (the IP your DSL or cable modem assigns you) is the same every time. This helps out with if you need remote access ( a great feature of Small Business Server), and if you run a mail server.

    Static IPs on your local network..such as what your router hands your workstation..are a different thing, and not really necessary one you have a server in place. The server itself would be static of course.

    Sidenote...not a good idea to assign static IPs in the same pool that your DHCP service runs...always select an IP outside of the pool. Can end up with IP conflicts.

    Yes you can sling a wireless "access point" off of an existing router. You don't want to use a wireless router hung off of an existing router, unless you reconfigure that wireless router as just an access point.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  12. #12
    cool....well how can i configure that router to just be an access point to the internet.

    Would i do this by consoling in or in this case just typing the ip address in the web browser, go into the wireless routers configuration?

    What things should i turn off or on in order for that WAP to just access the internet. Thanks again man...I appreciate all this feedback

  13. #13
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    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by tobe1424 View Post
    wats up guys im currently trying to setup a network in a real estate office for a friend of mine... he wants to keep it low budget since its going to be very user friendly. here are some info on infrastructure.

    A total of 16 computers...4 of which are going to access the same files... 1 printer/fax everyone will access the internet and 1 wifi connection point for the public....help me out here guys ... he kinda wants to stay away from expensive server since its going to be real user friendly and only 4 people are going to be using private files.

    thanks
    Hi,

    Well to start you can try to have a small switch/hub up to 20 users. All the computers you can run from the switch. Depending on the operating system, you can set some policies to allow or deny access to some files. It is advisable to use Win Server OS, at list you can control internal and external network. The computer which will be running the OS, can be just a normal desk top nothing special. Specially when client doesnít want any fancy desktop. Printer you can connect to the switch/hub, install it on all the computers, plus make sure it is shared. Same will apply to Wifi. You canít have too much of so called user friendly network, because of your users will cause too much havoc if it is not controlled. You can implement user level or admin level access. In my opinion it is always best to have admin base access with passwords that will be administered by you.

    Hope this will help you.

  14. #14
    thanks man..it does help on the $$ side

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