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Flowerpower12

What is a good network configuration?

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Hello,

 

The company I work for has given me the task of researching a good network configuration for our new office. The network will run Windows Server 2008 and 15 employees will work at the office. There is a server room and a conference room.The network should have capabilities to connect guests and additional visiting employees. Wireless networking capability is also important. In addition, traveling employees should be able to connect to the network when they travel. We also need some kind of backup solution.

 

What kind of network configuration and hardware do you people suggest for the above mentioned needs? Thank you in advance. 

 

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My recommendation is one network with Active Directory, DNS and DHCP servers. Internet access through a proxy. Routing and Remote access will allow for VPN for remote users. As far as concerning wireless access, I would recommend a router that supports guest networks so that non-employees are not on your network. Moreover, I would recommend an intranet which is available over the internet with SSL so that users can access resources without the need for VPN. Let me know if you want me to expand on any of the above :D

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I imagine this thread is going to turn into a Flame War. You need to give us Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more information than that. What do you have now? Do you plan of Virtualizing? Do you have existing infrastructure. Do you need VLAN's? Most probably. Do you have any security concerns. Do you have a big budget or are you looking at Open Source. The NETWORK wont run Windows Server. The SERVER will run that. The NETWORK might run Cisco IOS, Not Apple iOS. Dont confuse the two? Do you have a domain? So Wireless Security? Lets touch on that. Have you seen Cisco Lobby Manager? What have you looked at so far? Do you have an admin team?

 

Edit...

 

Are you going to be doing Tape Backups? Offsite backups? Incremental? How Often? How much Data? What link speed?

 

If you mention the 'the cloud' I will come to your office and break your fingers to stop you posting again ;-)

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I have to ask - why have you been tasked with this, are you the person that has linux running at home or something?

 

If you were actually qualified to do what you have been tasked for - there would be no reason for your post.

 

I suggest you contact a company to help set up your office with the features you need to be honest.

 

You might want to reach out to say sc302 - not sure where you located, but I believe the company he works for handles this sort of thing.  I would point you to mine - but unless your talking 10 or so million in business over a 3 year period we wouldn't even look at you.

 

If your in the chicagoland area I would be more than happy to help set you all up..  But sorry your not going to get the details you need from a post in a thread on some tech board.

 

Now if you had a question between which tape library might be best, or which wireless controller to go with, or the finer points of running say your AD dns on bind vs MS dns, etc.  Then thread might get you some info you need.

 

But your asking for a network design, without 1 piece of info to go with other than say 15 users..  Do you have any sort of budget even?  Are you talking thousands or 10's of thousands or actual real money to setup something good?

 

Or you talking a PC running server OS with a wireless router that supports vpn..  There you go your needs have been met - oh your backup, pickup a external disk and plug it in once a week.. There you go - I can draw that up for you if you want ;)  That can support 15 users without much issue.  Can be done for pennies!

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sbs/bb530853%28v=msdn.10%29.aspx

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9925/index.html

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122058

http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-Nighthawk-AC1900-Gigabit-R7000-100PAS/dp/B00F0DD0I6

http://www.amazon.com/HP-ProLiant-712318-001-Ultra-Server/dp/B00DDXS936/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1381081647&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=hp+microsever+gen+8

 

There you go connect those - add some disks and you have a smb setup.

 

edit:  Here I drew up your network between plays during the game(s)

 

 

post-14624-0-50841300-1381083617.png

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I have to ask - why have you been tasked with this, are you the person that has linux running at home or something?

 

If you were actually qualified to do what you have been tasked for - there would be no reason for your post.

 

I suggest you contact a company to help set up your office with the features you need to be honest.

 

QFT! Exactly.

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I recommend using the cloud.

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I recommend using the cloud.

 

Right where are you? :-p ....

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Moved to Internet, Network & Security.

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This is simple to setup. While I don't work for a consulting company any more, I could do this quickly and easily. Get everything up and running in about a day or two once everything is ordered.

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Hey dude send me a pm - where are you working now.. I thought this stuff was right up your alley?  Didn't you use to support the small ma and pop shops?

 

Problem I have is have company I currently work for doesn't even look at you unless your talking 10+ million.. 

 

But as you I love these little side jobs and if in the area would love to set them up and rock them - give them the neowin discount even..  Could use some extra cash for the holidays..  I always have the most fun setting up the small locations with a limited budget - how much bang for the buck can you get is lots of fun!!

 

And then I only charge them a day rate for the design and then a day or 2 to set it up and your golden...  I would be even willing to fly out for a weekend or something if they are located in a good location where we could have some fun...  Maybe we should setup something and rock out these people with questions like this -- and we fly out to where they are at and have a weekend setting up gear in the day and drinking at night!! ;)

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Hey dude send me a pm - where are you working now.. I thought this stuff was right up your alley?  Didn't you use to support the small ma and pop shops?

 

Problem I have is have company I currently work for doesn't even look at you unless your talking 10+ million.. 

 

But as you I love these little side jobs and if in the area would love to set them up and rock them - give them the neowin discount even..  Could use some extra cash for the holidays..  I always have the most fun setting up the small locations with a limited budget - how much bang for the buck can you get is lots of fun!!

 

And then I only charge them a day rate for the design and then a day or 2 to set it up and your golden...  I would be even willing to fly out for a weekend or something if they are located in a good location where we could have some fun...  Maybe we should setup something and rock out these people with questions like this -- and we fly out to where they are at and have a weekend setting up gear in the day and drinking at night!! ;)

 

 

Haha I just noticed the word drinking! I would fly out from the UK for this ;-)

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Hello,

Like some have said, implementing a network in a workplace is a very vague topic as there are so many factors to weigh in.

A key is that you have to state your budget. This would really be a good starting point.

Also, do you have a "high up" role or have you been simple tasked to do this? I ask this because you might be a code monkey with some networking knowledge tasked to do this but you have no financial push that limits your budget (again) and to throw away or change equipment (which might have been expensive to buy in the first place). I have been in this position so I can understand.

We need some more feedback please.

Thank you.

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Hi again,

 

I'm sorry that I provided so vague information, but I kind of wanted to fill in the blanks myself, and just get some general advice that I can follow-up on. Of course, I did not expect any consulting services for free. However, I realize now that I should have provided more information, in addition to not assuming that people can read my mind. Also, I'm not so used on posting on forums, and my experience in computers is in a different field; although the boss asked me to act as a kind of personal consultant when the actual external network consultants are brought in. After doing some more research, I think that I have a pretty good idea on what kind of setup we need.

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I think that I have a pretty good idea on what kind of setup we need.

 

 

So are you going to tell us? So you recon you can talk to a Techie/Network Sales person and fully understand what they mean when they talk about VPNs/Subnets/VLANS/IDP/Identity Services Engines/RADIUS Authentication or any of the other 1 million things you have to consider when setting up a network.

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IMO that's pretty scary scene when somebody is given the task to set up a network for a business and they go onto Neowin or any other website and have to ask what solution is best.

 

That's like a Surgeon asking what type of operation is best for these symptoms.

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Hello,

Hi again,

 

I'm sorry that I provided so vague information, but I kind of wanted to fill in the blanks myself, and just get some general advice that I can follow-up on. Of course, I did not expect any consulting services for free. However, I realize now that I should have provided more information, in addition to not assuming that people can read my mind. Also, I'm not so used on posting on forums, and my experience in computers is in a different field; although the boss asked me to act as a kind of personal consultant when the actual external network consultants are brought in. After doing some more research, I think that I have a pretty good idea on what kind of setup we need.

Basically Im understanding that you are going to tell the actual external network consultants: "We need a network that will run Windows Server 2008 that will have 15 employees working on site. We have a server and conference room. Guest and additional visiting employees (what does this even mean I have no idea) need connection to the network. Wireless is important. Employees offsite should be able to connect to the network. We need a backup solution."

The question that first pops in my head is why do you need Windows Server 2008? Depending on your reply, we can move on to other aspects or get into why and why not a server running Windows Server 208 needs to be used for the reasons you just stated.

Id REALLY recommend you have some sort of plan and idea (a drawing like Budman gave you would also be awesome) and a budget. We still have no budget. If we have a dollar, we would tell you this is (close) to impossible. If we have a billion, we could have space to give you future expansion.

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A really rough estimate with labor is going to be about 25000.

Let's say 900 a machine with monitor and surge, 4 hrs each for install at 85 an hr, server will be between 3-4000 with about 18 hrs to install at 125 an hr, includes Windows and ups. If any drops needed and all drop ceiling, 125 a drop. Misc cables and cleanup add about 50 for cables and 1/2 hr for each machine. Another 500 for a decent switch, 100 for a decent router.

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I don't see the backup solution in there sc302, I don't see wireless solution in there - are you talking some soho router for $100 with wireless?

But your information brings up a great question - is this complete greenfield? There is NOTHING? No drops, no anything to work with from an IT? No closet switches? What is the internet connection - if any? etc.

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is this complete greenfield? There is NOTHING? No drops, no anything to work with from an IT? No closet switches? What is the internet connection - if any? etc.

So many questions, so little answers....

Without insulting the OP, I believe they needed a guy in a quick pinch, the OP knew something about networking, and higher up said "Hey, make a network". OP doesnt know where to even begin and.....

Like Ive mentioned, Ive been in that situation too and what seems like a small project, is way more complicated than what it seems....

Besides those great points both BudMan and sc302 brought up, I have another question: Is this from scratch or will already in place equipment be used as well?

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How could I forget backups.. And printers.

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sc302 mentions desktops - but curious as well, what are they using now for workstations. I have seen many a small location only have home versions of the OS.. So can not even join a domain - its much easier to do a clean install of new hardware. Then migration of work group setup to AD. Could be many many hours working out groups and setting shares and migration of files from old system to new server, correctly setting up permissions on these new file locations, etc.

Its one thing to setup a greenfield AD, and then letting a non AD person admin admin a basic config.. But migration of existing systems to work with AD can be complicated for even seasoned AD admins.

Setting up correct backup rotation, I don't think DR has been mentioned - should work out what backup media will be taken off site, etc.

I threw up that simple drawing in a few minutes.. The final drawing is going to be way more complex than that, or atleast it should be. There should be detailed layer 2 and layer 3 information on it, unless all 15 people are in the same room your most likely going to need multiple switches. Is it going to be just 1 broadcast domain, or are you going to want vlans with isolation of resources based on ? Location or Function?

Normally you would setup a infrastructure vlan.. Prob going to want to isolate wireless for company users along with guests.

We mention vpn access - but what technology is going to be used, simple client that comes with the linksys vpn router, or something more secure and complex. Cert deployment?

Your wireless - you going to want to just use a PSK, and have to change that every time a user leaves the company? Or actual enterprise with radius auth? So that your access is based upon your AD creds?

You could go with slapping some stuff together for pennies, or you could do it right and now we are talking 1000's in just consulting fees and then training or on going support contract if no one local has the skill set to manage such a network.

So as you have been tasked with this - what was the discussed budget for such a project, has even the scope of the project been setup. It can get out of hand quite fast even going budget route if the details are not spelled out up front and then planned for over over a timeline.. What is the timeline btw, is this something that can evolve over the next few years. or do you want something that covers all your requirement next month?

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There are lots of factors that would make the price jump significantly. Especially if you wanted some sort of managed solution with backups of each client... That could easily be a few thousand a month in support and management fees. I have given a preliminary rough quote that you can base your real quote off of. I don't know what your needs are, there may be enough fluff in my pricing to be able to put in other things like backups and printers. But there really isn't a whole lot. These are real world consulting numbers for the job you are requesting to have done. If you give them an hour or two to start the data migration to the new system the night before you won't be giving them money for sitting there while data is copying if there is going to be a crew.

We can go on and on and on about this, really not enough info to really get this to completion.

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