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Enterprise style network build at home

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April 24, 2010 6:56:03 PM

I and my wife are toying with the idea of refurbishing our house.

As a (pleasant) consequence, I've started contemplating what I could achieve on the network side if I had the opportunity to do it all from scratch. I appreciate that my philosophy at this day and age may be (or at least sound) backdated, but I really want to run as much as possible wired and as little as possible wireless for reasons of

i) Transmission speed;
ii) Consistency of transmission speed and network availability;
iii) Reduction of external visibility of my network; and
iv) I simply want as few devices transmitting signals around my children as practically possible

If I was to do this buildout, I would want to do it in the same way I imagine one (at least in theory) would build the physical network of an office building: scaleable, efficient and reasonably future proof.

So, assume that I have a 3-story house with basement. On each floor I want to have 8-12 wired access points to the network. The ISP connection and the main network will be in the basement. Questions:

a) Shall I go for Cat6 Ethernet cabling only or should I (for future proofing purposes) also run an optical cable to each wired access point?
b) I assume I would not pull 24-48 individual cable down to the basement but rather use a router or switch for each floor?
c) How is b) done in practice - would I have an 8-port router on each floor and connect these "floor routers" to a 4-port router in the basement, which in turn connects to the ISP?
d) How is IP addressing sorted out in this type of setup? I imagine the basement router would be a DHCP server which could assign static addresses (e.g. 10.0.1.0 - 10.0.4.0 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0) to the floor routers, who in turn also act as "local" DCHP servers and are in charge over the last 256 addresses per floor.
e) Would a setup like this create a network where any two access points could communicate with each other?

Grateful for any thoughts on this.




April 26, 2010 8:31:13 AM

Good morning,

I'm surprised that I have had not a single reply yet. Did I do anything incorrectly (e.g. post in the wrong forum) or have I just managed to pick an uninteresting topic?

Cheers all

H.
April 26, 2010 2:18:39 PM

hlofgren_007 said:
Good morning,

I'm surprised that I have had not a single reply yet. Did I do anything incorrectly (e.g. post in the wrong forum) or have I just managed to pick an uninteresting topic?

Cheers all

H.




I read your post with interest and awaited some responses but for me, you seemed so on top of the scheme, I had nothing to add. I agree with going for the higher quality of cable and future proofing yourself while you've got a chance to get under the plaster and through the floors. My own home network was simple by comparison with what you're planning but I've more than a few offices and your plan looks good to me.


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May 10, 2010 10:30:40 AM

Hi Saga Lout,

thanks for the post and sorry for taking some time to reply. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one thinking about this.

Can I ask you whether you at all have looked at optical solutions for Ethernet? I understand future Ethernet standards (10/40/100 GB) almost out of necessity are based on fibre optics but I can not really find any suggestions on what type of cable I could use to be on the safe side. (In addition it appears that few consumer grade network appliances can handle this speed and connection at the moment but I'm less concerned about that. I imagine the supply of stuff will increase with time).

Best regards,

H.
May 10, 2010 12:33:43 PM

a) Shall I go for Cat6 Ethernet cabling only or should I (for future proofing purposes) also run an optical cable to each wired access point? I wired my house a few years ago when I moved in, and I used cat 5e. This supports gigabit connections, which is more than fast enough for anything I am doing at home. The wikipedia article will tell you a bit of what you gain from cat 6: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_6_cable. Running optical cable, either you are going to pay a good bit for terminating it, or know what you are doing. I don't see much gain for home use personally.

b) I assume I would not pull 24-48 individual cable down to the basement but rather use a router or switch for each floor? It really depends on how your house is set up, but if you can pull all the wires to the basement, then wire them to a patch panel, that gives you the most flexibility. You can actually use the same wiring for either voice or data, for example. You will also only have the expense of 1 switch/router on the ground floor. Look into the 568a standard, run all your wires to a patch panel in the basement & then patch cords from there to your switch.

c) How is b) done in practice - would I have an 8-port router on each floor and connect these "floor routers" to a 4-port router in the basement, which in turn connects to the ISP? Again, I'd just have your cable modem (or fios or dsl) in the basement, from there to a firewall/router/switch.

d) How is IP addressing sorted out in this type of setup? I imagine the basement router would be a DHCP server which could assign static addresses (e.g. 10.0.1.0 - 10.0.4.0 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0) to the floor routers, who in turn also act as "local" DCHP servers and are in charge over the last 256 addresses per floor. Again, no reason for "local" routers or DHCP. Even if you do end up with "per floor" devices, I would make them simple switches and have a single DHCP server (router) with a global scope. Typical is 192.168.1.x with 255.255.255.0 mask

e) Would a setup like this create a network where any two access points could communicate with each other? Becomes moot with the above.
May 11, 2010 6:28:15 AM

hlofgren_007 said:
Hi Saga Lout,


Can I ask you whether you at all have looked at optical solutions for Ethernet? I understand future Ethernet standards (10/40/100 GB) almost out of necessity are based on fibre optics but I can not really find any suggestions on what type of cable I could use to be on the safe side. (In addition it appears that few consumer grade network appliances can handle this speed and connection at the moment but I'm less concerned about that. I imagine the supply of stuff will increase with time).

H.


[#0005ff]I suppose all this depends on the main purpose of the network. If you're transferring large quantities of data across this network, you'll want to go for the cable that gives you that in the best way. If the main use is internet connection sharing, I think there's little point aiming any higher than the incoming connection speed. In this country, we have probably the worst Broadband infrastructure in the world with lots of people on 2Mb or worse. We wouldn't tend to use optical cabling in our houses to ship that parlous speed around our networks. :(  [/#000ff]
January 2, 2013 9:06:56 PM

Here is the deal.

I am 22 years old. I am a network engineer. I know all about the latest and greatest and here is what I cordially recommend.

1) A server that can operate in the capacity of a virtual server. Running 7-8 servers for one piece of physical hardware is
an excellent way to save on annual energy costs, noise reduction, and hardware failover that comes with having many
servers.

2) There is absolutely no need to draw the line between enterprise and personal when you have powerful products such as:

-Sophos UTM 9 Free Home Use Security Gateway
-Anything that runs Apache (Linux, Windows, OSX) for a webserver
-An email server (hMailServer or Zimbra is awesome) to create your own email addresses for you and your family.
-A domain controller. Active Directory is about the only good one. Novell's eDirectory is okay.
-DNS services to shorten names with alias and redirect to the true path. This allows you to change IP addresses on the fly
and not worry about the changes because it will all resolve the same.

Most of these products are free (except for Microsoft of course)

All this will give you an ongoing project. You will become infatuated. A private network for you and your family and friends.
Your own personal cloud. Heck you can run a storage solution business with all that I mentioned for local businesses like I do.

To make it even more interesting, you can virtualize attack servers to utterly destroy your Windows boxes and bring them back to life. This way you can make the most out of your IT security needs. Personal information gets stolen every single day. It happens. People are not even aware of the danger, it is truly sad.

If you do not get any of these things, then I at least please ask you to get the Sophos Firewall UTM 9. Its free for home use.
Just get an old P4 box with a gigabyte of memory, put two NICs in it and go to town. Define one interface for internal and one for external. By doing that, you not only enable yourself to access all your internal network shares anywhere in the world, you protect that internal network by adding basically a bodyguard.


If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer. I know about all sorts of neat networking stuff that can turn your home into an awesome place!
!