Quick question about hardware

Hello All,

I have 3 computers I would like to link together in a home network using LAN. I have previously used the Windows Homegroup and networking features, so it is safe to say that I know nothing about networking at all.

Of the 3 computers I own, the first is a 3d workstation/server. It houses 2 raid arrays of 10 or 12 disks (I forget) and has 2 Gigabyte ethernet ports on the motherboard. This PC holds all of my data, as well as being a functioning media production machine. The second machine is used for music. It runs NI Traktor and Cubase almost exclusively, with all manner of vsts ect. It houses a temporary storage drive but data is not to be stored long term on this machine. The third machine is my entertainment machine, it runs games and videos. The games are installed on this machine but the videos are to be stored on the 1st machine. All three machines are of the Sandybridge vintage if that matters and this network is in no way to be connected to the internet.

If possible I would like to build an Intranet page for the network like I had at school but that is really for later on...

What I would really like to know is what is the best way to connect these 3 machines up and would I need any additional hardware? My initial and perhaps wishful thinking is that I can simply plug machines 2 & 3 directly into the 2 ethernet ports of machine 1, and enable some sort of LAN remote start up for the 1st (server) machine. At worst, I am hoping that buying an old server for £100 off ebay or something similar will be my only expense (time comes free for personal projects).

As I say, I'm fairly new to all this so any tips would be greatly appreciated, cheers
3 answers Last reply
More about quick question hardware
  1. do you have a internet router?

    you will need either a router or network switch and connect the computers to it

    only use one of the two network ports on computer1
  2. Personally I would get a robust little switch with at least 4x 1Gb ports (6+ for headroom) and connect all the devices via that. Make sure all devices are in the same network for it to work.
    Then just run a web server such as Apache on one of the computers or get a dedicated server with Apache running. Easy.
  3. Ok Thanks guys, a couple of questions spring to mind...

    Is one brand as good as another, ie belkin, lycom ect. for switches?

    If I were to run an apache server would I be able to remotely start the server from either of the other PCs? They will be in seperate rooms.

    Also, From what I have been lead to believe, a dedicated file server requires very little processing power. I have an ancient P3 collecting dust and there are some fairly cheap servers available from yesteryear, would it be worthwhile to convert the P3 into a dedicated 24/7 Nas and purchase an old server to run Apache 24/7 or would that be a waste of money?

    Here is a link to some cheap servers on eBay, there are plenty more about if you look, but I don't know much about how hungry this kind of system will be...

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