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Feedback on Small Business Network (with diagram)

Last response: in Networking
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November 12, 2012 3:02:10 PM

Hi everyone,
we're currently in the planning phase of purchasing a new server, and we will be updating our network at the same time.
I've attached a diagram of the network - I was looking for your feedback: do you see anything I might be missing?

A few notes:
-All PCs and Laptops are wired, but we still have a wireless router so that we can unplug and move around in the building.
-At the moment, none of our printers are network ready. We would need to use small standalone print servers, as shown on the diagram.
-Connection to internet: 8Mbps
-Gigabyte switches and Cat5e cables



Thanks.
November 12, 2012 7:08:28 PM

What sort of things do you utilize your server for? Is it doing a domain controller, file sharing, print sharing, etc? Also, you show in your diagram that you are connecting to a wireless router as your primary router, is this also where you have your firewall, or do you have a separate device for that? Depending upon the type of business you are operating, and what sort of data you are using, you may very seriously consider getting a separate firewall device. Not only are these business-class routers capable of highly customizable security and networking features for you to grow, but they are built to handle larger network connection loads - many basic wireless routers are not really meant for running a network of more than like 5 computers and may show some issues when you start running the number of connections it looks like you are running.
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November 12, 2012 11:23:15 PM

Hi choucouve,
you've actually helped me out quite a bit already regarding the server. See thread here.

As for the network, we have only about 15 total computers connected to the network, plus all printers (maybe half a dozen or so). Since these printers are scattered throughout the building, and none are network ready, I suppose the print server role will not be handle by the main server as I initially thought, but rather by separately purchased, standalone print servers connected directly to the printers. These sell in the $50 range each.

At this time, yes I had planned on using a regular wireless router with built-in firewall, unless I'm told it could not server the network properly. Also, as discussed with you previously, the router was going to take care of DHCP as opposed to the server, hence all the devices connected to the gigabyte switch #1.

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November 13, 2012 1:49:58 AM

Given your network diagram and the description of what you are looking to do, I can't really think of anything else that really sticks out in my mind. The only thing that seems a little off to me personally is the great number of printers you have for such few end user computers you have. I know you are doing a lot with design and CAD work though so I imagine that there are also certain printers for certain needs here.

You may consider instead of having to get a whole bunch of stand-alone network print server devices, investing the money instead into a single or two nice network ready printers. We did this for one office, where they had about half a dozen printers for about ten different computers, and switch them to three total printers: One color laser printer with scanning/copying, one monochrome laser printer, and one employee kept a desktop inkjet for printing checks, fliers, and other odds and ends. They said after one year they had already recouped what they had spent on the printers just in saved ink cartridges (instead of buying a huge selection for so many printers) among other things.

What type of gigabit switches do you have? Are you needing to do anything like VLANs to keep departments separated? You say you have about 15 computers or so in the network, how many ports do you have on your switches as I see your diagram shows you have two separate switches?
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November 13, 2012 3:07:57 PM

I would add another DC for redundancy, dump the wireless AP/Router and get separate dedicated hardware i.e Cisco APs and a Juniper SSG-5.

I take it the requirement for 2 switches is because the network spans 2 floors?
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