1 machine connecting to 2 servers

Dell / Vostro 1720
October 15, 2009 at 02:29:52
Specs: Microsoft XP Professional SP3, 2.194 GHz / 2042 MB
I work as an ICT technician at an independant school. Just recently, the Bursar to the school has asked me to connect his office to the school network which seemed simple enough.

However, he already has a private server (which we will call "bursary") serving his office with 3 PCs (all Win XP Professional SP3) and a few laptops running various other operating systems. The bursary server provides the entire office with a private DSL connection, as well as a file storage service.

The school server, which we call "data", does the exact same thing, except for the entire school.

He wishes to remain connected bursary, while simultaneously have an on demand connection to data.

So far I have tried having a wireless connection to data, while having a wired connection to the bursary, however this just results in a conflict, so I assume it would be just the same if I installed a 2nd NIC on one of the bursary client computers.

After trying this, we contracted a so called specialist, who gave us a switch and quickly wired it up, but when it didn't work, he 'had to leave' for another appointment/call. So no help there then.

However, was he right in saying that we need a switch, that just needs configuring in some way or another? Something to have data/bursary/private dsl go into, then have each machine connect to this device and be provided with all the data is requests from either server.

I realise I havn't said much about the problem, so if you need any additional information just let me know and I'll do my best.

I hope someone can help because it's got both me and the ICT teacher at the school stumped.


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October 15, 2009 at 07:30:05
Simple enough, add another NIC and configure it for the 'school network' and plug it into a LAN port that is connected to that network.

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October 15, 2009 at 08:03:06
this is of course assuming the two networks are in different subnets otherwise this won't work.

"however this just results in a conflict" indicates they are on the same subnet causing a ip conflict

We need to know what your lan ip address is and that of the bursary network to provide a solution

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October 16, 2009 at 00:47:01
Sure, the ip for data is
Bursary is


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October 16, 2009 at 01:33:47
"however this just results in a conflict" - can you expand on that:
Do you actually get an 'IP Address conflict' error message OR do you mean that one server connects while the other does not?

I also don't follow your wiring...the clients, bursary & data are all connected to the same switch now? With bursary acting as the internet gateway?

If bursary's IP is and data is (I assume subnet...) then you'd need a ROUTER to go between the subnets, a switch-only won't do it... so you'd either:
) Move the bursary server & clients onto the subnet - so everything is in the same subnet & then connect everything to the same switch
) Setup a router between the two subnets...

bursary could act as the router if it has an interface on both subnets...you could do this w/ a single NIC, give bursary two ip addresses (one in each subnet - .16 and .1), or two interfaces. Enable IP forwarding & then you'll need a static route on data to forward traffic destined for .1 through bursary.

Hope that helps. If you could get the following, we might be able to help more:

1) The IP address, subnet mask & DEFAULT GATEWAY from: bursary, data, a client workstation on the bursary network & a client workstation on the data network.
2) Try to describe the way your network is physically wired - would help to draw out a diagram of the physical connections.

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