How should we set up a 40+ client network?

Microsoft Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
March 15, 2011 at 14:37:01
Specs: Windows 7, 4gb
Hello,

We currently have a company network set up with a PC acting as a shared resource containing shared folders for everyone to access (approx 30 users)

The network is comprised of a business internet connection to a 5 port router which is then connected to a 5 port switch connecting to 4 computers and another switch which is connected to another 4 computers and again to another switch - this continues for approx 30 - 35 computers.

We have 2 shipping databases connected to the first switch (2 of the for first computers mentioned) and about 15 of the 30 clients need to access these. Because there is this many people on the network we are running really slow and losing access to the databases/shared files on the network.

We do not have the expertise or time/money to set up a true server/client network.

We are moving to a bigger building and potentially hiring 10-20 more people.

We are thinking about having a small (5port router) and branching it off to 2 24 port gigabit switches and the business folder and having one switch contain the 2 databases and all the users who need to access it and the other switch containing all the other users.

Is this the best layout?

Thank you very much

Stephen Ebling

Customer Service/ IT Tech

HDE


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#1
March 15, 2011 at 15:18:36
recommended never to cascade below 3 switches in serial. much better to only go two.

XP pro only supports 10 concurrent connections. you are way over that limit.

if not going to run Server consider a NAS unit instead.

correct topology given your criteria would look like this

router<single connection>24port switch<>other two switches
router<single connection>24port switch<>PCs/databases
router<single connection>24port switch<>other two switches<>PCs

You would NOT connect the switches to the router since the switches should be connected to each other via two ports [trunking] for better bandwidth between the switches.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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#2
March 16, 2011 at 04:37:46
Im confused...from your post it seems you are telling me to connect the first switch to the router and then to the other 2 switches but then after that you are stating not to connect the switches to the router?

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#3
March 16, 2011 at 10:20:38

sorry to say it but your getting into the real network realm.

just reading it your hitting that point where servers and domain control might be a good idea. as its easir to start with a few then grow it than one day go change everything in a bang. best to put the foundations in early

wanderer will kill me for this but the solution you have will kind of work. kind of since you say the data base needs 30 client and your only putting in 24 port switches. but best to start as you mean to go on and do it properly. its all to easy to paint yourself into a corner

im not sure what wanderer is suggesting. i wish this site had a diagram function. any chance of a link to pic wanderer on say flicker or something?

all text needs typos. There there for the reader to find,to distract them from the total lack of content.
google it! wasnt the answer to the question i asked so dont be dense and give me that repl


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Related Solutions

#4
March 17, 2011 at 15:49:22
What needs to be avoided is running the two switches connection(s) thru the router.

That would be like having two 10lane freeways with a two lane road connecting them. Can you say bottleneck?

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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#5
March 18, 2011 at 04:29:48
So the best way is to have the 5 port router with one big switch connected to it? Im not sure I understand how to stop the bottleneck situation

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#6
March 18, 2011 at 07:25:39
When you connect one switch to another, this is called daisychaining. When you daisychain switches, you aggregate the bandwidth on them. Say you have 4 switches

Router >> Switch1 >> Switch2 >> Switch3 >> Switch4

In this example, switch 4 carries only the bandwidth of all devices plugged into it. Switch 3 also carries the bandwidth of all devices plugged into it which includes switch 4 and all it's devices.

Switch 2 in turn carries the bandwidth of all devices plugged into it which also includes switch 3 (and all devices plugged into it) and switch 4 (and all devices plugged into it).

Eventually, if you daisychain enough switches together, all traffic on them grinds to a halt as you've saturated the available bandwidth with more traffic than it can carry.

What wanderer is telling you is, if you plug switches into the LAN ports on the router, and only daisychain switches down one level, you won't abuse your available bandwidth and slow your network down.

I highly recommend you move away from the mickey mouse setup you've been running and spend a few dollars on some decent 16 port switches and plug them all into your router's LAN ports and then clients into them.

If your business is growing, you need to allow for future expansion.

I'd also highly recommend you move to a windows Active Directory based domain to ease the administrative load.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#7
March 18, 2011 at 08:19:53
I thought I diagrammed it pretty well in post #1

You take one of the 24 port switches and make it the "backbone" of the network. You hang the other 24 port switch and the smaller switch off it.
You do "trunking" between the two 24 port switchs. This is where you combine two ports on each switch and dedicate them to the switch to switch communication. This gives you a big pipe between the lower switches and the backbone switch.

Then off the backbone switch you hang the router and your servers/pcs
Off the lower switches you hang your other pcs.

Is that clearer HDEStephen?

The BEST setup, of course, would be to have all cabling home run to the server room and into one 48 or larger switch with redundant power supplies/switch fabric modules but that is in the ideal world.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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#8
April 18, 2011 at 04:58:00
You guys have been a great help...one more quick question...what type of router would be the best for this setup? We are looking for a very efficient router (if there is much of a difference between the types)

Thanks again

-Stephen


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#9
April 18, 2011 at 05:42:07
A real router............which is to say, not a SOHO Router. You're going to want something a little more robust than a SOHO router with more capabilities and, more interfaces.

If you have the budget, I would invest in a Layer 3 switch which is capable of routing. Connect it directly to your point of ingress, the SOHO Router you presently have your internet connected directly to, and from there you can use it to route between subnets.

There are many routers out there (ie: different makes/models) and what you're going to use will have to be based on what you know about them, and what you can learn about them as well as expense. I work in a rather large environment and we use UNIX (OpenBSD) based routers. We have them teamed up for failover (should A fail, B takes over without any loss of data or downtime). We recently purchased some Nortel secure routers for our BGP. At one point in time (prior to me starting here) they used a couple of Cisco routers.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#10
April 19, 2011 at 12:09:24
We currently do use a SOHO router...if we were to upgrade to something a bit more business oriented is the setup more difficult...unfortunately we do not have the funding to hire a network team to set it up...we have a few IT guys here that have basic network understanding (including myself)

Our budget is limited....We may hire a team to run the lines etc but we need a setup that can be run by us without requiring us to have to call a company to fix it in the event of a power outage etc.


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#11
April 19, 2011 at 14:04:13
Also, if I run the Source (Business Cable internet) into this router:

and then run a line to this switch:

As the business grows we would add another large switch to the router and run lines to each computer.

Will this setup work and will it be a "simple" setup?

I know this isnt exactly what I was told to do but I am directed by the owner so I need to see if this idea will work.

Thanks for all the questions

-Stephen


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#12
April 19, 2011 at 15:14:43
if we were to upgrade to something a bit more business oriented is the setup more difficult

Sadly, yes it is. However, not all routers are Cisco routers and some actually come with a easy to work with, fairly intuitive GUI. The same is true for a Layer 3 switch. In fact, you're more likely to find the switch easier to work with, but you would still need to know the basics about routing in order to make it work properly.

If your SOHO Router is working for you, you probably don't need to change it out for a more complex unit. I recommended a more robust router because most SOHO Router's only have 4 LAN ports and you'll need more LAN ports if you want to avoid daisychaining switches together any more than absolutely necessary. Even with a router with only 4 LAN ports you could still work it out if you need more than 4 switch uplinks. You just use one small switch with enough ports to cover you, plug it into the router, and then plug all other switch into it. It would be carrying the combined bandwidth of all the other switches plugged into it, but if you get a good 1000 Mbps switch, it shouldn't cause any bottlenecks.

I would prefer a firewall between myself and the internet so that's the other aspect of keeping the SOHO Router. It has a firewall built into it.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#13
April 20, 2011 at 13:19:27
The router we are running is a basic home router...we want to avoid any potential issues with going too complex of a setup...will the router I linked (being 1000mbps) make a difference for our purpose?

Router
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

Switch
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#14
April 20, 2011 at 15:21:58
will the router I linked (being 1000mbps) make a difference for our purpose?

Yep, that router should work fine and gives you 1000 Mbps on the LAN side. If you plug a Gig (1000 Mbps) switch into that, then your LAN will all be 1000 Mbps as long as the client interfaces are also Gig. Just remember, that's the LAN side of things. Your internet access will be reduced to whatever bandwidth you're paying your ISP for and that will be a lot less than 1000 Mbps.

For information on how to properly connect this new router to the existing one (with internet plugged into it) click on my name above and read my "how-to" guide titled. "◦Add a second Router to your LAN"

Your new setup should look as follows:

internet >> router 1 >> router 2 >> switch(es) >> Clients

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#15
April 21, 2011 at 05:15:17

We were thinking Internet >>> Router >>> 48 port Switch >>> PCs
48 port Switch >>> PCs

What is the reasoning behind using a second router?

Also, if I use each of the ports on the router to connect to a 48port switch as the company expands, is this the proper way of setting up these switches?

Sorry for the redundancy I just dont want to be wrong about my thinking...

Thanks for all of your help

Stephen


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#16
April 21, 2011 at 05:34:37
My mistake, I thought you were referring to a second router on your last post so just ignore that bit about a second router.

Internet >>> Router >>> 48 port Switch >>> PCs
48 port Switch >>> PCs

The above would work just fine but my personal preference would be:

Internet >> Router >> Switches >> PC's

The idea being to avoid daisy chaining whenever possible since as I stated previously, the bandwidth aggragates.


Also, if I use each of the ports on the router to connect to a 48port switch as the company expands, is this the proper way of setting up these switches?

Certainly it is. Your router segregates you from the internet and helps to prevent intrusion helping keep your LAN safe. Since the LAN ports on the router are 1000 Mbps, if you plug 1000 Mbps switches into it and the clients are also 1000 Mbps then you'll have a nice LAN with excellent bandwidth.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#17
April 21, 2011 at 05:49:13
If one of the pcs has a standard nic card and the other pcs have a gigabit card, this will only slow the communication that involves that pc, correct?

Can you let me know if running Cat6 will make any difference? I am trying to be cost effective but I also want this to be a solid setup.


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#18
April 21, 2011 at 07:05:36
Also, I have 3 databases on 3 different computers that are remotely accessed by many of the pcs on the network, where would be the best place to connect them on the network...on the router...(this would leave only one port for the switch) or on the switch with the other pcs?

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