Solved Network help for daughter's project

June 19, 2011 at 11:13:19
Specs: Windows Vista
Hi,

My request is a peculiar one.

My daughter is doing a computer project and I am helping her out in this. I am involved in the computer field as a graphic designer but I am not that thorough with Network Design and that is why I came to this forum because as a parent I would like to be informed before I teach her.

She should propose a design a for a school computer lab and a staff room network with network topology and so on. This is not an advanced project rather it will be deskop pcs in computer lab and staff room which are networked and all PCs should have access to the Internet. I have helped with the notes and actually learned a lot myself on network, network design etc but I am stumped by certain details especially on servers and network administration which I am sure would be basic stuff for you. Also I plan to design a Network Diagram using one of the free Network design programs so that it would be an additional point for her project. Below are my questions and if you can clarify them it would be helpful not only for the project but to educate myself as well.

1. The basic network diagram would be like
Internet - Router - Firewall - Server - Switch - Pcs
Is this right ?

2. There should be a switch for the Computer lab and another switch for the staff room. Is this right?

3. There are 75 PCs in the Lab. As far as I know you normally get switches with maximum of 48. So should 2 switches be used? In that case how should the connection go and how should it come in the network diagram?

4. What would be the network topology for the Lab and Staffroom - I think it should be star is this right?
What would be the network topology for the whole LAN network - I think it's tree is this right?

5. The main point I am getting confused is in the Server which is something completely new for me :-) For this situation will a single server be enough? What would the role of the server in this network?

6. There would be a Network Administrator and his assistant and they will have 2 pcs as well. So where does this PCs come in the Network? What is their role? How should they come in the Network Diagram? Can they dictate the usability of all the PCs in the Network from their own PCs? I really don't understand how the NA manages the network through his PC.

If someone can answer my questions preferably in simple style it would be very helpful.

thank you
Alicia


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#1
June 19, 2011 at 14:04:38
✔ Best Answer
1. The basic network diagram would be like
Internet - Router - Firewall - Server - Switch - Pcs
Is this right ?

Not exactly.
Internet > router > switch or switches > all PCs including the server. If I were designing a network, I would have a router that has a firewall. That's a personal preference.

2. There should be a switch for the Computer lab and another switch for the staff room. Is this right?

It's not necessary unless different subnets are involved but why complicate things?

3. There are 75 PCs in the Lab. As far as I know you normally get switches with maximum of 48. So should 2 switches be used? In that case how should the connection go and how should it come in the network diagram?

The second switch can be connected to the first switch or it can be connected straight to the router.

5. The main point I am getting confused is in the Server which is something completely new for me :-) For this situation will a single server be enough? What would the role of the server in this network?

More than one server is not needed. It's role could be a number of things, file sharing, authentication, user & group permissions, mail.....

6. There would be a Network Administrator and his assistant and they will have 2 pcs as well. So where does this PCs come in the Network? What is their role? How should they come in the Network Diagram? Can they dictate the usability of all the PCs in the Network from their own PCs? I really don't understand how the NA manages the network through his PC.

They can use their PCs which would be connected to the switch or router but they don't have to connect there. They can login at the server itself. Their role is to maintain the network & make sure that the users have what they need to do their jobs.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
June 19, 2011 at 15:13:16
First of all a big thank you for taking time to help me out.
It makes the whole Network concept clearer for me :-)

If you can clarify the following questions it would be very helpful.

1. Say for Example if there are 2 labs, staff room, then maybe another office room, Server room with 75, 50, 25, 25, 2 + (Server) PCs in each room - is it okay to use seperate switches for each room considering future upgrade options (in this it case it will be 2 x 48, 48, 48, 48, 4 port switches.) Otherwise is the standard is to take the full number of PCs & Server and then decide on the number of switches which would be 178 and thus 4 x 48 port switches. Is 48 port switches the maximum you get?

2. The main reason for my above question is we have to show the network topology for each room and I felt it would be easier to show by having seperate switches. Also for my information - if Domain Controller & DNS is setup in the server and if OUS, Groups and users are setup then is it a must to have seperate switches for each room? Let me know your thoughts on this. Physically will the switches be in the server room or in each room where they are deployed? I am getting confused here because I was thiniking each room will have star topology with the switch at the center.
So what would be the network topology for each room + the whole network.

3. At what point do you need more than one server. For example after around how many PCs do we need a another server considering unlike thin clients / terminals as we are using desktop PCs there isn't that much load on the Server.
Like you noted can the single server be a Domain Controller, DNS, Fille storage and backup server.

4. If each room apart from the server room has a printer will it be connected to the corresponding switch in each room?

I am sorry that I have asked another set of questions but your reply will be a great help for me.


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#3
June 19, 2011 at 16:14:26
You added 100 machines since your first post. Theoretically, you can add the switches, the way you described & it would work. However, the internet connection & possibly the LAN, could be slower than one might like. That means a second internet connection & router maybe needed. It all depends on the equipment & service.

Groups, users & OUs don't depend on switches nor do switches depend on them.

Are you sure those questions are for your daughter?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#4
June 19, 2011 at 16:28:05
Thank you for getting back to me.

This has really expanded from a simple Network project to a study course for me :-)
Most of the questions I had asked is for my own information. As you know with children if you are to explain to them they will come up with even more questions which will normally stump us. I am using this situation to know more about networks for my own knowlege and be prepared for any further questions for my daughter.

If you can answer all my questions in the last post in detail it would be very helpful.


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#5
June 19, 2011 at 16:56:22
There are too many other variables to go into more detail, in a post.

Design a basic network based on what you have. You can make changes later.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#6
June 20, 2011 at 08:25:10
All good answers guapo

If I might add a few things:

is it okay to use seperate switches for each room considering future upgrade options (in this it case it will be 2 x 48, 48, 48, 48, 4 port switches.)

You shouldn't have to do it on a room-by-room basis. Most modern buildings are designed around networking and have centrally located "electrical closets" (aka "wiring closets) where all the network connections for an area of the building terminate. This is the closet your switch (or switches) would be since that's where all cables terminate.

Otherwise is the standard is to take the full number of PCs & Server and then decide on the number of switches which would be 178 and thus 4 x 48 port switches.

There is no "standard" The rule of thumb is always, "allow for growth" Simply put, you'll want to have unused ports available. When you run out, buy another switch (or switches as the case may be).

Is 48 port switches the maximum you get?

You can get 96 port switches. We just bought some that are 10 GB capable on the backplane and across the fibre optic (uplink) connections. But these cost us around $10,000.00 so whether or not you'd use equipment like that would depend no your budget and need.

The main reason for my above question is we have to show the network topology for each room and I felt it would be easier to show by having seperate switches.

Your topology is going to be "mesh" across the board. There's no need to show it room by room. In a typical, larger, network you have all your switches connected on what is called a backbone. In our case, it's fibre optic cabling connecting our wiring closets (and thus, their switches) to our dual, redundant, core switches. All clients then connect to the switches in the closets. Therefore, our closets connect in a mesh to the core switches and the clients mesh to the closets.

At what point do you need more than one server.

Assuming you have the necessary budget, I would never go with less than 2 domain controllers. Your primary DC and a redundant DC. One should always try to keep the load on domain controllers to a minimum so I would not load any other services on the DC's.

Let's assume you're going to do email with Exchange Server. That should be on it's own server.

Assume you will have a database application of some kind. That's another server.

Add that up and you have 4 servers.

In the end, the number of servers you require is dependent on need and budget. If you can only afford one server, you could do all the above on a single server. But, that server would be carrying quite a load and if it failed, you're entire business shuts down. Thus the need for redundancy and more than one server. If you have multiple servers and the primary DC fails, the redundant one takes over and there's no downtime to end users.

If the Exchange server fails, the database and domain keep working but all clients lose email until it comes back up. If you lose the db server, no db but you do have the domain and email.

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
June 20, 2011 at 09:20:56
questions sure sound familiar like these here

http://www.computing.net/answers/ne...

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's


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#8
June 28, 2011 at 03:26:25
A big thank you to guapo and curt R for your clarification and help.

I mostly used your notes to draw the diagram. Personally I have learned a lot on Networking. thank you guys.

A note to wanderer I didn't realize this forum was for patrolling rather than help for networking problem. It would be more worthwhile to help a person than trying to count 1 + 1 as 3

Alicia


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#9
June 28, 2011 at 07:35:19
Alicia

We typically do not help people doing homework. At the very least, we won't do their homework for them.

When we all went to school, we did our own homework and believe strongly the BEST way for others to learn is to pay attention in class, take good notes, study hard, and do their own homework.

I gave you a LOT more detail than I would have your child had they come in and copy/pasted their question in here and asked us to solve it for them. I just pointed some things out to you so you could have it straight in your mind.

This forum IS for helping people with networking problems. You however, did not have a network problem, you wanted help with a homework question. In this case, and every other one like it 1+1 =2

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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