Sharing Windows Home Server between networks

Acer Aspire easystore h340 network stora...
August 4, 2010 at 16:15:26
Specs: Windows 7
Hello, at work, we have one network with one dsl line using DHCP, 12 computers, and one home server. Soon though, we will be opening another office across the hall which will have an additional dsl line with its own set of computers. The Acer easystore we have will need to be shared across both networks, preferably without remote access (which would make things simple). My question is what is the best way to do this? To my understanding, connecting a switch to the server and then branching out to both networks (via the switch) should not be done, as there can be conflicts between both the network's dsl lines. It was brought up that a secondary NIC can be used in the server and have it branch out through that way, but to my knowledge, windows home server does not have the configurations to run two network cards in the system. Is there anyway to do what I need to do, easily? I have also heard that linux has the capability of doing what i need to get done, but at the moment, formatting the drive and installing linux is out of the question, due to the necessity of having the drive accessible at all times. Thanks in advance everyone1

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#1
August 5, 2010 at 07:39:25
You could do this one of two ways.

1) have both LAN's use the same subnet

or

2) have the two LAN's use separate subnets.

#2 option would require a router with a route between the two subnets.

#1 would require you to manually setup the second LAN so as to avoid duplicate IP's

To my understanding, connecting a switch to the server and then branching out to both networks (via the switch) should not be done, as there can be conflicts between both the network's dsl lines

This is true with regard to the first scenario I listed above. But as I said, if you manually setup the LAN on the second router, you could easily avoid problem.

It's worth noting too that you don't necessarily have to use a switch between the two routers and then plug the server in to the switch. In either scenario you would leave the server plugged in to one router, and then you would plug the second router into the first router.

If you click on my name above in my response and then read my "how-to" guide on "adding a second router" you can see the two different ways to do this.

What you need to know is, if you used the option where all computers are in the same subnet, then they all have access to each other. If this is an issue, then you'd need to go with the separate subnet scenario.

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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#2
August 5, 2010 at 08:52:11
Thank you very much for your reply Curt! Allowing all the computers to have access to one another is not an issue. So, it seems as if applying the same subnet should do the trick.

If I understand correctly, all I would need to do for the computers in the second room, is to set them all up for static ip addresses, and then through your how-to, connect the second router into the first. Please do confirm, and thank you once again for your help!

---I just finished reading your tutorial, but now I am a bit worried. In your tutorial for joining two routers, internet access is obtained through 1 dsl line, through router 1, correct? The problem I am facing is that there will be two dsl lines for me, so it does not seem like option 1 would work. Would option 2 still be feasable with the two separate internet lines?


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#3
August 5, 2010 at 12:19:11
Yes, it would be best to statically assign TCP/IP settings to clients on one of the two routers.

Example setup:

Router 1:
LAN IP: 192.168.0.1
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

DHCP = enabled
DHCP Scope = 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.199
Default Gateway = 192.168.0.1
SM: 255.255.255.0

Router 2
LAN IP: 192.168.0.2
SM: 255.255.255.0

DHCP = disabled

Statically assign TCP/IP settings to clients plugged in to router 2 and make their Default Gateway IP 192.168.0.2 (the IP of the router they physically plug in to) and that they IP's you assign to them are outside the DHCP Scope (say something in the range of 192.168.0.50 to 192.168.0.99) so as to avoid any duplicate IP problems.

This will ensure clients only access the internet through the router they are physically connected to and will still allow them to communicate with each other and the server.

Oh, and I would give the server a static IP also outside the DHCP Scope (something like 192.168.0.10)

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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#4
August 5, 2010 at 13:50:04
Thank you again for your prompt replys! Ok, so just to double check everything one last time (I truly do apologize about the repetitiveness of this, but I don't want to mess up!)

So, router 1 will be setup with DHCP with a limited scope, lets say like your example, 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.199

router 2 will have DHCP disabled and clients connected will have ips from lets say, 192.168.0.5 to 192.168.0.20.

Server and networked printers are already on static IPs of 192.168.0.250 and above.

router 1 has default gateway of 192.128.0.1 and SM of 255.255.255.0

router 2 has default gateway of 192.168.0.2 and SM of 255.255.255.0

Now, do I just run a cable to connect router 2 to router 1, and all should be fine? Or do I need to configure my WAN like the way you did in the guide? and if I do, could you please provide IP examples? I think I am a bit unsure just because your guide discusses sharing internet connection where as I need two independent connections with central connection to server.

I really do appreciate all your help!


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#5
August 5, 2010 at 14:47:28
router 1 has default gateway of 192.128.0.1 and SM of 255.255.255.0

router 2 has default gateway of 192.168.0.2 and SM of 255.255.255.0

Those IP's will be the LAN IP's of their respective routers. They will become the gateway address of the clients plugged in to those particular routers. This way external traffic will go to the LAN side of the router and pass through there out the WAN side.

I'm pretty sure that's what you meant, but I wanted to make sure you understood.

Now, do I just run a cable to connect router 2 to router 1, and all should be fine?

Yes. The preference would be a "crossover" cable, but with modern switches, you can just use a regular patch cable. In this scenario, you will be connecting LAN port to LAN port (as per my guide).

Or do I need to configure my WAN like the way you did in the guide?

The WAN to LAN is only necessary in a scenario where you wish to keep the two networks separated by using different subnets. Since you're going to be making one network with a single subnet, the LAN to LAN scenario is the correct one.

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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#6
August 5, 2010 at 14:55:58
Great! yes, that is what I meant with the ip addresses.

I will use a crossover cable just to make sure things go ok, and so I use this cable from switch 1 to switch 2 correct? Not router 1 to router 2. Sorry, I think I was confused about that part too. Thanks again!


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#7
February 11, 2011 at 00:25:31
Hi Curt,
I'm hoping you'll see this and can help me, as I have a similar requirement as maddash but in a home network with two internet connections. One uses a cable modem and the other an ADSL2 modem. Our WHS has two NICs and I was planning to use them, so my proposed configuration is below. Can you please advise if it's correct or if it won't work?

Thanks very much, Colin...


Cable Wireless Router

IP=192.168.0.1
SM=255.255.255.0

DHCP=Enabled
DHCP Scope=192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.199
Default Gateway=192.168.0.1
SM=255.255.255.0

Connect to WHS Server NIC=192.168.0.13

Servicing;
Up to 3 laptops (may be wired or wireless)
1 x wireless printer
1 x wired NAS
All using DHCP

ADSL2 Wireless Router

IP=192.168.0.2
SM=255.255.255.0

DHCP=Disabled

Default Gateway=192.168.0.2
SM=255.255.255.0

Connect to WHS Server NIC=192.168.0.15

Servicing;
Up to 3 laptops (may be wired or wireless)
Static IPs


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#8
February 11, 2011 at 05:57:36
At a glance, your setup should work ok.

You're going to want to decide which provider to use for the server to access the internet and then configure a gateway address only on that NIC. On the other one, leave Default Gateway blank. If you put a DG on both interfaces, your windows box will likely blow a gasket trying to figure out what to do......lol.

You can always change that by removing the DG on the one interface and adding it on the other.

If you're going to have DHCP clients on both sides of your server, you move DHCP onto the server and disable it on the one router.

Personally, if it were me, I'd probably buy a switch, connect both routers, the server, and all wired clients to it. I would let however many clients (especially wireless clients) get their IP's from DHCP and have it configured with the DG of the router you want them to access the internet through. The rest of the clients, which you want accessing internet through the other router, I'd assign IP's, and the appropriate DG, statically.

This way all clients can communicate with each other without having to go through the server to do so. The setup you're suggesting makes your server the center of a lot of client-to-client communication.

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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#9
February 11, 2011 at 14:42:32
This is a question, as I do not have experience in this but would like to learn. Is there something wrong here with simply hooking everything up to a switch, with everything on the same LAN, giving each router its own hard local IP, and then speccing each as the default gateway for its respective set of workstations?

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#10
February 11, 2011 at 15:44:53
For Paul, if you are talking about having redundant gateways, you can do it but note that some DHCP servers have problems handling redundant gateways.

So, if you decided to go with static IPs and put in two gateways on your NIC they will most probably be configured with an Automatic Metric which means the gateway with the fastest ping at the time the NIC activated, will win. That sounds all good but if you have any servers this could be a problem because (depending on what protocol you are using for host discovery) if the server got one gateway as its primary and your computer got another gateway, you computer may not be able to discover the server because they are on different gateways. Whats worse is Microsoft DHCP sometimes fails to assign a gateway to the NIC at all when using multiple gateways. (Found this out the hard way)

You could fix it by creating static routs on the server but this is messy and if you do not know what you are doing could just cause more head acks. Best to avoid this concept.

How do I know this, I have redundant gateways on my network and use Server 2003 DHCP which has known bugs when handling multiple gateways and have run into the issues mentioned above.


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#11
February 11, 2011 at 16:09:14
Thanks, Ace. When you say, “and put in two gateways on your NIC”, do you mean actually speccing them, or just having them available on the lan? Because I wasn't after redundancy, I was trying to differentiate the two groups, each with its own internet access, by use of default gateways. Therefore I would only spec one gateway for each nic.

If only one gateway was penciled in on a nic, that would cause the bugs you mention to surface?


“if the server got one gateway as its primary and your computer got another gateway, you computer may not be able to discover the server because they are on different gateways”

This I don't understand. Once the computer accesses the lan through its gateway, isn't the entire lan open to it, barring subnets and permissions and such? In other words, wouldn't the second router see the request coming through the first router as a legitimate lan request?

I agree, maintaining a table of static ips for the workstations would be a nightmare, especially as the lan grew.

Pardon my questions, I find this stuff interesting.
BW,
p.


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#12
February 11, 2011 at 16:34:41
"This I don't understand. Once the computer accesses the lan through its gateway,
 isn't the entire lan open to it, barring subnets 
and permissions and such? In other words, 
wouldn't the second router see the request 
coming through the first router as a legitimate 
lan request?"

Oops yep you are right, I keep forgetting I have VPN computers. You only see this when you are VPNed in. Sorry it was something I saw but only for VPN. I have another remote office that is using Point to Point VPN.

I tried using two NICs like said above with static reservations setup in my DHCP server for my file server but the default gateway would disappear on my second NIC. Here is the post that I made when trying to solve this problem...

http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread....

The other problem was the VPN computers where coming in on a 10.100.200.0 subnet and could only be seen by the any computer that was using THAT router as a gateway but not by the computers using the other gateway because only one router was setting up the route. Just keep it in mind when you have complex networks with multiple subnets.

"When you say, “and put in two gateways
 on your NIC”, do you mean actually speccing
 them, or just having them available on the 
lan?"

I mean when you go into to configure a static IP for a NIC you can enter more than one gateway by going into the Advanced settings and hitting the Add button under the Default Gateways section.


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#13
February 11, 2011 at 17:19:39
Ace - thanks much for that clarification. I wonder if the problem with two nics, each with its own separate default gateway, isn't a Windows problem on the host rather than a lan routing problem. If so, I could see this system working. I'd like to give it a go someday.

bw,
p.


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#14
February 17, 2011 at 09:05:42
If it helps at all, I have set up my network the way Curt suggested, and everything is working well together. Every computer has access to the other networks, networked device (printers, servers). I changed the LAN ip of the second network's router and used that as the default gateway for all the computers on the second network, with static IPs.

New quick question about something I noticed though...obviously, if someone connects via DHCP to the STATIC second network, it will start pulling internet from the first network which has DHCP enabled. So, the computer connected to the router on the second network (with its own internet) is pulling internet from the first router/ISP and going through the second router. Is this potentially bad for the hardware devices themselves?


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