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3 routers, 2 domains, 1 head ache

By toopigforyou ·
Hi,

My company is setting up a server/client network(s) after many years of peer to peer. Someone else designed the new system, which we tried, but couldn't get to work due to conflicts in the routers, so now I need to redesign it.

The set up is as follows:

There are two companies, one with two branches in separate cities (1A & 1B), while the 2nd company's only office (2) is next-door to the office 1A. We want connectivity between all the offices using two domains (CO1, CO2) with Win2003 Server AD & DNS (see diagram link below).

Each office has a Netgear FVS318 router with VPN. These were going to be used to connect all the offices via the internet. It would make sense, though, to use a faster CAT-5 ethernet connection between Co. 1A and Co. 2 since they're right next door to each other. Also, as the offices have separate internet connections/ISPs, we'd like to set it up so that if one net connection goes down, we can use the other office's connection through that CAT-5 connection.

I've chosen not to mention the third office too much as this should just be a VPN connection from either of the other two offices. I haven't thought about any potential conflicts between the VPN and PN (private network) of the two neighbouring offices, but I'll leave that for now.

The initial network design called for two subnets, 192.168.0.* and 192.168.1.*, one for each office and simply hook the two routers up with a CAT-5 cable, but of course that wasn't possible with DHCP enabled on both routers.

(As you can see, the managerial desire to keep the two companies 'separate' overcame the sensibility of a single network design!)

So one way is to disable DHCP and assign IP addresses, which works, but it's a pain to manage, and seems very slow (perhaps something to do with the fact that each client has a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0?)

Another way is to get rid of the two network approach and use one router to DHCP both offices and VPN between cities, but we'd lose the utility of the second internet connection (plus this design is fraught with hysterical managerial irrationality!! :)

I've also made an illustration of the desired outcome: http://picasaweb.google.com/toopigforyou/IT/photo#5072120441902215634

Anyone got a good solution out there? I'd like to keep using both routers (so it doesn't look like there's un-used equipment!) with their internet connections, and of course maintain the functionality of Windows Server's AD between two networks.

I'm sure I've missed some pertinent details...but I can't think of anything right now.

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