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beginner lan/wan question

By Subdude ·
I am a beginner. I'm trying to understand how to set up a LAN/WAN combo. I want to set it up as economically as possible with no real worry about future expansion. I'm playing around with a concept that includes several different offices in major cities separated by hundreds of miles that have different requirements for volume of data transfer to the main server. There are four outlying offices that connect to a server in the main office where there are about 15 users. One office only needs a transfer rate of about 28Kbps, so the capacity allowed by a V.92 dial up modem would seem to suffice. Another needs nearly 100 Kbps - I thought this would just about match the total capacity of an ISDN BRI line (128 Kbps)with ISDN modems. Another needs about 38 Mbps. This would be close to a T-3 at 44.736Mbps with t-3 CSU/DSUs. The last one needs about 1Mbps. This seems to call for a T-1 line at 1.54Mbps with t-1 CSU/DSUs.

Additionally, the lan system in the home office should support all 15 users with printing services and full duplex at 100Mbps on the same server. This seems to warrant 100Base-TX with a concentrator(s) that will also support the network printer.

My questions are: First, are the ideas I have about the lines connecting the outlying offices to the server valid? If not how should they be set up?, and second, if they are valid, what is the best way to funnel all of the various data flows from the outlying offices into the server in the main office. Or, am I way off base?
Thanks in advance for your insight.

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by Jaqui In reply to beginner lan/wan question

the central server needs to be able to meet the transfer requirements of all the remote offices simultaneously. if they all try connecting at the same time ost would not get any quality transfer.

for easy expansion, you are going to have to seriously concider wireless. a wired connection system does not promote easy expansion when needed.

the network can have a dedicated print server, which can be it's own wireless device, or accessed through a cable from the network server.

best bet for the whole conectivity for all offices is to have all the remote offices connecting at what the highest need is.

then you can actually start balancing the load between the sites, to get away with lower data transfer, like t1 at all offices.
this is assuming that all offices are running same database and queries, which only makes sense if they are all same company.

the t3 ( oc3 ) connection is a fairly costly item, if that cost can be shared by load balancing usage then it makes the profits from the busy office higher, which has a good effect on the companies bottom line.

by load balancine the system you also get better use of the existing machines, extending thier life span before upgrades are required, also saving the company money.

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by Gigelul In reply to beginner lan/wan question

1. The huge diferences between the remote locations requirements is a problem. In the main office you will need different equipments, servers/services, routing mechanism and authentification mechanism.
2. About the volum data transfer to the main office. What you can do with a 28Kbps bandwith? Maybe a remote administration of the main office nework and not very easy. On the other side, for other remote office, you need 38Mbps, which looks like a "direct connection" to the main network/server. I'm worry about how you checked the bandwith requirements for remote offices.
3. Main office network. Any workstation OS will allow you to share maximum 10 connections at one time. So you'll need an server OS for more than 10 connection and setup a domain network recommended. Regarding the printing services you can use/setup some network printers or printers attached to the network with a print server box and install them on the main server or separate server. Of course you must use at least one switch network device to connect all workstations, servers and printers.

The correct solutions depends about the data transfer type: file transfer, mailing, data base access, browsing, printing, etc.
There are a lot of details which must be checked and the information you provided are not enough to determine the right solution.

For example a Citrix server farm in the main office can be a solution for the different remote offices requirements. All remote clients will work on these servers (like they are in the main office), the bandwith requirements will be the same for each client (you must establish how many clients are in each location and multiply with the requested bandwith for one user), standard environment for all users, etc.

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by Gigelul In reply to

BTW: for any solutions you'll need at least one separate gateway server/equipment capable of/to: VPN connection, dial-up connection, different athentifications mechanism, routing, firewall, DNS, etc.

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by GDoC In reply to beginner lan/wan question

Ouch, 38 Mbps! That one is $$$$, so lets look at a solution that supports that and all the others in one fell swoop.
At the home office you get a T3 local loop into a frame cloud network. You then get PT1 or ISDN loops at the first two sites of 56/64K CIR, and 128K CIR. You will have to have a second T3 local loop at the monster site.
You will set up PVCs between each of the remote sites and the central site, and manage bandwidth via QOS rules on the routers on each end of the end-end circuits. So at the home site you will be managing bandwith through three separate sub interfaces each associated with a PVC in the cloud.

This gives you some flexability on site to site bandwith, adding additional sites, as well as minimizing the amount of HW needed as well as administrative oversight.

I must say that the requirement for 38Mbps is extremely high for a small enterprise...Unless you are servicing huge numbers of clients, and this has been indicated as a interior network.

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by techrepublic In reply to beginner lan/wan question

What is the problem you're trying to solve? Your definition of bandwidth needs are a bit perplexing. People are trying to solve your bandwidth requests without understanding your problem. I think that needs to be addressed outside the scope of a discussion board. If you're looking at DS3 connectivity, I would recommend you spend a few thousand dollars in infrastructure consultation first. It'll be worth it in the long run.

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