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Building a New Network: Where to Start?

By DamiantheX ·
There are all sorts of discussions available on building a network, and a multitude of articles available in the Republic on how to administer your new network. I have run into a roadblock, though, at trying to find the best equipment suitable to my needs. I'm sure that an independant consultant could help me out, and all of the computer companies can help me pick out a multi-million dollar enterprise class system, but I would like to do some research on small business equipment (servers, workstations, software, etc.) geared towards a small business with 25 users. If there are other managers out there that have built a network from the ground up, please let me know how the electronics were chosen, where they were purchased, and what software was utilized to assist the small businessman.

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Try this!

by areets In reply to Building a New Network: ...
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Good, Fast, Cheap

by Oldefar In reply to Building a New Network: ...

You get to pick any two.

For good, you need to begin with knowing your business objectives and business requirements the network will support. These aren't technical requirments, but will have a significant impact on defining the technology. Issues like plans to expand in 6 months, or relocate, or do an acquisition need to be considered. Will you want a public face, or is this all internal? How are you determining your ROI? Improved efficiency, increased revenue, lower operating costs can all be contrary objectives if not understood up front. Trade journals for your industry are a good source of specific applications to consider.

Fast is easy. You buy the name brands for everything since they are readily obtainable, have a large after market support base, and will more or less work out of the box. Of course, you may never get full value or even full functionality out of your investment.

Cheap is relative. Look at good and fast, then shop price. With Good, you need to consider operating costs. With Fast, you are only looking at unit price.

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New Network

by timwalsh In reply to Building a New Network: ...

Oldefar covered everything prety well.

Some other "pearls of wisdom":

The types of equipment you will need will be relatively standard for a network of a given size (although there can be some variations) (Business requirements will determine whether any of these variations are right for your business).

In my case, equipment was decided upon based on prior experience, years of reading industry magazines and journals to see which vendors had good reputations (and bad ones), and sometimes, plain old brand-name recognition.

If you don't have experience with the offerings of the various different vendors, you will need to rely on others (whether they be consultants, other businesses in your particular industry, or the people in theoffice next door) for recommendations on equipment and software.

Software will fall into two categories:
Standard office software such as Micrsosft Office and possibly financial software such as QuickBooks
Specialized industry-specific software such as POS (point-of-sales) software, databases, etc.

For the standard software, it's usually just a matter of reading reviews and listening to recommendations from other office managers.

For the industry-specific software, you best bet is usually industry tradegroups and industry-specific journals and websites.

Hope this helps.

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Your question lacks some

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Building a New Network: ...

Detail but from my reading I am assuming that currently you don't have an operational network setup.

So my responce will have to be a bit vage to your question but as you are currently working there you should know what software is requires because you know what type of work is performed there so any of the specalised software is fairly self explanatory. As far as setting a 25 station network you will have to set up a couple of servers to administer these computers one being the main serverand the other administering the mail and all web fuctions that the business requires. Then you will have to decide what sought of servrers you require and this is especially hard as you will want something that has the power to work not only now butfor quite some time to come and factor in growth as well so I'd be looking at one of the Dual Processor Xeon M'Boards as the primary server and don't skimp here as it is the one item of the whole network that isn't easily changed when required, you would as well have to look into safety devices like power line filtering and UPS's and some sought of reduncancy system as well as a backup system that requires little to no attention as the DATA is the really important stuff on any network and is the only thing that really can't be replaced in the case of some event happening that scauses the thieft/destruction of the computers/building.

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Part 2

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Your question lacks some

Once you have the type of server that you want then you have to thing about what workstations are required and what is going to be actually done on these workstations so for something like the computer at recption you don't need any devices like CD/DVD or floppy nothing more than the keyboard and mouse are required at a station like this but at one of the major work stations there will almost certianly be required somethng more powerfull and upgradable for some time to come.

What you want tostop is the user actually installing some software on the computer that they use as this can lead to problems and even cause the whole system to crash.

Once you have decided what hardware you require then you have to figure out how to connect them together you can use either wire or wireless both have their advantages and disavantages over each other I guess it all boils down to just how much you actually know and what your budget actually is as the wireless alternative will be the cheeper of the 2 to set up but require more software to make it secure so it may end up costing more than running wire where you need it.

If you would like some more detail you can always e-mail me at the address below.

But as I no doubt live in a different country to you I probably can't tell you where to buy things but as this is what I do for a living I do have some small knolledge of what you are facing.


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