General discussion


Cable Modem setup for email server

By tmartone ·
Right now I have my cable modem connected to a switch and our
internal network. We just upgraded to 5 static (public) IP
addresses. I'd like to setup an email server and was wondering
the best network configuration for this. Should I put it on our
internal network and open up the needed ports to that server or
should I setup another seperate internal network and point one
of my static IP addresses to this server. My real question is, how
would you configure the cable modem?

I hope I am explainig this well enough to understand.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Cable Modem setup for ema ...

Well this depends on the size of the business. Though it's never a Good Idea to allow unfettered access to the internal network the risk of attack and infection are too great.

Also why did you Upgrade to the 5 Static IP Addresses?

If you would like to post a comment by clicking on the Add Comment button I may be able to help you out but I really need to know how big a network we are talking about here and how secure you want it and your companies Data to be.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

OK Tim,

The way to go here is to install a decent Router between the Cable Modem and your Exchange Server as I take it that you want to stick with MS products though a nice Linux Server running Apache would do the job just as well and be a lot more secure.

But I'm taking it that you are a MS only shop and get a discount from MS for agreeing to work this way. So something like a Cisco Router placed between the Modem and Mail Server running Exchange will do the job quite nicely. But you'll have to update the Router and keep updating it at regular intervals as per the makers recommendations.

If you get a real server and not one of the make believe ones from Dell HP or the like you'll be able to use it as both the Exchange and FTP server but you'll need to look for one with a reserve of Processing Power and more RAM than most companies think is necessary. Yes you can get by with a 3 GIG P4 with 512 MEG of RAM but it will be so slow that it will actually cost you far more than what you save by buying a decent Server in the first place and then there is the Tax Benefit involved as well when it comes to Depreciation so don't skimp there or it will end up costing you far more money that you think that you are saving.

As for the Port forwarding this can all be done from the router and then you keep the Server on the Safe side of things.

Currently MS is pushing the idea of Do More With Less hardware so you'll get away with it for now but when Vista hits the streets you'll be stuck with different servers for different jobs mainly because Exchange 12 is a 64 Bit Application and most of the FTP programs are still 32 Bit so they can not be used on the same machine and allow Exchange to work properly.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

If you are singed up with Software Assurance you can just setup a second server and feed it off the same router and then into the domain through a switch or better still a Managed Switch this depends on the budget though and what the existing Network Infrastructure is but it would be an easy add in no matter what. But it will require an Exchange Server and a FTP Server if you upgrade when these hit the streets. Most same people will not and keep their existing software load as it is because they know that it works and accept any downtime that already arises but with a new OS that can be a very steep learning curve and very expensive with a lot of unscheduled downtime.

Anyway that the way that I would do it Keeping it Simple so that you don't have much change instigated and an easy learning curve to follow instead of changing a lot around and having a lot of downtime till all the bugs are worked out of the system.

If you want any more info drop me a Peer Mail and I'll cover the installation more throughly and off a public forum.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

What I meant by a Real Server is one with a Dual Processor setup Like Rick has suggested below and not one of the ones that some companies try to sell you as a Server which is really nothing more than a PC.

If the budget doesn't stretch to a Dual Xeon something along the lines of a Dual Core Pentium or Pentium Extreme would do a reasonable job as well but make sure that they supply at least 2 GIG of RAM with the unit and preferably 2 1 Gig Sticks so you still have room for more RAM if required. Without the need to remove what already installed and replace it with bigger Memory Sticks. A good Server M'Board will have at least 4 or maybe even 6 Slots for RAM and you will need to apply them in matched pairs to maintain the performance.

If you don't have Software Assurance from MS then none of the last part applies to you.

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by tmartone In reply to Cable Modem setup for ema ...

We'll have approximately 45 workstations. We upgraded to 5
static IP addresses mainly due to the fact that our ISP gave them
to us when we upgraded our service to a 8M cable line. So with
this we'd like to set up an email server, an FTP server, etc... My
thoughts were there might be 2 ways to setup this network.

1 - Place a firewall/router between my internal network and the
cable modem, place an email server on my internal network and
forward the email ports on both the cable modem/router and
the firwall/router. Not sure if this is the most secure way.

2 - Place a firewall/router between my internal network and the
cable modem, then place the email server directly to cable
modem and forward the email ports to the email server. I wasn't
sure how the cable modem would handle requests from my
internal network to the email server.

Thanks for you help.


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by rkuhn In reply to Cable Modem setup for ema ...

I have to take exception with some of Hal's comments:

1) We're an all MS shop and don't get a discount for that. You just can't refrain yourself can you?

2) Our email server is for about 110 people. Grant it, it's not a FTP server but it is only a PIII dual processor 1.3Ghz and isn't slow. Now, we do have 2GB of RAM though.

3) All of our servers are HP and they are "real" servers. The ML 300 and 500 is a nice series with great features and an affordable price.

4) I wouldn't worry about the 32 bit vs 64 bit argument for now. I don't see anyone upgrading to Longhorn anytime soon. And, by the time we are all using 64 bit OS's and such, the most popular FTP programs will be 64 bit. Besides, why not use IIS as the FTP software if he is an all MS shop?

A) Not enough info was given to be that critical of MS. I'm assuming that with 45 desktops that means roughly 45 users. A high end server isn't necessary.

B) He didn't tell us just how busy the FTP server would be. Perhaps and Exchange/IIS server is possible for low/medium use. Only if the email server/FTP server is heavy use would I recommend not doubling up.

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by komara69 In reply to Cable Modem setup for ema ...

AS I understand you want to setup email server such as Exchange server or sendmail. I will do my best to answer your questions since my English grammer is not that great.
First, there is not configure on the cable modem. Although, you upgrade to 5 static IP but you are still consider home use not business use so your IPS still block ports 25,110 and will not do reverse DNS for you. Without reverse DNS your email most likely bound back because most company email server will not accept email without reverse DNS. So make it short you can't do it. if you still want to try then register the domain, and get 3rd party DNS server try Good Luck.

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