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Network question?

By jfuller05 ·
Based on your own experiences, which is better to implement for site to site connection: lines or wireless?
The longest site distance from the main office is probably ten to twelve miles, the second longest would be probably five, the other five locations are not even a mile away.
I would think for the two distant locations that wireless would be a valid cost option, but would I be sacrificing performance? I know that a T1 connection would be good for the five close sites, no question about that. We want to implement Active Directory (running Windows Server 200 for permissions, use group policy to streamline the permissions, and use the file server for our Software to be used by the six other sites.
I'm mainly wanting to know the cost vs performance for wireless and T1 lines.
Web links are fine. As long as I'm pointed in the right direction, I can research the rest.
Thanks

edit: One of the further sites has a lot of online traffic.

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VPN?

by oldbaritone In reply to Network question?

At distances of several miles, wireless is going to be expensive and may have its own security and reliability issues.

Leased lines like T1/T3 can be expensive, too - that depends on the rates for the lines. Check with your local providers.

The piece missing from your question is how much bandwidth do you really need? If it's low to moderate, an internet connection with VPN routing between sites may be the most cost-efficient. You can purchase only the bandwidth you need; most carriers have many levels available. Depending on the equipment vendor, VPN is very secure, and often less expensive than T1 for the same bandwidth.

You'll need to set up a segmented IP address plan, but that's very simple: the easiest might be something like 192.168.1.x in building 1, 192.168.2.x in building 2, 192.168.3.x in building 3, and so on. If you need larger address blocks, go to the 172.16.0.0 - 172.32.255.255 block (172.16/12 prefix) or the 10.x.x.x block (10/8 prefix)such as 10.100.x.x in building 1, 10.200.x.x in building 2, etc.

Then all that's left to do is decide whether you want "hub and spoke" (each outlying building connects to the "hub", and requests between outlying buildings go through the hub to get to the other building) or "point to point" (each building has its own VPN connection to every one of the other buildings) and then configure the VPN routers appropriately.

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Thanks,

by jfuller05 In reply to VPN?

this really helped out. It lead me in the right direction. I was thinking of VPN, but I wasn't sure if it would cost more or less than a wired connection. One site requires a lot of bandwidth, it's located at the end of the dsl connection from the ISP. The site has two dsl modems going at the same rate just to allow as much traffic through as they can. So, that site would probably need a Tx line, unless our carrier has a good rate for VPN.
Thanks again, your input helped me out.

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Mixed-mode

by oldbaritone In reply to Thanks,

You also might consider different options for different sites - T1 to the high-bandwidth buildings and VPN to the low-use sites.

Not knowing what's available to you, you might want to look at cable internet, which sometimes has more bandwidth than DSL, or FIOS if it's available from the DSL provider - which would have more bandwidth than cable. I don't know what those services cost in your area, but it's always a good idea to "shop around."

:-)

Oh - and be careful about getting tied in to long-term commitments. As business conditions change, the needs will change too. Don't get "clobbered" on the back end with "early termination fees." Commitments are OK, but keep the horizon reasonable.

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Mixed-mode

by jfuller05 In reply to Mixed-mode

I believe will be the way to go. I really appreciate all the advice. Whenever I read it, I'm thinking,"Oh yeah, I remember now." It's all coming back to me. My AAS degree was in Microsoft networking, but my job is in tech support (mostly hardware/software maintenance) so I haven't used my networking skills that much at all. Of course, I will now!

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good stuff

by mafergus In reply to Mixed-mode

Good stuff. In my organization, we never sign a deal that is longer then 2 yrs and that is risky. Just remember everything always gets cheaper. Just remember to make sure you either get a new deal or renew the contract if there aren't good options. Some vendors are actually increasing their rates after the contract expires.

You will also want to look at synergies depending on your infrastructure. We cut our total internet acces by 2/3rds by going to a dynamic T3 configuration vs. having 2 T1s

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