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networking a school to a WAN

By transparentheart069 ·
There are 3 schools, Elementary school, a Junior High, and a High school. The Junior High and the high school are connected to WAN but the Elementary school isn't. If i wanted to connect the Elementary school to the WAN, and if i decide to use a private line data network what would i need.

Also how do you use a DHCP for IP addressing, are there certain cables to be used?

Ok, here's another question if the Elemetary school does not have e-mail and Internet capabilites and the Junior High and the High school does since there's fiber line that connects the junior high to the high school. Plus there's a T1 line from the Junior high to the ISP which allows both schools to have email and Internet capabilities. So how would i provide email and Internet capabilities to the elementary school?

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School WAN

by nyg2k In reply to networking a school to a ...

Are you financially in a position to run fiber or a T1 to the elementary school? DHCP can be setup to have 3 seperate scopes for each school or one big subnet (depending on your requirements). With a router between each location, you would just need to turn on DHCP forwarding on the router. Let me know if I can be of any help.

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by transparentheart069 In reply to School WAN

I am finanically in postion to run fiber or a T1 to the elementary school. So if i run a T1 line to the districts ISP would that provide me with email and Internet capabilities? Not to sure how i would connect the Elementary school to the wide area network.

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by transparentheart069 In reply to School WAN

Elementary Schools:

(Teachers/aides and administrators = 40; classrooms = 20; offices =4)

Each school has a local area Novell network that runs 5 computers in each classroom. The computers are mostly outdated, PC 386 machines along with several Apple IIe?s. The Apple computers ran educational software that is no longer used since the computers can no longer be serviced. Now, the remaining Apple computers are used for basic word processing. The 386 machines run some essential math and reading curriculum software, but the software cannot be updated because the machines cannot run the newer software. The students use four of the 386 machines in each classroom, and the remaining machine serves as a teacher workstation. There is an old Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 4Plus printer on each floor. This printer is shared from a teacher workstation and is available for all stations to print to in a centralized location. The elementary schools are not part of the district wide-area network and; therefore, the teachers do not have access to email or the Internet. Each building principal, secretary, guidance counselor, and nurse also have a 386 machine. Desktop security is only a minor issue in the elementary schools. There are 4 drops of Cat5 cabling and one fiber drop in each classroom and the classrooms are connected to the Novell server via 10baseT hubs.

Suburban Junior High:

(Teachers/aides and administrators = 90; classrooms = 25; offices = 5)

This building is connected to the high school building via a fiber line (24 strands) that the district owns. Also, from this building, a T1 line runs to the district?s ISP so that teachers at the Junior and Senior High buildings have email and Internet capabilities. Each teacher and staff member has a 486 machine (about one-half of these run Windows 95 and the others still run Windows 3.1) with a 10MB Ethernet nic card and cd-rom drive. There are 3 LaserJet 4Plus printers that are shared and available to staff on each floor. Additionally, there are 2 computer labs available for classes to use. These labs contain older 386 machines running Windows 95. Each lab has its own printer, but the machines are not set up for Internet access. Each classroom has 4 CAT5 cable drops and one fiber drop. The library also has cable drops, but no networked computers.

10baseT hubs connect computers to the main wiring closet. Desktop security is an issue in this school.

Suburban High School

(Teachers/aides and administrators =120; classrooms = 45; offices = 12)

Since this building is connected to the Junior High, staff and teachers have email and Internet access. Each teacher has a 486 machine (about ? running Windows 95, the rest run Windows 3.1) with a 10MB Ethernet NIC and CD-ROM drive. Each department shares a LaserJet 4Plus printer---approximately 12 total. Additionally, each administrator, secretary, guidance counselor and nurse has a 486 machine and access to a printer.

This building has the following labs:

? Business Department: 2 rooms with 27 computers in each. One lab has recently been updated to Pentium II computers; the other lab still contains 486 machines. The updated lab runs Microsoft Office 97 and Microsoft Works; the other lab runs Microsoft Works and Corel.

? Science Department: One lab of 5-year-old Macintosh computers (not part of the district network).

? Technology Department: One lab of 8 Macintosh computers (not part of the district network).

? English Department: One writing lab containing 15 486 machines running Microsoft Word version 2.0 and Publisher version 2.0

Several other classrooms contain from one to five older computers (386 and 486) that are used as standalone machines for word processing only.

As in the other buildings, there are 5 cable drops in each classroom (four Cat5 and one fiber).

10baseT hubs connect computers to the closets. Desktop security is an issue in this school.

Miscellaneous Network Information:

? To date, IP addresses are static; however, with only a class C license, the district will soon run out of addresses using this method.

? The ISP provides a firewall for security and a filter for the Internet.

? One of the servers acts as a print server; however, only 2 printers (Administrative offices) are attached to it at this point.

? A Microsoft Exchange e-mail system is currently in place for the Junior High and High school. This runs on a separate server.

? Staff in the district has been somewhat resistant to change. Several of the teachers in each building do not use the available computers.

My goal is to:

? Solve the IP addressing problem

? Connect the elementary schools to the wide area network

? Provide email and Internet capabilities to all teachers and staff members in the elementary schools

? Standardize the software used within the district (word processing, spreadsheet, database, and email)

? Outline a training plan for all staff members

? Update student computers, beginning with the elementary schools, so that students have WAN and Internet access

? Update the hardware to 10/100MB capability (hub and nic replacement)

? Update the servers

? Provide a solution for getting rid of old equipment

? Suggest an equipment replacement schedule for the future so that the district is not replacing all computers in a single year

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Windows based design modeling

by CG IT In reply to networking

Need to know the entire existing hardware topology top to bottom including existing domains [if any] security requirements, most concern on whether the labs are on the network or not [labs imo should NOT be on the same network as administration]. Who needs access to what at all 3 sites e.g. does there really need to be access between elementary, Jr High , HS. What server/network solution have the school district decided on? Windows, Solaris, Linux?

Schools are somewhat difficult to plan out because there are labs and kids just love to be able to hack and get into the school system.

Just from your general outline, cost will be upwards of $175K USD+ in hardware considering educational discounts and volume licensing. Sofware is tricky. Vendors will go to great lenghts to give you decent pricing. For migration, intergration of existing infrastructure into a new structure I would use a planned phase out of existing hardware. Price quoted is a revamp price including 2U rackmount servers 2 DNS each site, bridgehead exchange, WINS, DHCP. In the main campus room 2 DNS for root domain, exchange farm, Linux web server campus backbone routing/switching using TCP/IP and DB servers. Im a Windows person so I would opt for a windows solution. Schools can get volume pricing on Windows XP Pro and Windows 2000/2003 server solutions that commercial entities can not. Apple will also give you upgrades if you just ask em. Novell can be intergrated into a Windows based solution. Again schools can be tricky as politics plays a big role in who gets what, what is used, etc.

imo each division of schools, elementary Jr. High, HS in the school district should be their own domain for security reasons. I would opt for child domains of school district root domain. Mail would be done at the root level. Everyone within the school district has the same @<schooldistrict>.edu email address. bridgehead servers at each site. DB

WAN linking hardware is a matter of perference with most going with Cisco solutions. PIX 501s with T1 modules with 2950s 10/100 managed switches. NO wireless. Sorry wireless gurus but thats how kids hack unless they got a teachers assistant who gives em access to the main network.

If windows solution use OUs to seperate out different departments and assign security groups.

IP addressing, run DHCP on each child domain segment not one big DHCP server servicing the entire forest. domain authentication the same way.

This is rough considering there is no access to deisgn planning documentation including feedback from users on what they need to do their jobs and no access to existing entire hardware topology.

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Frame Relay or Cable Modem

by jdclyde In reply to networking a school to a ...

Talk to your provider. You will save big by getting off the T1 lines and get on a frame relay network.

The next option would be to talk to your local cable company and look at connecting with cable modems.

You are looking at hundreds per month instead of thousands. This will pay for your new computers and networking equipment.

At the router for each location you can define where the traffic can go. You can define that the elementry can access the other school networks but not the internet, or only allow teacher computers.
Email can also be directed as needed.

When running DHCP, Cisco routers can feed this. It is always a poor idea to run DHCP services over a WAN for several reasons.

First is network overhead. Lots of chatter just so they can be connected.

Second, if anything happens to your connection or your one server feeding the DHCP out then all computers have lost connectivity.

If you have your own PBX, this would be the time to save big by going to VoIP (or in this case Voice over Frame).

Major saving potential here as well. Again, taking money you are paying out now just to be connected and redirecting that money to update PC's and network equipment.

I work for a business with 4 locations, and we did this switch. It saves around 60K a year, every year. Cost about 30K to get everything in place and switched over. Paid for it's self with money left over.

Good Luck.

As a side note, if the elementry school is close and you don't want to do the overhaul, look at a wireless bridge to connect the elementry to the closest school. Just don't go with low end wireless because the security isn't there. With school records to protect and all, you will want a Cisco or equivalent.

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I did just this !

by Whatme? In reply to Frame Relay or Cable Mode ...

I networked 3 schools in my region. They were a mishmash of outdated macs and old windows machines. What I did was a windows solution since management was only "me". With the windows though , I implemented mac printing and file services so that the macs could work and print on the network. Upgrading of computers took a couple of years. I installed a single domain model with a DC at each school behind a router. Each had our DNS , DHCP, AD and global catalogue. I installed everything on a private network. I only had access to a few valid IPs so I put a few of these in the firewall in the DMZ for email server etc. I created only ONE link to the WAN for security and control reasons. I installed an ISA server at 2 schools and forwarded to the third where the WAN link was. This way I controlled the network content. I installed all the casses each in their OU. Upon graduation from one school, I could select the users and transfer them to their appropriate school and class OU is seconds. Teachers are diehards and resistant to change. We still have some with new macs now and a few with Linux but for the most part, they upgraded to all new PCs. It made my work easier. Run your fibre from the missing school or as stated previously, use a wireless bridge, but do away with your old 10T hubs and go at least 100 or even 1000 switches.

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