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Revamping network at a small company

By Banner ·
We are in the process of writing out and budgeting for a upgrade of our network. Currently, we are running a Peer-to-peer windows 98 setup. (Thanks to my predecesor) Now that buisness has slowed down just a bit, we feel this is an opportune time to upgrade. We will be rolling out a Windows 2000 (Including Server), replacing the hub with either a 100Mbs or a HP Procurve managed switch. We may also be installing a cisco router and frac T1 line to replace our current 56k and WinGate setup.

I amcurious if anyone else has had a simalar experiance... if so, did you learn anything unexpected?

I plan to setup this network as if I were setting up a large one... (we have 6 clients)

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revamping network

by JackieB In reply to Revamping network at a sm ...

The first thing I would advise would be to build to double your current needs. If you are re-cabling, use the best quality CAT5 or better, or fiber optic, and run at least double, if not three times, the number of cables you anticipate to need at each location, and plan enough port capacity to provide 50% more than you currently need, in your case, with 6 clients, I would install a 12 port switched 100Base hub, and plan your equipment location (closet) to allow for additional growth. There are several vendors with racks that allow for additional cards to be added to provide more ports, of different types (copper/fiber, 10Base/100base/1000base) and could be the best solution if you are unsure of future needs. Hope this helps. Jackie

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by brandonh In reply to Revamping network at a sm ...

I would recommend going with the Procurve option as they are expandable in 8 port chunks. I know that made it easier for us to swallow... :) It also has the advantage of allowing VLANs if you need them in the future. Otherwise, the idea that Jackie posted about running multiple cables per location is always a good idea and you will definitely want to run Cat 5. 3 cables per location will give you the capability to run a total of 6 connections (2 per cable - I know its not recommended, but if you aren't running more than a hundred feet or so, it won't be a problem). Brandon

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Estimate for more...

by bill.parks In reply to Revamping network at a sm ...

I think everyone here has the same idea, plan ahead. I came from a company that had 300 clients, ok infrastructure, and decent manageability. In the three years I was there the end-user population shot to 4500!!! I was left with a thrown together legacy network, and had to work my tail off to make the end result happen. Plan for more, expect 18 clients, the switch you are proposing is great, and the Cisco router (is it a 2600?) is a step in the right direction. Planning ahead now will spare youtime and frustration later!!! Keep the large network philosphy in mind, cause you never know!!! BTW, get an inexpensive machine or old desktop to act as a BDC or secondary AD server. Losing a domain, no matter how small, just plain sucks!!!

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Do not forget the infrastructure

by Its a secret In reply to Revamping network at a sm ...

We just replaced all of our cat5 with cat6,(what a pleasure). Be sure all of the wiring is secured away from light fixtures. Do not try to save a couple of dollars here, you will regret it later. Clearly mark all of the wall plates with the corresponding punchdown block number. If you have a long run, make it twice, taking two different paths. You never know when a plumber or electrician will knock out a line. Also consider redundancy. And UPS UPS UPS .

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Infrastructure has to be put on hold...

by Banner In reply to Do not forget the infrast ...

The company will be moving in about a year, so I am attempting to avoid major wiring changes... I am putting in just enough to test some new ideas I have for inventory and production... If I can save here, I will be able to double the amount of $$ used on infrastructure in our next building.

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Moving woes

by JackieB In reply to Infrastructure has to be ...

In light of your plans to move, I would base all plans on the new building. The infrastructure hardware can be re-utilized in your new building. I would invest in 10/100 ethernet cards in a modular chassis capable of adding 1000Base or ATM cards forfuture expansion for the closet end and would run cat5 or 6 cable directly to the PC. Cable is cheap but the terminations at the wall could be more costly, skip that by terminating the cable with RJ-45 and plugging it directly into the pc card. Not recommended for permanent installation but works very well for temporary. Then your only losses going to the new building is the cable itself and a handful of RJ-45 connectors. I would recommend that you invest in the Frac T-1 and router, which can also be moved to the new building. These investment will not be lost since they can be re-used in your new location. This will, of course, require sone downtime for moving them to the new location, but the wiring infrastructure can be in place so it will be a plug and play setup to move the closet hardware. Good Luck! Jackie

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