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Small business networking question!

#1
Background information:
My department has a room with 12 cubes separated into 2 sections - 6 each. We have two domains we connect to, the corpdmz01 or the adminsys network. The corpdmz01 domain is very private, has no internet or email access. It communicates with another server on a different domain within our Intranet to get extremely sensitive data in and out.

My boss wants to install another box at each cubicle that runs on the adminsys network - which gives you the internet, email, and other functions but cannot communicate with the corpdmz01 domain computers directly.

That seems like a good solution, because our corpdmz01 boxes run Win2k due to the software we are using...and our adminsys boxes run XP SP2 because of the software it needs to run.

The question:
Each cubicle has an ethernet port (corpdmz01) but would need an adminsys port added to each and it would total $12,000 to wire it. Would it be acceptable to use a switch (lets say 2-8ports, 1 for each section) to split 1 adminsys cable into one for each box in that section?

If so, what level of switch would be ideal? I am thinking at least an 8 port gigabit switch like this one from Netgear. Its so cheap though...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=234660&CatId=0

Thanks for your help :D
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#2
Easy Question - Difficult Answer.

It really depends on how everything is setup currently. If you are putting two Adminsys Boxes within corpdmz01 cubicles, you would need to run extra wires, puch down another jack, and then be done with it. Alternatively, you could, as you said, toss in a switch.

You would need to put the switch in an Adminsys cube, and then run the wires from there. However, with the setup you guys have (12 cubes split between two domains), they seem to be really beefy on security. That being said, they may want to have full control and not have any extra hardware to support.

I don't know, short answer, yes, but it may be better in the end to run the cables so you are going to the closet directly.
 
#3
Our IT dept lets us run wild. We've got a good budget because our little department holds 90% of the revenue and if we are bottlenecked they want it fixed.

They are OK with security, its tight but this is all within their realm of security so they dont care what we do with the access to domains.

At each cube there would be 1 corpdmz01 and 1 adminsys box.

Right now there is only 1 port leading into each cube and its the corpdmz01. They would be fine with rewiring but it would be expensive and we were wondering if just using a switch for a few computers would be feasible.

I am curious to know if there will be IP address conflicts or bandwidth issues if the switch is supplying data to 6 computers through 1 CAT-5e cable (which has a throughput of what, 300mbps?) If all 6 people are using their adminsys computers will we experience slowdowns?

What we use adminsys for:
-upload/FTP large amounts of files
-download/alter images on a java-based datasite within our intranet

We REALLY lose productivity if anything is acting slower than usual.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#4
Well one thing is for sure, there won't be IP address conflicts. They will essentially be on seperate domains, and should also have different subnets. But, then again, I'd be assuming :D

Cat 5e supports Gigabit ethernet and is backwards compatible. So, if the switch in the beginning has Gigabit capability, then you run Cat 5e to another gigabit switch, you should be OK. But remember, if you have any Cat 5 in there at all, you will slow down.

It's a bit of a task though, and to be honest may be worth a shot and much more cost effective. I assume you could always try this, and if it doesn't work perhaps consider wiring.
 
#5
Well one thing is for sure, there won't be IP address conflicts. They will essentially be on seperate domains, and should also have different subnets. But, then again, I'd be assuming :D

Cat 5e supports Gigabit ethernet and is backwards compatible. So, if the switch in the beginning has Gigabit capability, then you run Cat 5e to another gigabit switch, you should be OK. But remember, if you have any Cat 5 in there at all, you will slow down.

It's a bit of a task though, and to be honest may be worth a shot and much more cost effective. I assume you could always try this, and if it doesn't work perhaps consider wiring.
Well we are looking at $300 cost maybe.. instead of $12,000. LOL I just dont know what to think, is it too good to be true? :)

Thanks for the help.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#6
Not too good to be true at all.

Keep in mind most of that $12,000 is labor, companies like that charge an arm and a leg.

From how I would look at it, they aren't giving you any new hardware within the quote. Just running/hiding the cable and punching it down. It looks professional, and the market allows them to charge that much.

However, it may be worth to get a second opinion on the quote regarding the wires.
 
#7
I just spoke with Network Services and the only thing they'll bark over is the fact that there's new hardware to support and also some possible security issues. Im sure they dont just want any person bringing in switches and hubs, obviously, and they would immediately know if we plugged in more computers. Its on DHCP and for all I know they could be at the max alotted 254 (i think) IPs per this router.

Going to have to wait a few days to OK it with network services but chances are they won't want to have to worry about the issues that may come up.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#8
I'm not really surprised and it's what I hinted at earlier. Most places, like your networking team, are a bit squirrely about having to support extra hardware when there are other methods to do things (such as running cable).

FWIW - If they have reached their max on IP addresses through DHCP, they should be slapped. As I mentioned before, subnetting FTW!!!!

Good luck, hope you find a cost effective way of pulling it off :)
 
#9
I'm not really surprised and it's what I hinted at earlier. Most places, like your networking team, are a bit squirrely about having to support extra hardware when there are other methods to do things (such as running cable).

FWIW - If they have reached their max on IP addresses through DHCP, they should be slapped. As I mentioned before, subnetting FTW!!!!

Good luck, hope you find a cost effective way of pulling it off :)
I agree wholeheartedly, but you know how terrible of an idea it is to assume how they've done everything. I know that my particular corpdmz01 domain has about 130 computers in it on a 172.30.20.x/24, although I'm not sure about the adminsys domain. Thanks for your help, you pretty much reaffirmed what I needed to hear.
 

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