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What should I consider?

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Jan 20, 2010
I want to build a network for 14 PC's. I know a basic server is just a computer with an Server OS. But what should I consider? There's no gaming involved with the network just standard users. I plan on using one server, one router, one switch to start with. On a later date I wish to have 2 routers and 2 switches Encase of failure which will happen with routers for sure. I will have 5 printers as well. I want everything networked together. so..

14+5+1+1 = at least a 24 port switch. These are some rough diagrams whats going on.


Side note:
I wanted to use Eset As my virus protection/fire wall.
The OS: Will probably be server 2008 en less you guys have suggestions?


Mar 4, 2005
NW Indiana
Make sure you plan for a back up solution. It doesn't have to be anything to expensive. How much data do you plan to store on the server? What will the server be used for?

[email protected]

May 29, 2006
Others will be able to fill in the Windows Active Directory architecture notes, if that's what you need, let me fill in what I know of the network stuff.

First a few questions questions as to what you need:
1. Internet access for everyone?
2. If so, business class DSL/Cable, T1, leased line? Lots of options, you can probably stick with a standard business class Cable/DSL solution from whoever is local.
3. Typical office programs or something crazy like large data set analysis ( 100+ gigs ) or video editing? You can probably stick with standard stuff without sacrificing much unless you are doing the later.

You probably need a business class router ( a Cisco 800 series or something similar ), although I imagine you could get by with a small business class one from Linksys or something. Then you should get a 48 port switch ( unmanaged should be fine for what you have going, it will save on costs ). I say 48 port because if you wind up needing more than the 24, you'll have to get a whole new switch, as you'd be maxed out. You want to provision for 30% more than you currently have, as a rule, for growth. This is being optimistic in the current economy, but it's a good rule of thumb.

Now, as for reliability, I've seen routers and switches with uptimes ( times running without reboots/failures ) greater than 1 year, so depending on the class you get, you should be fine. However, if you want to plan for that, it can be done. Unless you want each computer to have two NICS ( unlikely ), you would connect even numbered computers to one switch, and odd numbered to another. You'd then connect both switches to each other and each back to the router, giving you a somewhat distributed architecture. Now for your servers, you could definitely get 2 nics, and connect each to a different switch, and so on and so forth, for very good reliability. However, I myself would feel comfortable putting everybody on one switch and one router until the cost of another set was less than the cost of business lost if they went down.

It really depends on the type of business you are running. Amazon would loss millions if their site became unavailable for a few minutes, so they throw millions into distributed architectures and such. If you are more of a "Well, no internet today guys" kinda business, you could get by just fine with a couple business class devices. The more info you can provide, the better we ( the collective OC Forums intelligence we ) can get you info you can use.

Sorry if that's a bit of a rambling post, I've had a few beers....:beer:


Jan 20, 2010
Love the last post pretty much a side note of what I was taught at ITT, I have a Computer Network Systems degree in this and want to open an internet cafe'.

What I will be doing.

I believe cable will be fine just because this will be just a simple internet cafe' for the average student and not a gaming convention. There will be no video editing so the computer I made will only cost me on average with a monitor about 400-450 bucks times 12. I plan on getting as you said a 48 port switch probably from cisco, its what I was taught with so stay with something i know. As for the server I will just make a decent computer and put server 2008 on the sucker. I will need to enforce policies limiting user i.e. control panel, msconfig, command line in general incase there smart. I will manually on each computer disable the disc drive from boot and just let it work after it has fully boot so no oph crack for those little ******* same thing with USB so no lock smith among others. I will have an Internet hot spot at my place for free wifi, why not? will be a cafe for treats and goodies will more than likely promote people stopping by and grabbing a bite to eat, and I wont need a giga bit network due to no data transfer will be going on, on a large scale like video or x rays and ****. I plan on if I can use ESET as my protection for the network/computers if not I will have to go with Symantec with endpoint protection etc. As for storage i see no reason to have a storage server due to all the "access" the users will be doing is internet based. I want the computers to have 6 users to be accessible.

Now this is where my issue is at hand

How do I ensure time restraints?
How do I ensure there isn't sharing of the accounts?
Or maybe I should allow *not be a **** aka*

The server I will have, will probably have a 1 TB hard drive so I guess If I want to I can set it up and just have the users profiles loaded onto it so when they log on it gives all there personal settings only thing is how much storage does that take?