Join two LANs in a single location to share a wireless bridge to another building

Posted on 2003-11-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I have two distinct LANS in our company. Both are completely separate now, they each have their own LAN wiring, switches, high-speed web access, servers, and are on different subnets completely.

I am setting up a wireless bridge (Proxim) for the main LAN (Windows 2000 server) with 60 computers on it, to a second building down the street. It is connected to a T1 line for web access and VPN use. I have pre-tested the bridge and the link seems to work fine. No problems with this setup.

A small 10 computer LAN running off a UNIX server using its own small hub and a DSL line is used for outside access to a remote site (not ours) that controls the server for maintenance.

I need to have LAN 2 bridged to the second building as well, and want to know if I can use a router or some method to have LAN1 and LAN2 share the wireles bridge.

I am trying to prevent buying two distinct bridge systems, one for each LAN if possible. If possible, I would like to keep all traffic separate from the two so as to not hinder performance, as we never need to share data between them. I just want to share the bridge connection.

Question by:rfmassa
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Expert Comment

ID: 9828662
If you want the 2 VLANs to talk to each other, you'll need a router. What I'm wondering is if you do not need to share data between the 2 VLANs, what is the purpose of connecting them ? Are the 2 VLANs on seperate network addresses ?

If you're doing this so that you can administrate either VLAN remotely, then you'll probably need a router in which you can put access control lists to prevent undesired traffic from going across to the other side. Something like a Cisco 2600 will work fine in this case or better yet, get a 2500 series with 2 ethernet ports (this is no more in production by Cisco so you'll probably have to get it 2nd hand).

This assumption I make is that the 2 networks can be physically connected through some cable. If you're thinking of connecting them wirelessly, then you'll need to check the distance of the 2 sites to see if the wireless router is able to reach both ends.

Accepted Solution

mapledrums earned 1000 total points
ID: 9828683
Providing the details for both VLANs would give us a better view of your entire network.

Expert Comment

ID: 9828799
There's a cheaper model of Cisco routers than the 2600. Try the Cisco 1721 http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/routers/ps221/products_data_sheet09186a00800920ec.html.

You can check out the Cisco 2600 here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/routers/ps259/index.html.

For the 2600 series, you can consider the 2620 model.
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Author Comment

ID: 9835451
The only reason I need to somehow connect the two, is so that I can then send the combined data out to a wireless bridge, that will transmit to another bullding down the street. Then I would want to again have two distinct LANs at the new building. I just want to do this to share the wireless bridge between both of the LANs. Maybe I don't need a router, just patch the two hubs/switches together with a patch cable. But I would prefer to keep the LAN traffic between LAN 1 and LAN2 separate.

Expert Comment

ID: 9844583
What you're intending to do sounds like VLAN trunking. If this is the case, you do not need a router. However, your network equipments would have to support this particular technology though. What brand/type of switches  & what model of wireless bridge are you using ?

Author Comment

ID: 9844619
Thanks for your help. Your original comments led me to some articles that gave me a better understanding of routers and switches. I am using Netgear 24 port switches ( about 1 - 2 years old). I plan on checking Monday as to their VLAN capability.

I am using a PROXIM wireless bridge between the two buildings. It works fine when connected to the 60 computer LAN in Building 1. I just plugged it into one of the common switch ports on one of the Netgear switches we use to serve the 60 systems.

The second LAN which is also in Building 1, is on a totally separate subnet address and uses a simple hub to connect its 10 computers.

My plan was to come up with a way to share the bridge for both LANs, have the data transmitted to building two, where I would split the data back into separate segments for both LAN 1 and LAN2, again, neither LAN having to be connected in any way to each other (data sharing not needed) at Building 2. I just want to use one xtranmitter/received for both LANS.

I did want to keep the data from each LAN from adding additional traffic on each other, hence the need I though for a router of some kind. But maybe VLANS on a switch. Maybe the cost of the router (if needed) and the complications of an ACL will not be worth the trouble.

Thanks again.

Expert Comment

ID: 9845183
I've checked Proxim's web site & am unable to find a product that support's VLAN trunks. What you can try to do is to trunk the VLANs before the wireless bridge so that both VLANs will go across the wireless network. On the other end, your switch must be trunked as well so that it can handle the VLANs coming back in.

I've not done this before so I can't confirm that it'll work, but if your switches support trunking, then I guess there's no harm giving it a shot.

What I'm concerned about is that the network equipments you use might not be able to support what you intend to do. You'll have to check that up with the technical specifications on the respective web sites, unless you provide me with the models, then I can help you go through them.

If your existing network equipments can't support VLAN trunks, then an alternative solution would be to add in a router as suggested above, with access lists, etc. Costs would definitely be an issue in most situations, just as much as how much this particular requirement is needed.

What I suggest is all situations is to do the necessary planning & requirements gathering, and to try to foresee what might be needed as far down the road as possible. This will reduce the possibility of buying redundant equipment or worse, having to change all the IT equipments.

You can read up more on VLAN trunks from the network experts at www.cisco.com. Do a search for "VLAN trunks" under "Technical Support".

Let me know if you require anything else, and thanks for the grade/points. I was wondering if I did answer your question when you accepted the answer though.

Author Comment

ID: 9847046
I accepted the answer, essentially, based on your first response although I accidentally accepted on your second comment. I felt your first response answered in the sense of what I was going to most likely need to consider, without explicitly teaching or detailing everything to me. I appreciated all your efforts and you earned the points and the grade.

I will examine all the info and make a decision on how I am going to attack this. If nothing else, I may experiment and gain knowledge for future projects. Many thanks again.

Expert Comment

ID: 9848535
Thanks. All the best then.

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