Your Opinions and Suggestions on Network Design.


I am using Swithed Erthernet as LAN to handle a large volume of data to be processed by the network.

Now, there is one more condition is there a large warehouse in the other side of the town. For tracking and workflow purposes, the warehouse needs to be in constant communication with the head office. I need to come out with the alternative connectivity between the head office and the warehouse.

My question whether should I use dial-up, ISDN or something else for the connectivity between the head office and the warehouse?

Another question is the components that I use:

- Should I use hub, switch, gateway or something else to increase the performance of the network? This is more to the network design.

For LAN, I am using Switched Erthernet. And I need to connect to the warehouse to fulfill the needs of constant communication between warehouse and head office.

I really have no idea on how to design this network to take the cost in the consideration.

I just need some of your opinions and suggestion on this matter.

Thank you.
Who is Participating?
anupnellipConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well you have a lot of option here . It all depends on your budget , bandwidth usage & reliablity required .
1. The best option would be to go for a dedicated serial link between your 2 offices & use a router at both the offices to route the traffic . The speed of the link can depend on your bandwidth requirment . This will requir you to have a person who can configure routers & a little more of network disigning etc .

2. You could also use an isdn dial up to connect your 2 sites . This would only require you to have an ISND line at both end & you will need to configure a remoe access server at both end . RAS can be configured on any of your windows 2000 server . It is also possible to use routers for this purpose . though it is easy to implement it is not vary reliable & as it will remain connected for 24 hours , you will need to check out the telephone rate this will work out to .

3. One more way to do this would be to use VPN . This reqires you to have high speed internet connection at both ends . But you would requir static IP address to make this fesable . Check with your ISP if they provide static public IP address for your connections etc . You can achieve VPN usin VPN hardware , routers or just windows 2000 servers .

>>> What kind of cables that I should use? 10Base-2, 10Base-T, Switched 10Base-T) ?<<

This calbe can only be used in a LAN setup . In a WAN setup your telecom will take cre of the cabeling .
jocelynyipAuthor Commented:
What kind of cables that I should use? 10Base-2, 10Base-T, Switched 10Base-T) ?
flashheartConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would suggest as anupnellip has but would firmly recommend a broadband solution and VPN, I think you will find this option much cheaper in the long run since you do not pay more when you are connected.  If you use ISDN you will incur huge charges if you wish to have a continuous connection.  We switched from broadband to ISDN at my company and not only did we save a fortune on the monthly line rental but on call charges too which we no longer have with broadband.  All ISP's that are any good will allow you to lease IP addresses from them for a nominal charge, you could then just use two W2K servers, one at either location to form the VPN.

Check out this site from Microsoft which has a host of information on setting up and configuring a VPN
pseudocyberConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It depends.

To make a really good recommendation, you would need to know some answers to questions.  What is your budget?  How business criticial is it you maintain a connection to that warehouse?  Is it line of site?  Could you run your own cable?  What kind of equipment will you use - or do you have?  What kind of data is going to be tranmsitted between the two?  How much data?

You have several options to connect the warehouse. I'll try to list some ...

1.) Broadband at the Warehouse, vpn over the Internet to you.  This is relatively cheap.  However, you may need a more robust solution.  Most broadband connections do not have Service Level Gurantees (SLA's).  This means if there's a connection problem from your provider, they're under no constraint to get it fixed for you in any given length of time.  Additionally, technical support from them is spotty - could be good, could be bad, could be unsupported, could be disallowed.  There are broadband providers who purposefully block VPN protocols.  Additionally, you'd have to run a BUSINESS connection to the facility not a resedentail, so it's going to be more expensive than your $50 cable modem connection at home.  If you go this route - I would highly recommend professional equipment - not a Linksys VPN broadband router.  You need something with higher levels of support, durability, and robustness.  You could run VPN on a Checkpoint or Pix Firewall or my place of business ueses Nortel Contivity VPN switches.

2.) Dial up - this includes Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and Plain Old Telephone Service.  You could install two routers at each location and if you need intermittent routing or only need to send "interesting" traffic dial up could be a solution for you.  As mentioned, this is not the ideal situation if you need constant connectivity.

3.) Leased line - you could get a point-to-point T1 or Fractional T1 (fracT).  This would give you constant, dedicated, private 1.54 Mbps connection over which you could send voice and data, or just data.  You would need to call different telco's to get quotes on a point-to-point T1.  Alternatively, you could possibly use your existing Internet connection (if it's SONET or Frame Relay or something similar) and create one at the Warehouse and use some providers "cloud" to get your traffic back and forth.

4.) Wireless - you could use radio, microwave, or laser if you have Line of Sight to the warehouse and your other facility.  Many companies go this route - but may be limited by buildings, curvature of the earth, topography, etc.  You could use towers to overcome these issues.  This is fast, reliable, and doesn't incure reoccuring costs.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

PennGwynConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Dial-up and ISDN are both services that connect as needed.  Since you want "constant" communication to the warehouse, they would be poor choices.

Your basic choice is whether you want a private line between office and warehouse, or an Internet connection at each location using a VPN to secure communications between them.  In general, I'd prefer the latter, but if the distance is just "across town" then a dedicated leased line might be cheaper, and you can avoid the hardware/software/config of VPN (and the effort to secure the warehouse from Internet issues).

To keep the cost of this link down, you need to keep the bandwidth down.  So you don't want to be sending LAN broadcasts across it, and that means a separate broadcast domain ( = subnet), so you'll need a router at each end.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.