HERE IS MY ORIGINAL QUESTION:
13 x Windows XP Computers
LAN Established - Cable Internet
Hard Wires in the Walls, two jacks per office (1=Internet, 2=Building Network)
What I need is a primer, a white paper, a Networking for Dummies for establishing an office network parallel to the Internet connection stuff, but totally seperate. We need to run MS Word, MS Excel, Adobe Acrobat, MS Powerpoint, Windows Software and also an accounting software as well.
1. How much (approx.) would this cost?
2. Can specific companies offer installation deals with their servers?
3. White Papers! I need to read white papers on Network installing!!!
HERE IS THE RESPONSE I GOT:
You are quite bold to be attempting to do everything on your first time, but this can be done. The costs you incur will be based mostly upon your needs, there is no set standard as to what "a network" will cost you. In terms of white papers and your own education on the subject I will supply you with a number of links you will find usefull. If you can tell me what you need (in terms of ultimately, what do your users need to do with their computers), and what you have (in terms of hardware and software, some of which is above); then I will give you a rough quotation on how much you should be looking at spending; and what solutions you should be considering. If you want it is likely that we can do most of the work you need over the wire, and later I should be able to (if you wish to follow this route) log in to your systems and sort out problems for you.
You will want to look at the following to gain a grasp of some important basics:
As a final note, there are many companies who will provide you with more than you need, so do be careful. At the same time, if you are told that you can go ahead and just work with what you have got, I would also be dubious; there are a great many systems and items available in the IT industry today. It is not obvious without experience what is worthwhile and productive, as to what is not.
AND THEN I ANSWERED BACK TO HIM:
Thanks for the great start on the reading... but I have to follow up on your input you gave me, so here we go:
YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR PREVIOUS RESPONSE TO ME THE FOLLOWING:
" If you can tell me what you need (in terms of ultimately, what do your users need to do with their computers)..."
1. Manage (incl. archiving) Documents created and edited in MS Office Products Suite
[Note: We want local and global archives of documents created]
2. Share Documents on different security levels (three levels: execs, administrator, support staff)
3. Run PeachTree software on one computer
4. Browse the web from each terminal
5. All printers networked
6. Manage email through Lotus Notes or Outlook, not web-based emailing anymore after network up
7. One computer on the network will have to be used for dedicated encryption work and it may need to reside off the network i am not sure right now.
8. Backup of EVERY single document created on a seperate either HDD, Removeable HDD (external) or server. The redundancy is a must because there are too many critical documents to be in one place only.
9. There needs to be redundancy in functionality, which tells me we need at least two servers, so that if one is not working well, the other can pick up the slack, and also to deliver higher productivity rates on the machines.
THEN YOU ASKED:
"... and what you have (in terms of hardware and software, some of which is above)..."
What we have:
- Cable Modem working
- Linksys NAT router
- 13 Computers of VARYING operating systems (mistake from before) connected to the internet
- Wiring in place
- All comp's have internet access ok
What we don't have
- Software to run the server
- Software to run on the network
- Any misc. hardware required
- Any necessary diagnostic tools for managing the network
FINALLY YOU SAID:
"...then I will give you a rough quotation on how much you should be looking at spending; and what solutions you should be considering..."
In your reply to me, including the above mentioned info about quotes, if you can add any more white papers I can read up on that would be swell, seeing as how we have more info on the table right now.
I look forward to your reply.
CAN SOMEONE, BASED ON THE INFORMATION HERE, PLEASE GIVE ME AN APPROXIMATE ESTIMATE OF WHAT STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ESTABLISH THE OFFICE NETWORK, AND ALSO THE EXPECTED COST OF THIS VENTURE FROM THIS POINT ON?