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Looking for information on setting up a network

Posted on 2004-08-21
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Greetings all,

I'm trying to set up a network for our house, I have about 25 computers I need to connect to this network. I am probably going to try and set up a server running Small Business Server 2003. What I am looking for is some good links/info on steps I'll have to take to setup the network. We have 2 DSL connections for the house we split between the rooms. The main reason for the network is central storage so all rooms can access the same files instead of having to copy to each computer and printer sharing. Going a wired route since all of the rooms are wired for it already.

I'm pretty new to networking, so any suggestions or changes I should make are welcome. Thanks for any help


Bryan
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Question by:bng0005
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jamesreddy earned 250 total points
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For starters, access the Windows Small Business Server 2003 Getting Started Guide below.  It'll guide you through setting up the server itself:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=483B6E22-8ED2-420B-915E-96D469347FB2&displaylang=en

If there is a hands-on lab training seminar in your area, I suggest you attend one.  For more information on those, go here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/techinfo/training/handonlab/default.mspx#XSLTsection124121120120


You're going to want to have a good handle on Active Directory as well.  The following link is a good resource for Active Directory management.  It is a Windows 2000 article, but it still applies to 2K3.  2K3 just adds much more.


To share that Internet connection, refer to the following article.  It talks able cable modem sharing, but DSL should be the same or similar:

http://www.isaserver.org/tutorials/How_to_Set_up_an_ISA_Server_with_a_Cable_Modem_Connection.html


Hope that helps you gets started.

James
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by:David Lee
David Lee earned 250 total points
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General networking links.
http://labmice.techtarget.com/networking/networkbasics.htm
http://labmice.techtarget.com/networking/default.htm
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1427
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/getstarted/default.mspx
http://www.mcmcse.com/comptia/aplus/notes/network.shtml
http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Sections-article62-page1.php

Small Business Server links.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2000/plan/guide/sbsplan.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/plan/gsg/chapter1.mspx

Thoughts.
With two different DSL connections you're going to want two routers and probably two different IP subnets to divide the machines up so some use one connection and the rest use the other.  I'm not absolutely certain about needing two subnets, though.  I've never dealt with a network that had two different outside connections.  It might be possible to use one subnet and still have half the PCs use each router.  I've no means of testing that to see.  You'll need to decide whether you're going to use static IP addresses or let DHCP handle that for you.  There are advantages to each, although DHCP has more.  Once you've ironed out the setup details and actually begin setting the network up, I'd advise doing it a machine at a time.  That makes it easier to find a problem if you run into one.  For example, if you have five machines hooked up, add the sixth, and can't access the network, it's likely the latest machine added that's the problem.  Develop as many details as possible before you negin, write them all down, and build a checklist to use for setting the machines up.  In your post you didn't mention what OS the PCs use that'll be attached to the network.  If there'll be different versions of Windows, then make sure you know and understand the requirements of each in a networking environment.  If they'll all use the same OS, then that'll make things easier.  I'm assuming that you'll be using Ethernet.  Twenty-five PCs in one house makes me think this is a large house.  Remember that no single Ethernet run can exceed 100 meters.  You may think it's silly to mention that but I've seen the cabling take strange paths and the distance adds up.  If you haven't already done so I'd recommend using a cable tester and checking each run to make sure it's pinned correctly and is within the distance limit.  Document all the runs and make sure they're labeled at both ends so you know which one is which.  In fact, document everything.  It'll make solving problems a lot easier later on.  I'd give all the computers good symbolic names so they're easy to identify and locate.  I've seen and had problems with cards set to autonegotiate.  Consider setting them maually to ensure that they're working at the proper speed and duplex setting.

That's all I can think of at the moment.  If I think fo more later, I'll add another post.
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