Setting up a Small Win 2003 Network

Posted on 2006-05-15
Last Modified: 2010-03-19

I have been given the job to set up a small network for an engineering firm which only has 10 users and will consist of:
1 Win 2003 server with Dat Drive, UPS,
1 24 port switch
10 workstations (Win XP Pro)
5 Networked printers

I am new to Server 2003 and just want some tips on the easiest way to configure it to support the users. The server will also host a small web based database of the company’s products. The firm will need internet access and internal and external email.
The most difficult part for me will be setting up the user groups for the 3 departments and sharing the printers. The boss will need access to all folders and files and needs dialup access to the network. We have all the standard office software and Norton Antivirus.
All the equipment is brand new and the cabling, trunking, network points and patch panel are in place.

Thanks for any help, tips or links you can give me.
Question by:yrred
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    There isn't much to it really.
    You haven't mentioned what email you are using, so cannot advise on that.

    You will need to purchase a router to connect to the internet. Configure that first, and disable its internal DHCP and DNS servers.

    Install Windows 2003 Server as normal.
    Then install DHCP and DNS as additional components.
    Configure the Windows 2003 server with a static IP address. It needs to be in the same range as the router. So if the router is then the server needs to be 192.168.1.x (but not 1).

    HOWEVER, I would strongly advise changing the IP range from 192.168.1.x if there is going to be remote access used. That IP range is used by everyone and everything in the home networking market. Increase the third number. I like to use double digits as it makes life easier - 192.168.11.x, 192.168.22.x etc
    I have a sample plan on my web site here:

    DCPROMO the machine to create a domain. The prompts tell you what to do.
    Configure DHCP with the DNS server as the domain controller ONLY. Configure the gateway as the router's IP address.

    Then install Windows on each machine and add them to the domain.
    Once that has been done, you can configure each machine with the applications required.

    For the printers - if they are really networked printers (ie they have cables that connect them to the network switch, and not USB/Parallel ports that connect them to a computer), configure each of those with a fixed IP address from the same range as above, using the DNS and gateway details used in DHCP.

    Then setup each printer on the server, setting a new TCP/IP port for each printer using the wizard, followed by the drivers for each printer. Share the printer on the server.

    You can even have the printers in a list in a web browser:

    Most of the techniques for doing the above tasks are documented all over the internet, it shouldn't take long to find.

    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    Even though the network is small take the time up front to setup the server as a domain controller.  Biggest mistake made is not setting up Active Directory.  This will make your administration much easier in the long run even with a small network.

    For internet access do not go cheap on the router.  A cisco pix is well worth the 500.00 dollars instead of 69.00 for a linksys.  

    the pix will work with cable, dsl and even behind an inexpensive csu/dsu if you are going to have T1 internet.  

    The pix will also allow for secure remote access.  I would recommend not using direct dialup but use high speed internet to connect.  

    Also look into the new remote desktop features built into 2003.  This can allow your boss to connect in real time with high speed internet and reasonable workable speeds with dialup internet.  

    The pix can allow for all these connection securely.  If you are not familiar with the cisco IOS there are many of us who are and help first timers get it configured.

    This maybe be a starting point.  Let me know if you have any further specific questions

    Good Luck!!!!

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    you can use your windows 2003 server as a router as well hence you dont need to purchase one.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for all your help and tips.
    I have bought a cisco router and we plan to set everything up over the holidays.

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