I have a client that has a 10.x.y.z subnet that is served by their ISP's modem/router. Internet access is from a connection to Comcast. The modem/router is in an equipment closet. All the PCs are connected to the subnet thru 2 10/100 switches. The client has about 50 PCs in an elementary school setting, not all of which are used or on at the same time. Various departments (eg, the administrative office, the computer lab, the art and music rooms) are in their own workgroups. There is no domain server at this location. There is no central file server that the various PCs will hit to get their data. I am aware of the 10 PC limitation on workgroups. None of the workgroups have more than 10 PCs in them. None of the PCs are using any protocol other than IP.
My question is can this client effectively have multiple workgroups on this subnet and expect to have timely delivery of packets? They are experiencing slow response to network printing and intermittent access to other PCs in their workgroup (ability to see the other PCs in the workgroup comes and goes), which causes problems with mapped drives to shared folders in their own workgroup.
I'm trying to avoid setting them up on a domain or requiring them to logon to the network since the staff has very little computer training or understanding beyond their everyday use of email, Office Suite and Web browsing. What other kinds of difficulties can I expect to see, or problems would I face if they all decide to use the network at the same time? Are there software tools I can use to analyze the network, too, that might help me to diagnose problems or view issues when they arise. Again, I'm trying to avoid setting them up on a domain, since that would be very expensive for this non-profit (not to mention the ongoing and expensive support requirements).