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Multiy Router Network - Need Help Configuring

Posted on 2007-10-15
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I would like to set-up a network between three buildings and assign a block of IP addresses to each building. My current network configuration is as follows:

Building 1:
Internet to Router01, Router 01 to Switch01, Clients in Building01 connected to Switch01
IP of Router01 192.168.1.1
DHCP Enabled allowing 50 Clients in the range of 192.168.1.100 - 192.169.1.149

Building 2:
Switch02 connected to Switch01 via Fiber, Clients in Building 02 connected to Switch02 getting their IP addresses from Router01

Building 3:
Switch03 connected to Switch01 via Fiber, Clients in Building02 connected to Switch03 getting their IP addresses from Router01

What I'd like to do is give the following block of IP addresses while maintaining communication between all clients on the network:

Building 1:
IP Range: 192.168.1.100-149

Building 2:
IP Range: 192.168.150-199

Building 3:
IP Range 192.168.200-249

I would like to add a router in each building before the switch, however, I am unsure how to configure the settings in the sub-routers. Router01 should be able to operate how it is. The routers I own are: Linksys RV042. All three are identical.

I am very frustrated as I feel I understand enough to be dangerous, but only enough to make me more frustrated when my attempts don't work. :-)

Any guidance would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you,

Shawn.
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Question by:Shawn Janes
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 20083715
As this model router doesn't appear to have fiber ports, I assume that you're using some sort of media adapter, correct?

You can't use the IP addresses you are suggesting. But since you're using private addresses, there's no need to try and subnet an existing single class C anyway.

I would suggest the following:

Building 1: 192.168.1.0/24
Building 2: 192.168.2.0/24
Building 3: 192.168.3.0/24

You won't (nor do you need to) be able to have the building 1 router be the DHCP server for all buildings. The RV042 isn't designed for that. However, each router can be the DHCP server for each building.

You will need to disable NAT and enable RIP routing in the building 2 and 3 routers and you will need to enable RIP in the building 1 router. (Instead of RIP, you could use static routes)

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Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 20083764
donjohnson says:

>You can't use the IP addresses you are suggesting

Why not (assuming you ignore the typos)?  It might get more annoying if he adds a router in each building, but currently it would be easy since all sites are bridged.

>You will need to disable NAT and enable RIP routing in the building 2 and 3
>routers and you will need to enable RIP in the building 1 router

This is wayyy to simple to start breaking out the routing protocols - nothing is going to change often enough.  You suggestion of static routes is much more sensible, and even then, all you have to do is configure each local building (2 & 3) router to point at the main building router as the default, and the main building router has only two (count em) extra routes to add to the static table.

author says:

>I would like to add a router in each building before the switch

Why?  

I don't think I understand your situation fully, because I want to ask "Why not just hand out DHCP to all three buildings?  Is there some reason you want specific IP ranges associated with different buildings?"

And please try to avoid 192.168.1.x - if you ever have to interoperate with other networks (ie VPN, etc) you may find your assigned addresses collide with theirs (because *everyone* and their dog loves to use 192.168.1.x).  Maybe use 192.168.231.x or even better 10.231.146.x - actually, you should make up your own random numbers to use for x in 192.168.x or 10.x.x - I was just providing some examples or less common ranges you could use).

Cheers,
-Jon
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 20083793
>Why not (assuming you ignore the typos)?  It might get more annoying if he adds a router in each building, but currently it would be easy since all sites are bridged.

Because the question states "I would like to add a router in each building before the switch".
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by:Justin Malone
ID: 20084272
and for a third opinion i beleaveyou should be running nat and dhcp on all of your routers. however in the configuration of the first router you need to place the 2nd router in DMZ this way the computers in building1 will have the advantage of dhcp and nat and your still passing a public address to the next router so it can use dhcp/nat on the computers in that building.
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Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 20084660
I have to ask the obvious. What kind of switches do you have? What is the speed of the current fiber links? By adding a router at each building you are adding a potential traffic choke point at each building, a point of failure at each building, and a layer of complexity to manage/monitor each network behind the routers. Is this what you want?
If everything works today, what is the driving force to separate the buildings by IP subnets/routers? If your main switch 01 is layer 3 and VLAN capable, all your solution could be right there.
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Author Comment

by:Shawn Janes
ID: 20085392
Good morning!

Thanks for the speedy responses.

I'll try to give a little more insight into why I would like to add the routers. If you know the end result I am looking for then maybe there might be an easier networking solution than what I am trying to implement.

Currently our WAN connection is provided via Building01. The router in Building01 is also set to DHCP and is providing IP addresses to all clients on the network. Last weekend the main router clogged up and stopped working. What does this mean to me - well this means people couldn't print, computers couldn't communicate with each other and I was not on site to help with this problem. I did get some nice phone calls though. Right now we have a single point of failure. What I was trying to do was not assign static IP addresses to each client. I wanted to provide a way for each building to have their own DHCP router so if the main router goes down we are still operational.

I am not a networking genius by far. I understand the fundamentals, which is why I am here trying to glean more information for you guys.

The switches I have installed in each building are Linksys SRW224G4P. The fiber cables running between the three buildings terminate at a media converter then go into the switches. I know this bottle necks, however, this is what I have to work with for now.

Does this change anything? I am going to read through the rest of the posts and then wait to hear back if this changes what I had originally asked. If not, then I'll go through and try to answer on what the other posts say.

Thank you again.

Shawn.
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Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 20085520
If the biggest issue is the DHCP service, I suggest just using a Windows or other more advanced DHCP server where you can set the dhcp addresses to a long lease time, or even infinity. Most routers use a very short time, like 1 hour by default with maybe 24 hour max.  With a longer lease time - like 30 days, the dhcp service can be down for a long time before end users are affected. You can also set permanent mac-address reservations for printers and such so that they always have the same IP address so it doesn't affect your printer mappings.
You also need a local DNS server if you are using the Linksys router as DNS relay.
If you have any Windows servers in the mix, then you already have everything you need without complicating the rest of the network.


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Author Comment

by:Shawn Janes
ID: 20085621
Alright, as of right now I do not have a server in the mix. This set-up is for a church and they do not have a server scheduled for purchase until the first of the year. This is getting a little over my head to say the very least. I do have the Windows Server software and a computer I can put it on, however, how complicated will this be? Would it be more prudent to hire someone?

So what I hear is I need a server, and once I have that this can be smooth, but until then the set-up I have now is the best option?

Shawn.
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Accepted Solution

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lrmoore earned 1000 total points
ID: 20086264
Setting up a Windows 2003 server is pretty simple, but can be intimidating if you've never done it before.
I would keep what you have until the server is installed, but check the router's configuration page for a DHCP lease time option. Set the lease time for as long as possible. My Linksys has the option to set lease time in seconds. Set it for 86400 seconds and this is 24 hours. This should help the situation because all PC's will keep their IP addresses for at least that long even if the router dies.
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Assisted Solution

by:arthurjb
arthurjb earned 1000 total points
ID: 20095847
Before you go through the trouble of setting up a server, check your admin options on your current router.

As someone mentioned above, the simple solution to your main problem (loss of dhcp provision) might just be as easy as setting your lease times longer.

Many routers have the lease time as an option.

Also its not often that these routes fail in a way that only dhcp is affected.  This means that if the router gets hosed, it doesn't matter if the hosts have static or long lease ip's because the transport part of the router is probably out too.  Meaning that you have a bunch of computers that still can't talk to each other.

I would spend my energy trying to figure out why the router failed, and put things in place to prevent future failures.  Changing your whole network layout because of a single type of failure is not good logic, since your new design may bring in other failure factors.

Putting a server in place of a dedicated piece of hardware is not a good idea either, since the server is more prone to failure than the router with no disk drives.

Good Luck!
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Author Comment

by:Shawn Janes
ID: 20095885
Thank you arthurjb for your note. I went out and installed Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 on a system last night and am in the process of configuring it. I also went ahead and replaced the router we are using with a new router, same model, and extended the lease time to (5) days. I will see how this works.

Is there any merit to using the Server as a DHCP manager? If so, I am ready to proceed with configuring this. As far as the systems not being able to communicate if the router goes down, the only thing I am trying to avoid is an entire building losing communication within the same buildings. For instance, I don't care if Building01 can't communicate with Building02 - it is more important that Building01 can communicate with other printers and computers within Building01. Make sense?

Shawn.
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Expert Comment

by:Justin Malone
ID: 20096662
i personaly like to use server for dhcp simply for the fact that it can be set up to dynamicly update your dns server and should reduce some of the dns traffic on your network.
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Expert Comment

by:arthurjb
ID: 20097753
Yes, and that is probably good for a larger business that can afford qualified admin help,  but for a small place without a full time admin, it just ads another failure place...
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Expert Comment

by:arthurjb
ID: 20097821
>>I don't care if Building01 can't communicate with Building02 - it is more important that Building01 can communicate with other printers and computers within Building01. Make sense?

Makes perfect sense.

But, if there is any sharing to-from a down portion of the network, then there are still going to be interruptions.

I would still concentrate on the cause of the failure, and spend my time on making that less of a possibility.

I like the fact that you increased the lease time, that will help.

I missed your reply when I made my previous comment. squallkill99 has a good point, but in my opinion, I don't think that it will help your original problem, and the traffic reduction will be un-noticable...
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Author Comment

by:Shawn Janes
ID: 20128790
Thanks! I went ahead and upgraded the router, extended the lease time, and I have not had any down time since. I have also tested by shutting the router down and seeing how many support calls I got - aside from people saying the internet was down I had no issues with connectivity between network clients.

Thank you very much.

Shawn.
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