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Comcast vs T1...

I have been called in recently to maintain an existing office network with an older rack mount Win 2003 server environment. It is a DC which also is a DHCP server as well. Their T1 service has been with Cbeyond and they have switched to Comcast Business. They have 2 3Com access points in the building for their wireless. I have installed a Netgear wireless"N" access point now. Also in the mix is a Sonos audio/video stream network. They run one SQL database. There are 18 workstations connected to the domain. A total of 55 devices connected via DHCP including RAS. Printers of course too! I'm wanting to simplify this to a "file server" environment. I'm suggesting to dismiss the DC server, DHCP and RAS to allow the Comcast modem to hand out DHCP. Is the Comcast robust enough for this application? It was a much busier place back in 2000 when it was built. I'd even prefer to switch to a Win 2008 server on a multi-core processor PC vs. the rack mount device. It's just been complicated with the Comcast not being DHCP and DNS issues. I appreciate your thoughts...

PCWoes in Denver

My experience level is self taught for the record :)

Their existing server info is:
Dell Computer Corporation PowerEdge SC1425
Bus Clock: 800 megahertz
3.00 gigahertz Intel Xeon (2 installed)
16 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Hyper-threaded (4 total)
Windows NetworkingNetwork AnalysisNetwork Architecture

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PCWoes

8/22/2022 - Mon
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Lee W, MVP

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PCWoes

ASKER
What about the degradation of Comcast broadband split with all the DHCP clients vs. the T1 circuit? Would it be noticeable you think?

My apologizes as I think I was asking even more than 1 question in all reality for this network !!

The modem has LAN ports and I hooked up the "N" access point direct to it. Should it be hooked into the Cisco switch as well where the DC feeds the DHCP network? It has been assigned a static IP on the existing subnet. I had set the forwarding DNS on the DC to the primary and secondary of the WAN provided by Comcast. That went wrong and the Sonos IT remoted in and set the forwarding DNS to the IP of of the DC. The streams are back to speed now. We could access the internet using the IP of the Comcast modem less the quality audio streams.

Settings FYI:

Comcast modem: 192.168.0.1
DC: 192.168.0.200
DHCP: 25-99
Forwarding DNS: 192.168.0.200 (now)
Workstation IP's: Auto IP
Workstation DNS: Primary 192.168.0.200 Secondary: 192.168.0.1
Wireless "N" AP: 192.168.0.250 (direct to modem) DNS: Comcast provided primary and secondary

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Lee W, MVP

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aleghart

Cable internet will have more bandwidth available than a T1.  Same goes for downstream ADSL, which I installed here to take the load off our T1 lines.

I would not leave DHCP & DNS to any cheap device provided by a cable company, unless it's a very small residential/SOHO installation with no servers/services.

Leave it all with the DC, as you'll have far more control over it.
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kdearing

Just one more thing, just to be clear...
All devices should point to the server for DNS (even the server's own network cards).
DNS Forwarders (in the DNS server configuration) should point to either the Comcast Busniess modem (192.168.0.1) or Comcast's DNS servers.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck
Lee W, MVP

Some final thoughts/explanation:

Active Directory uses DNS to locate resources - like the server that will authenticate it.  When the server starts up, it registers itself with its DNS server.  If your DNS server accepts the registration, it will now know where your resources are.  By default, a Windows DNS Server in its own domain will accept the registration information.  Comcast's DNS servers will NOT accept your server's registration.  So if your workstations or server point to comcast for DNS, Comcast responds with a (in simplistic terms) "sorry, don't know where that is" and your clients are stuck.  That's why it's vitally important to use the DNS server on Windows.  And even though the terminology suggests that you can have multiple DNS servers and only one will be used unless it's not available, any number of reasons could result in the "secondary" DNS servers being used at any time, so even listing Comcast's servers as backup isn't good... doing so often leads to sporadic slowdowns logging in and access network resources.

I don't put in workgroups - sharing between the machines, I find, is too unreliable.  So I only put in domains.  With a properly configured DNS, there really should be no significant/likely downside to using a domain and you gain the ability to have a single logon for all users and, if you want to ease your management, to control the systems through the implementation of Group Policies.

If you are not well versed in AD, then I strongly suggest you download some trial versions of server and setup a small test network to play around and learn on.  Using virtualization, trial versions, and a single, reasonably powerful (read: LOTS OF RAM) computer and you can setup a test network of 5-10 computers (or more) with servers to test and understand the implications of everything without putting this (or any other) production network at risk.
PCWoes

ASKER
I summarized my network process with the answers provided me !