Dual-Router, Single Network...

Not sure exactly how to explain this, but I'm about to move into a new office where the powers that be claim we need two separate broadband lines in the same room - one for general use and servers (WAN) and one for downloading images/files/content from the web as well as testing bandwidth heavy solutions before fine tuning.

I keep going over this in my head and I can't figure it out. We have two separate broadband lines coming into the room with two separate routers. A person, at any given time, must be able to access the servers attached to router 1.

I'm thinking of simply connecting the two by switch so both networks are essentially one network, but I would then need to manually assign IP/Gateway information when switching from router 1 to router 2.

Is there an easy way to do this (yes, I have made a small batch to switch between two IPs) short of doing said batch file? I would PREFER that x amount of network points automatically go to router 2 (ie- mini network for just that) but then that is isolated from the server's network.

Perhaps I'm digging into it too much and I should just stick to the batch file?

Thoughts please. How would you do this?

1. Two networks (two broadband connections) need to be seen as one network to share a server... (now that I've typed this, the server does have two network ports). Accessing other user machines remotely (ie- shares) is necessary as well.

2. A user needs to be able to switch from NW1 (general) to NW2 (testing) easily. Assume my users are dumb and lazy, if possible.

3. The networked printer needs to be accessible from both networks (it has a static IP assigned and is currently deployed by the print server).

The more I think about it, the more I think a batch is the only way.
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amulheirnConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi -

I think separate network ports for each would be good - if you put the two routers into a switch, you will more than likely have two DHCP servers running at the same time - but then you know that, which is why you've got the batch file.

Personally, if I was financially constrained, I would have two separate networks and make a 'red' and 'green' port available at each user's desk.  Move to the 'red' lan for testing and big downloads, and the 'green' lan for server access and general use.

The 'all you need' solution that Aleghart suggests sounds easy, but I've no experience with Sonicwall myself.  What it leaves me wondering is how the Sonicwall is going to know whether a download should come down the 'testing' link or the 'general use link'.  It probably won't know that - the most you'd be able to tell it to do is to use one link for FTP and the other for eMail (for example).

Just a thought.  I'd go with the development and production network setup myself.  No batch files - just move the ethernet cable from one port to the other.  


>The more I think about it, the more I think a batch is the only way.

What is a "batch"?

All you need is a single dual-WAN router.  Connects one or more internal LAN with two WAN links.  Load balancing, failover, custom routing...you can limit server traffic to one WAN, or do it by service or network.

If you're at wit's end grasping it right now, you'll probably be totally lost trying to configure it. (I was.) Consider a router like a SonicWall TZ 100/200, which are affordable.  For around $300, you can have a SonicWall technician perform a survey, configuration plan, and actual configuration...all remotely, and consulting with you along the way.  Don't forget to pay the support contract.  It's invaluable when something goes wrong.

I wish that service was available when I got my first router.  Many calls with tech support, and help from site like this, and I got things up and running.  A paid service like that would have been a no-brainer...whip out the credit card.
VampireofdarknessAuthor Commented:
@both - Budget for this project is £0 outside of equipment we already have, so buying in new routers is a no-go, unfortunately. These are bog-standard ISP-supplied routers.

@aleqhart - By batch I meant batch file

@amulheirn - The two sets of network sockets was my second option that I didn't want to have to use. I realised at work today that my production server does not have two network ports, but has room for expansion if I can siphon one from elsewhere. It will only be used by 2-3 people, so doesn't need to be gigabit.

For people coming in and sitting in the office, the two separate network points will work best. There is no messing around trying to get them on to router x. I'll leave it open for a day or so in hopes that someone has a magical nugget of information, otherwise I'll send points to amulheim.

Appreciate the input so far. I should have put in my question about lack of budget.
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