Networking Pre Requisites

Posted on 2011-03-23
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
We are planning to setup a new company. I have make all the network configurations. Can any one please suggest me what are the prerequisites for setting up a network in detail. What kind of Server Machine I have to purchase and what are all network equipments I have to get.. Please suggest me in detail. Thanks
Question by:venkatspb
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Expert Comment

ID: 35199535
First and most important things:

How many users are you expecting in the company?
Will they need internet access, and if so, what kind of speeds/availability?

Author Comment

ID: 35199650
No. Of users: 54(Will go up to 100or even more)
Internet Access Required for 32 users. Remaining are trainees.

What kind of servers required?
Any switches required?
Software installations how to do? Any automation process ?

Server OS : Windows 2008 Server
Client/Desktop OS : Windows 7

Expert Comment

ID: 35200619
Do you have any equipment already?

Would you consider that you have a small, medium or big bidget. This will decide a lot of things especially what to buy.
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Accepted Solution

FireW0lf earned 250 total points
ID: 35205176
Always plan with a view to expansion, so never buy "the bare minimum" - always think how extra equipment can be plugged in to expand and cope with more users / more corporate requirements

So, for that many servers, you would be sensible to have a Windows Domain - that means having 2 Domain Controllers (that's 2 servers)
Email, 1 server
File Server, 1 server (preferably 2 with files replicated between them)
Print Server (altho the File Server can do this at the same time)
Firewall, 1 server

So, 6 servers at an absolute minimum. Depending on whether you go for Server 2003 or Server 2008, you should think about RAM: 4GB if using Server 2003 x86, or double that ideally if using Server 2008 x64
You might consider getting 2 beefy servers, and virtualising with Microsoft Hyper-V or VMWare - each physical server can run 4 virtual servers giving you your 6 with contingency for 2 more (plus your Firewall - always make that it's own physical server)

Switches: 3x 48 port switches (2 to start with if you really want) which would give you 142 (or 96) network points

Storage: Either stick with HDDs in the servers, or invest in a SAN (an iSCSI SAN is your cheapest option really for the performance

Then you have the comms cabinet - which hosts all the patch panels
And running cables from the patch panels around to network points around the office

Telephony: You will need a PABX switch. There are so many options here, it's a matter or preference

And then you need to start thinking of software, licenses, etc etc

That should give you a start and what to think about anyway

Expert Comment

ID: 35205190
Oops typo - 3x 48 is 144 not 142...

Expert Comment

ID: 35205201
Oh, and as for server spec, to be honest all the servers on sale today are more than adequate. They tend to be dual or quad-core, with dual CPUs

Domain Controllers dont really need that much storage, except for if you set up roaming profiles and dont limit profile sizes
Email Server will of course need more storage, as users can rack up a couple of GB of emails in no time (again, you can limit this)
File Server - make this as beefy as you can afford, since these days even "medium sized" files can be half a GB upwards, and users will most likely want a communal area to share files in
Print Server - as suggested, simply use the File Server to serve both File and Print services
Firewall Server can be a standard spec server - doesnt really need much storage. Spec it the same as your Domain Controllers

Assisted Solution

americanpie3 earned 250 total points
ID: 35205655
FireW0lf gave you a great baseline to work with. Here's more on what he mentioned (without getting too detailed) and another options.

If there is cabling to be done, don't be shy to spend a little more on CAT 6 or CAT 6e as that standard of cable fully supports gig ethernet.

As for your router you might want to look at better options than a Linksys, D-link router. There are lots of options out there the quesiton is would you go with a hardware or software router. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Two examples are Watchguard for hardware and Smoothwall for software. Once you decide which kind to go with then you can decide on all the modules you would need. Content filtering, spam blocking, how many VPN licences need and so forth.

You would also need a UPS (Universal Power Supply) with a Network Management Card. I think that APC is the best in the business. The UPS does many things like keep your whole server room powered on when the building loses power. It can also protect from power surges and so forth. If you want anonymity and keep your servers turned on for a long time, then include a battery pack.

You also need a backup solution. And image file based solution to me is the best option. Acronis True Image or Backup Exec System recovery are the best options. You can store into a dedicated backup server. Once the backups are done, you can backup the image files onto an external hard drive for offsite storage incase of a disaster.

If you host your own e-mail servers, you might want to look at an anti-spam solutions. the solutions found in the routers are OK, but if you are going to be 100 or more one day you would want something much more robust. Again there's spam solutions that are done offsite and some appliances that you buy and manage on site.

Lastly you need an anti-virus solution. I like anti-virus solutions that have a management console.

Just two little tidbits. Make sure you have enough amprage in your server room for all equipment needed and enough for expansion. You also want to make sure that there's enough cooling and for god's sake NO SPRINKLERS.

As for the option, again without going too much into detail, you might want to explore virtualization solution for your servers. Basically, imagine running 2 or more servers on the same hardware. So you can have your 2 domain controllers and say an accounting server all on the same hardware, that helps reduce cost. You won't have to buy hardware evertime you want to build a new server. Plus this makes it really easy to have a lab for testing... Again, won't go too much into detail

I think in choosing which product to go with between competitors, I think that the best advise I can give you is to not be shy to speak with a vendor's presales. They will give you what the best product is for your needs. Explain the advantages and disadvantages, approximate cost, find you resellers in your area and best of all, they are not paid to sell but just explain the product and find the best solution for you.

I hope we've helped and this should cover everything to get you setup. To me this is the fun part about my job.

Author Comment

ID: 35348632

Author Comment

ID: 35348635
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 35704574
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