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Networking Challenge...

I need the expertise of a networking master to help me potentially overcome a networking challenge!

I work in a place where we currently get our internet from another business in our building. We do similar work with common customers, so being on the same network is extremely beneficial as it allows us to locally share large media files with each other.

Times are tough, and the cost of sharing this service with the other company has become a problem, so we're planning on having our own, less expensive (and slower) internet service installed.

What I need to figure out is if it is possible to do this and still maintain our LAN connection with the other company for speedy Gigabit Ethernet file sharing. Ideally, all of our computers would grab IP addresses and internet connection from a router on our end, and all of the computers at the other company would continue to use their existing internet service.

Is this possible, and if so, how can it be achieved? I'm guessing with my limited knowledge that it might involve bridging, manually configuring each computer's NIC, or something similar. Lots of points and kudos if you can help me with this!
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vicviper
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vicviper
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pwindellCommented:
Router between you and the other company.  (You need a LAN Router that you control)

The segment between your new router and the old router of the other company will be the IP range that you used to use.   For the time being your existing pile of machines will stay there. You then create a New LAN IP Range on "your side" of this new LAN Router.

Now add a route on your new LAN Router so that it knows to use the other company's router in order to reach the other company's machines.

Now set your LAN Router's IP# to be the Default Gateway of all your machines,...and the Default Gateway of your LAN Router will become the ISP's Device (or a device you buy) that goes tot eh new Internet connection that you buy.

One this is all completed and working you can move (at your convenience) your machines into the new segment you created between your LAN Router and the new ISP Device.  Eventually the old segment would just behave as a "point-to-point" link between your LAN Router and the other Company's LAN Router,...however there is nothing stopping you from using it as a second subnet for yourself if you feel you need the room.

In the end it will look like this.  The "WAN Link" in the center is where all your machines are at the moment and moving them would be the last step.  Both sides are equal,...it doesn't matter who is considered the Parent or the Remote.

 WAND2
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pwindellCommented:
Somehow the beginning got cut off. The first line should read:  

"You need to buy and place a LAN Router between you and the other company.  (You need a LAN Router that you control)"
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pwindellCommented:
At first the Default Gateway of your New LAN Router would point to the other company's LAN Router.  This keeps thing running "as they are" for now.  Do not change that until you have the new Internet connection in place and working,....then,...you change the Default Gateway of your LAN Router to the new Internet device.

You will have to add a Static Route to the new Internet device so that it knows to use your new LAN Router as the means to reach the machines that would still be sitting in the center section between the two LAN Routers.  Then there is nothing left in that center section then you can delete that static route if you wish.
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vicviperAuthor Commented:
I don't plan on having any machines in the "center" of your diagram. Can you tell me exactly where the ethernet cable coming from the other company should be connected? I'm not clear if it has to be hooked up to a special port on our router directly, or if I can just connect everything all to one switch and the proper settings will do all the work. Also, do I have to make sure both companies are using differently structured IP addresses?

Ex. currently we are all 192.168.2.X, with subnet mask 255.255.252.0

I'm still a bit confused how the two sets of computers will be able to communicate with each other.
Please excuse my limited knowledge!
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pwindellCommented:
If you don't understand those things there is nothing more I can do.  I cannot give anyone the equivalent of a CCNA course in a forum post.  I have to rely on you understanding network design well enough to know how to approach it.

The simple answer is that you plug a new router into an existing switch on your LAN,...then plug a new switch into another interface on the LAN Router,....move you machines to the new switch,...thereby moving them into the new segment,...which will,...eventually,...leave the old segment empty,...which will be the empty segment you see between the two routers.

You are probably going to have to call in a consultant if you don't have the networking background to handle the process.
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pwindellCommented:
There's a lot more than meets the eye here that I am assuming you know how to do, such as when you start moving your infrastructure servers and have to create or recreate DHCP Scopes and get them to work correct in the new segment.  Things beyond just the routers and the cabling come into play.

This is what happens when one company "plays house" with another company concerning their network designs and topologies.  There is a lot of work to "undoing it".
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vicviperAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all of the information. I know more about networking than anyone else at my company, but up until now the complicated stuff has been handled by the other company's IT department. You've been a huge help just by assuring me that what we are trying to do will actually work. I asked the tech support rep from our new provider about this and he said it was "impossible" to do what I wanted to do.

So thanks again!
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pwindellCommented:
That tech support Rep was either plain wrong,..or he just misunderstood what you are trying to do.  In fact that is the most likely.  If you showed him my diagram and my posts that explain it,...I cannot imagine him saying it cannot be done.
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