Posted on 2012-09-13
Last Modified: 2012-10-05
Hi Experts,

Hypothetically, what would you   recommend for a small retail, it's a sunglasses store(30 feet by 50feet). with an inventory computer in the back of the store and (2) cash registers that need to communicate with the Inventory computer. On a LAN what would we need?

Would you go with this option?

Peer to Peer Networking ( I heard it is hard to manage)
10/100 switch /hub
NICs (how many?)
CAT6 Cable.
Ethernet cables?
Sharing files accross LAN.

Or would you opt for a dedicated server? What will we need for this option?

Question by:nouvelle
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Does your Point of Sale (P.O.S.) software have any special requirements?
    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    Apart from any special requirement (like TunerML said) I would go for for a small switch, a nic in each machine and cat5e/cat6 ethernet cables. That should be enough to connect it all together. Can't say anything about the hard/software requirements though (not enough info).

    Author Comment

    Thank you for your responses. This is hypothetical. Earniebeek, I was thinking about having the database located on the server, and when the inventory changes, it is updated. Do you guys think this will be better than a  peer to peer solution?
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    by:Ernie Beek
    Definitely. With a peer2peer you need 2 NICs in the server (one for every POS) and set up 2 p2p networks. Using a switch would keep things simple.
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    If you wanted to keep it simple I would use the inventory computer to share files( file server) and run the cash register/inventory software.   Make sure you plan to back this thing up somehow with an external hd, drobo, cd, flash, etc.  If its a nice quad core computer with at least window 7 professional or ultimate.  That you can create a share and ad users to give the appropriate access.  

    Most computers come with an onboard nic theses days and I would imagine the cash registers will also.  

    It sounds like you can get by with a 10/100/1000 mbs switch and some minimal cat6 cabling.  You can by the switch and the pre-made cable from  However, for ease of troubleshooting in the future I would recommend a structured cable configuration.  I this situation you would place a patch panel in a central closet.   This closet is usually were all the data and phone come in.   Mount the switch on thRe wall and purchase you some cat6 cable and rj45 jacks, boxes, and raceway (if needed).  Run a cable to each computer/cash register/printer from the central closet.   You can either use raceway or run cable through the drywall and mount nicely into boxes.  Punch (tool required) down the cat6 in the panel and the jacks the go into the boxes.

    This way you will only need a patch cable in the closet and at the computer/register locations.  It is much easier to manage.  I am sure you will also have a DSL/Cable modem for internet connectivity.   Just mount the DSL modem on the wall near the switch.  If the phone lines come into the same closet it will be easy to get it to the modem.  Only one DSL filter will be needed if done this way.

    Centralizing your wiring is a little more expansive on the front end but worth it.  Here is a basic list.

    Nic's (Should already be installed in computers)
    8 to 16 port 10/100/1000 mbs switch
     at least 3 75'-100' patch cable (rj45 on each end)

    more expensive route
    Nic's (Should already be installed in computers)
    8 to 16 port 10/100/1000 mbs switch

    500' or less cat6 bulk cable
    punch down tool
    3 cat6 patch cables
    3 cat6 jacks
    electrical box (surface mount if using raceway)
    3 raceway office white 3/4 inch (only needed if you are not running cable through drywall)
    1 8 to 16 port patch panel
    singe port face plate for cat6 jacks

    Note1:  punch down using 568B standard.  Just follow color code
    Note2:  you can purchase jacks, boxes,etc from Home Depot or Lowes.  for cable I would check or for pricing.

    Hope I didn't leave anything out.

    If need to sketch you out a drawing I can.

    Author Comment


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