Need a mini network

Bob Schneider
Bob Schneider used Ask the Experts™
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I need to run a piece of software that is designed to run on multiple computers off of a centralized database on one of those computers.  I have done this in the past but it has been a while.  These will be Windows 7 computers.  Can someone give me a quick sketch of the process.  Is it a matter of creating a work group with static ips?

Thanks~
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Sr.Net.Eng
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
Well, all you need to do it take a basic switch and connect all of the computer to it. Configure all of the computers with a static ip that is part of the same subnet.

i.e.
Comp 1 - 192.168.0.1  255.255.255.0
Comp 2 - 192.168.0.2  255.255.255.0

and so on.
In it's simplest form, all you need a network switch, and connect all the computers to it via ethernet cables. Give each computer a static IP address and they should be able to talk to each other. There's very little configuration needed to make it work.

If you want the IP addresses to be handed out automatically without manual configuration you need a DHCP server. The easiest way to accomplish that is to buy a cheap router.

If you want to reference the computers by their name as opposed to their IP address then you need some sort of name resolution service, like a DNS server. This is probably unnecessary for you and you'd be best to just use the computer's IP addresses.

The Workgroup configuration in Windows is largely irrelevant and leaving it at it's default settings is the best thing to do.
Some might consider it even simpler to plug that switch into a router with DHCP running and let all the computers acquire an IP address and everything else automatically.

One question would be how does the "server" expect to find the computers?  If IP addresses are a natural way to go then the static approach already suggested is should be fine and you *may* not have to worry about gateways and DNS addresses.  But, just for drill, I would.  That's where the DHCP comes in handy.

It's best if you assign all the computers to the same workgroup.

Then there are the issues of file sharing, etc. which can be dealt with once you get a network up and running.  You should certainly be able to ping between all the computers at that point.
Bob SchneiderCo-Owner

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Commented:
Top shelf assistance as usual!

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