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networking questions

Posted on 2014-03-14
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Last Modified: 2014-04-21
A little new to the world of networking so I thought I would ask the experts.  Am in an office that has network ports (of course) in the wall that lead to a patch panel.  The patch panel cords then go into a switch.  Router (I assume) is plugged into the switch as well.  I was wondering this question.  I have a 24 port unmanaged hp switch that I have and I am plugging 1 cord from the patch panel directly into the switch.  This is for a laptop.  I am wondering how the system recognized that it is on the network when it seems to me like it is just coming from the wall to the patch panel and from the panel into the switch.  Where is the connection happening to connect to the network and all resources?  Is it the router?  Thanks for helping the novice.
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Question by:mkramer777
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Expert Comment

by:Jerry Miller
ID: 39929658
If you plug in a device that is configured for the domain that you are connecting to and the device is set to acquire it network information via DHCP, then all of the networking information is coming from the DHCP server.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/dd448608.aspx

If as a normal user you can plug in a 24 port switch into the wall and then a device into that switch I have a lot of questions about your network security. Normally only devices that have been added to the domain by someone with administrator access should be able to connect to a business network.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 39929739
Since you didn't say anything about a domain, I'll simply stick with the physical sort of question that you ask:

The situation you describe leaves but a few possibilities:
1) the other end of the cable terminating in the port of the patch panel where you plugged in the new switch would have to be connected to the network unto itself.  How can that be?  Maybe a printer with wireless AND wired connections at the same time that makes the connection back into the network?  Printers I'm familiar with won't do this but ... something like that happening at the other end of the assumed cable to the patch panel.
2) The new switch really has other connections to it in addition to that one patch panel port.
3) The patch panel port in question is somehow jumpered to another via the punch downs in back.
4) The laptop has an active wireless connection and it doesn't matter that it's plugged into the switch.
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 500 total points
ID: 39929783
Being "connected to a network" is merely a matter of (a) a physical connection, which you've described above; and (b) a network connection which is created by configuring a subnet of IP addresses and assigning addresses on the same subnet to any device that connects to that physical network. The method of configuring and assigned this network requires a device, either a server or router, on the network that is configured to act as a "DHCP" (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server.  When a device such as a workstation is physically connected to the network and is configured to use DHCP to obtain an IP address, the device, through it's phsyical network connection (the NIC card)  sends out a broadcast request looking for a DHCP server. Once it finds a DHCP server, communication is established and the DHCP server assigns an IP address on the network subnet to that workstation or other device. Once a device has an IP address on the network subnet, it can communicate with any other device on the same subnet.  Other layers of security, such as password authentication required to access devices on the network, is on a communication layer above the basic network connection.

jmiller1979's comments apply to a situation where you are part of a Windows domain network.  This means that you would have a Windows server somewhere in your office also plugged into a wall socket that leads to a patch panel that is then plugged into a network switch (could be the same switch or a different one wired to the same physical network). This server would be running the DHCP server side of the network communication.

If that's not the case, and what you have in your office is simply a group of PC's that can communicate with each other, then you are in a workgroup, not a domain.  In that case, the networking and DHCP address assignment are done by either a switch or a router. Since you stated that you have an unmanaged switch, then the router must be the DHCP server on the network that you've described.
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 39929807
I believe this is the answer plus the info from hypercat

3) The patch panel port in question is somehow jumpered to another via the punch downs in back.
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Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 39930021
that is ... fmarshall 3) perhaps?
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 39930039
Yes, but I also used the info from hypercat as well
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