Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Darkest Kent, UK., Kent, England
    Posts
    257
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Your comments on new network spec.

    - This may not be considered the most apt board for this thread. If not, would a friendly mod please relocate it? -


    I've been asked my opinion on a new network for an office. I've done odd scraps of work for him before and this could be a good opportunity for me, therefore I request your opinions before I respond to him.

    What he's looking for is a plain and simple network consisting of 8 workstations, one central file server, two laser printers and the software to tie everything together. He does NOT want Internet access, or e-mail, and this is a brand new set up, not an upgrade from an existing network. It will be hard-wired, not wireless, and provision will be made on the hub side of things for additional workstations in the future or a traveling laptop needing an occasional connection.

    I've suggested using Dell for the workstations, maybe for the server too, but I may suggest a home-brew box for flexibility.

    Never having used it, I invite anyone's 2 cents on the pro's and con's of W2K Server. I have enough NT4 knowledge to do this, but beyond the desktop W2KS is a bit of a mystery to me.

    Many thanks for reading. If anyone can direct me to a recommended site regarding W2KS for small businesses, I'd be grateful.

  2. #2
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Milford, Connecticut
    Posts
    80
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    While I don't set up networks, one thing you might consider is that NT4 won't be supported by Microsoft. W2K is and the new version, .NET (I think) is due out end of year/early next year. Our network was upgraded to W2K a while ago with no ill effects. We've also done it for most of our clients as well.

    Nothing's blown up yet

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    The current religion, I believe, is to use a switch rather than a hub, for performance reasons. They also make it virtually impossible to sniff the packets sent from or destined for other PCs on the network.

    Shall we lay odds on how quickly they decide they want Internet access? <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Burwash, East Sussex, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,280
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 191 Times in 177 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    Do you have a budget for this? Most of the Dell stuff I've bought recently (which I've been very happy with) has come with Gigabit Ethernet cards and you can now get 10/100/1000 switches relatively cheaply which should future-proof your network for a little while.
    If the client can afford a server, W2K server, the CALs and whatever else he wants, then I'd say do it. You'll get good security and a certain amount of expansion potential as the business grows - you can set up DHCP, DNS, WINS et cetera. An NT4 server might be marginally easier to set up and maintain initially if you're already familiar with that but you will have to upgrade sooner rather than later. Don't forget to provide a backup solution of some sort too!
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    283
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    This is definitely getting away from this forum's topic, but I'm universally recommending Linux servers in small business environments. They cost a fraction of what a Windows server environment would - both in license fees and necessary hardware, and Linux servers just DON'T CRASH. My two oldest installations of e-smith are 9 months old, and neither have gone down once - one of them is running on a Pentium 266 with 128 MB RAM for a 3-user office. My favorite distro is E-smith, but there are many other possibilities. Don't be intimidated by Linux - if you can figure out NT4 server, you can do Linux, I promise. A great starting point is the Linux Newbie Guide. Just be careful: as a consultant, don't structure you rates around the expectation of lots of regular service calls after the server has been installed - you won't be needed then. But your client will think you're a genuis.

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Darkest Kent, UK., Kent, England
    Posts
    257
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    Hi Keely!

    This is something I hadn't considered. My concerns are with compatibility though. The main purpose of this network is to run Sage accounting s/w as well as sharing of MS Office files. Would I need to source a Linux-compatible version of Sage (if such a thing exists)? I would need a lot of hand-holding if I were to go this route, not to mention all the dumb, obvious questions I'd ask.

    Newbie questions, I know, but if I'm going to try something new I have to convince myself before convincing my client. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to go with what I know for this installation, which would give me time to 'have a play' with Linux for a later one? Nothing worse than a rush-job installation.

    BTW that link is a superb starter resource. Thank you!

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    283
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    I don't know how you would be running the Sage program (or which one), but unless you need to serve the app itself, you'll have no problems storing the data for that and your MSO files on the Linux server. Many server distros, including e-smith, come with SAMBA, which basically duplicates the Windows file-sharing system. The areas of the server where the shared files are located (in e-smith they're called information bays, or i-bays) look and behave just like Windows shares. Easy peezy.

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Darkest Kent, UK., Kent, England
    Posts
    257
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    Good point re. Sage data files on the server. I'd overlooked that. Doh!

    I've been granted a bit more time with this as the new offices won't be released for at least another four weeks. With this in mind, I took a visit to E-Smith and left my workshop machine downloading the ISO for the day. I have a redundant 2GB drive kicking around which should be suitable for experimentation.

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    283
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    Let me know how it goes, either by PM or in the Other OSes forum. Good luck! <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15>

  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Darkest Kent, UK., Kent, England
    Posts
    257
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Your comments on new network spec.

    I'll see you there...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •