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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Moving Hardware on a Network

    I have a question that no one else has been able to answer. On my network at work whenever you move a piece of hardware or a peripheral, lets say a printer from one building or office to another you have to ask the network administrators for a new IP. Sometimes its not a new IP you need, but rather a new subnet mask, or gateway. Why is this?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Moving Hardware on a Network

    Well, I'm certainly not a network administrator, but someone in that capacity at your work place should have been able to give you a description. It is often that business networks are setup as somewhat separate entities. It's like separate intranets within a given business complex. Each "sub-network" probably has its own block of IP addresses and the folks on each usually require permission to access another branch of the network. You might think of it as the divisions of the business, such as production, administration, and finance each having their own intranet. The whole network is probably linked together but still requiring permission and addressing in order to cross the boundaries.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Moving Hardware on a Network

    Subnetting is usually done to segment network traffic for availability and performance reasons. Each "subnet" is connected to the other subnets by routers, which pass packets between the subnets.

    When you are connected to a subnet you need an IP address that is valid on that subnet. You also need to know which other computers are on the same subnet as you (you can talk to them directly), and which are on other subnets (so you have to talk to them via a router). The "subnet mask" is a set of bits that tell your computer which computers are on the same subnet. Finally you need the address of the router you should send packets to if the remote computer is not on your subnet. This is the gateway.

    Everyone on the same subnet must use the same netmask. Because this defines the set of computers which are connected to the same LAN and lets them all know that the others are directly in communication. It is usual for all computers on one subnet to use the same gateway, but there could be two or more gateways used for load balancing or failover. Your IP address must be one that is valid on your subnet, otherwise the other stations on the subnet won't talk to you - this means that the router will never send you any packets either!

    Most organisations use DHCP to automatically provide this information to client PCs, so that the users can move between subnets. Some organisations hard code everything, which sounds like what you have.

    StuartR

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