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Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Hey guys I need to setup a network and was looking for suggestions.
The network will have about 150 computers / 10 printers / 6 Servers.
All computer will need access to all 6 servers.. I was thinking I could have 2 data lines coming in (for redundancy), I was thinking 2 T1 lines? or would it be just as good to have maybe 1 T1 line and one Cable Company data line? (Sonicwall Firewall would handle failover)Obviously the Cable company Data line is much cheaper than a full second T1 line (we may also implement an IP Phone system).

Another question...switches, I was thinking 3 48 port managed switches...do you think that is good enough or should i have a different setup for switches? I also plan on having an Access Point (or multiple) that would cover 120000 sq FT.

As far as cabling goes do you prefer Cat 5 Cat 5e Cat 6 or any other?

Any recommendations on things to do/implement when you start a network from scratch?

Thanks alot for your comments, they are greatly appreciated

RE: Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

That is a lot of servers for only 150 computers...think virtualization if you need to have that many separated processes.
Spend the money that you would have spent on 6 server on 2 nicely configured dual or quad processor, lots of memory, and a small iSCSI SAN. This way you can cluster Hyper-V or VMWare, or whatever virtualization technology you subscribe to. Then you can load your 6 servers as virtual machines and they will have redundancy via the Hypervisory cluster.

Two data circuits are a fine idea and Sonicwall makes good stuff, so you should be good there. A T1 now a days for Internet is not very good, so I would probably make your cable data line as the main one for users Internet and use the T1 for server access to email, webserver, etc... (your more critical services that cannot go down) and failover for your users should the cable go down.

I love HP Procurve switches and you could go with 3 x 48 port switches, or you could go with one of their chassis based units like the E5412zl switch. This gives you 12 slots to occupy with different blade modules like 24port 10/100/1000 PoE modules, 20 port 10/100/1000 PoE w/ 4 GBIC, 10Gb Modules, Wireless controller module, etc... or you could go with 2 x E5406zl switches and appropriate modules to give you another switch for redundancy for the more important services. Mentioning the wireless controller, HP has pretty good wireless technology since they bought out Colubris several years ago + now they have acquired all of the 3COM wireless tech as well, so worth a look.

Cabling would be at minimum CAT5e to support 1Gb to the desktop and CAT6a, while supporting 10Gb, cuts the cable length down to almost half to get that speed. So unless you see yourself offering 10Gb down to the desktop in the next 5-10 years, a good quality CAT5e install will be more than sufficient.

You don't mention about what network operating system you'll be implementing, so from a Microsoft tech standpoint, start planning now your Active Directory design, your IP addressing scheme, too many things to mention...

RE: Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Thanks for the reply....one thing I do not understand, you mentioned that T1 lines they are not very good for Internet, is because it is only 1.44 mbps??...I know that cable lines calim to deliver faster speeds than that but what puzzles me is the price....T1 lines on average are about $300 per month or so where the Cable lines go for less than $100....why is that? why are T1 lines so much more if speeds are alot less?

Also you had mentioned CAT6e...I was thinking of using CAT6 which to my knowledge still supports lengths up to 100 meters just like Cat5e does. No plans ins supporting 10GB devices within the next 5-10  years

RE: Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Where I live, I can get a T1 for about that price, but that's for the loop alone. Add more for Internet service and it's rather pricey for me, but you might live in an area where your T1's are cheap and thus the total price is cheaper than what just the line would cost me.

T1 is a dedicated, non shared, managed line from the telco company. You are paying for uptime and dedicated old time technology which is a good thing if you require maximum uptime. These services are usually backed by a SLA (service level agreement) dictating only a certain amount of downtime allowed each year and so many hours of response should there be a problem.

Cable is a shared service that is not guaranteed. Most of the time it is a best effort service (I have seen business packages that offer a minimum bandwidth level of service), but the service is usually not monitored for outages or issues and is the customer's responsibility to report problems or issues should they arise. Cable bandwidth packages across the country tend to float anywhere in the 3-50Mb/s service plan range, so quite broad range of data rates to choose from.

CAT6 is a thicker cable and has minimum specs of 200Mhz frequency, while CAT5e has minimum specs of 100Mhz. The higher Mhz offers better insertion loss, near end crosstalk, return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk. These improvements over minimum spec CAT5e allow higher reliabilty for applications as it reduces errors due to line noise. At 1Gb, they both max at 100 meters, but that's why I make comment about a good quality CAT5e install as you can get CAT5e cable rated up to 350Mhz which surpass that of minimum CAT6. I have not priced a CAT6 install in some time, so the pricing might be negligible between the two now that CAT6a has been out for a while. Also be mindfull of the need to possibly run plenum rated cable which is way more expensive than non-plenum pvc, but meets code in issues dealing with cabling in plenum space above the ceiling and air condition ducting.

RE: Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Alot of great information..Thanks!!!

RE: Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch

Sounds to me like you are going to have a pretty flat network.

here is what i would do...
First I would NOT buy new switches. since u are running pretty flat and small amount of computers.
I would look at ebay and purchace some serious Foundy Chassis based switches, Go for the BigIron chassis, 8 slot u dont need new stuff, u have no need for full layer 3 , ospf, bgp, Mpls or any of that heavy stuff, no heavy routing code, and the Big iron will have serious bandwith for your users. It will have Basic L3 if you need some static routing later.

users dont need gig connections, servers do.( most users never transfer large enough files to get the speed up to many small files so the window never gets to peak)
also get a foundry serverIron for link load balancing your redundant internet connections, be they T1, dsl or even ethernet it will work very well.

Go Cat5e its should not be a big differance in charges from 5 also it will support poe and VoiP later if need.
Try to get good cable, NOrdex or Alcatel, a good cable in 5 is a hell of a lot better that crap at 5e or even noname 6.

As for Ip addressing...
, look u are small so use a small network, network subnet

servers in the 192.168.1.X range
users in the 192.168.10.X range
printers 192.168.20.X range
192.168.30.X for wireless..
the possablities are endless..

Firewall time....
look at Kerio Firewall
Cisco ASA

But my favorite and probably the best id the new stuf called PALOALTO the PA200 or The 500 awesome stuff, kicks ass and more advanced that the asa.. very advanced stuff. http://www.paloaltonetworks.com/products/platforms/pa-200.html

Ok so...if you need help drop me an email, Ill even point you to some kick ass network switches at 1/10 the price of new over rated crap.


this will allow u to do what ever u need with out ever having to go full layer 3.. u can even subnet inside if you ever have to...


John - Up in Montreal


RE: Brand New Building = Build Network from Scratch


thanks for all that great information...I would love some info on switches...

By the way since i do not have that many computers what is the benefit of having servers, users, printers wireless etc on different subnets as you suggested?? Wouldn't be the same to have everything on the same subnet?

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