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Dear All
i am not a computer professioanal but i know how to write the programmes in oracle, VB and webpage development..... I am working in a organization. now this organization wants to install networking..... this responsibility has been kept on my shoulders..... honestly speaking i dont know much about the networking but i accepted this task very happily..... in this regard i have started the study..... i found this forum which seemed me pretty one and you people guide me very well coz you guys are fully engaged in this field......
the building where is our office consist on 3 floor and a basement..... we r going to install 60 PCs with networking..... and we have to make database so that all users may share the data and we also inted to give the facility of internet through networking...... the important thing as such there is no budget constraints it is left at my discretion how much i spend on networking...
hope you will guide me in this regard..... i am waiting for your prompt response......

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Last Post by dcdriver
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Which facet of this do you need help with? What you describe is a very broad scenario, and one with many options.

You say you have no experience in network design and administration. Does this mean that you will be responsible for hiring an outside company to do the installation and configuration, or are you expected to attempt this yourself? If the later, I'd highly suggest you reconsider. No offence meant, but designing and implementing a 60-node network isn't something that you just read up on and then go out and do.

Some (totally random) thoughts:

- Will wireless be involved?

- Are you going to have a company Email server on the network? If so, and assuming you'll be using Microsoft products, you'll need someone who know how to build and maintain Exchange servers.

- What other data needs to be centrally served? Do you want to use server versions of your actual applications, or will you install stand-alone versions of your applications on each workstation and just serve the data?

- Do you have people who know how to configure and administer Active Directory? With 60 or so seats, this obviously won't be a workgroup.

- Will you want or need users to have remote access to the network? VPN and the like would come into play at that point.

- Do you plan on running a Web server which needs to be accessible to the "outside world"?

- What are your backup and disaster-recovery needs?

- Security! Security! Security! This is a sub-category of network design that is a specialized and complex topic of its own.

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Dear Sir,

First of all I am thankful of you for prompt response.
Obviously, We’ll hire a company for installation and configuration. It is also my responsibility designing and implementation of networking. After implementation I’ll take the responsibility of its management and administration.

Actually our main purpose of erection of networking is to share the data centrally that is available in the form of oracle. As such still we have no intention to go on wireless but we plan to run a web server.

The problems that I am facing at the moment whether I should go on Linux or MS products. 2nd what steps should be taken for security and backup.

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Hello,

In this case, it is best that you go to a class or two, and study up on where you are going. You have learned how to do programming, perhaps C++, perhaps SQL, and I bet that you are very good at it, and your company is going places.

Programming and Network Administration are VERY DIFFERENT. It is my experience that programmers try to give the world, and administrators have to perform reality checks to the programmers.

Please UNDERSTAND the following:

* You are going to be networking these computers. You want security. You will have help installing them, but then they are your responsibility. An improper configuration will be pure hell. Viruses. Licensing issues. Support. Maintenance. You won't be able to ever go home you are going to be so busy. Computers that are down are not going to earn your company any money.

* You are going to be placing your data on the internet. This means worldwide exposure. This means your company secrets, data, codesets and the like are now accessable to the world. This means firewalls. This means your core corporate jewels (assets) are exposed.

* Any breach of security could close your company down. Let's say your accounting department looses all their records. You don't know who owes you money, or where you need to pay your bills. This is a very troublesome position to be in.

I would STRONGLY encourage you to either take some classes on this before you start, or hire someone with the proper credentials to work in house at your company to develop the network. You are not the right choice, and if it fails, you could loose your job among other things. This is not something that can be taught via a web BBS system. We can guide you here, but we cannot create the big-picture solution for you.

Also realize that some quick classes are not the answer. It takes a few years of experience to really get the feel for what is going on. That cannot be done in a timely fashion. Those of us who do network administration for a living often have a home network that we try out ideas and methods on before we take the ideas to work.

As for Linux vs. Microsoft, it all depends on what your needs are, and which product will do it right for you. You might find out that you need a mix of solutions to solve a particular problem. But without one of us taking a detailed look at the costs and the challenges involved, our opinion is of little value.

Don't feel bad about what I am saying! Your education and experience are just not geared for this, and it is good that you are realizing you need help. I am not sure that you know just how bad it is, but that is why we are here mentioning it to you.

If you truely have an open budget for this project, invest in a talented resource or two, and get yourself some education on these topics.

Christian

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Just one thought to add regarding training. When my firm sells Cisco gear, there are often "learning credits" that can be passed along to the customer so they can go to classes for their new equipment. I know of some other manufacturers that do this as well, so whatever you buy you will want to at least ask for it.

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Dear Christian
Once again I am highly thankful of you for your sincere advise. I am going to join a private computer-training institute as you recommended me. And I have also noted all apprehensions that you addressed.

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I install networking switches and routers but can not help on the administration side.

A few recommendations are:-
Are you going to consider voice over IP if so make sure they are Power over Ethernet Switches and can cope with VLANs
Also you want to consider some layer 3 switches in the core with duel fed trunks so to allow for failover
I'd recommend Cisco network but then thats prob 'cos I am a CCNA going for CCVP so I've been Cisco brainwashed (but they are the best :D )

If you want me to overlook some network ideas get back to me

Regards

Rich;

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I install networking switches and routers but can not help on the administration side.

A few recommendations are:-
Are you going to consider voice over IP if so make sure they are Power over Ethernet Switches and can cope with VLANs
Also you want to consider some layer 3 switches in the core with duel fed trunks so to allow for failover
I'd recommend Cisco network but then thats prob 'cos I am a CCNA going for CCVP so I've been Cisco brainwashed (but they are the best :D )

If you want me to overlook some network ideas get back to me

Regards

Rich;

Thanks Rich

You imparted me treasured information concerning VOIP. I also want to know more in detail. And other imperative thing I do not know much regarding VLAN. If your can let know me something about that I would be grateful of you.

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hakro,
How ya doing,

VLANs....this could go on a bit...... It is a way of splitting up your network into different Subnets but without having to install separate switches or trunks. It works by putting a VLAN ID tag on each packet to Identify which VLAN it belongs to, this is done by the switch as the port is configured to be a member of a particular VLAN, this can traverse a Dot1q trunk (a port that is configured to carry multiple VLANs). You tend to segregate your Voice VLAN and you Data VLAN because otherwise your Phones will be receiving all the broadcasts on a network and believe me there will be a lot and this could have a detrimental effect on your voice quality. It is also worth considering separating your network even more, for example putting all one floor into separate VLAN esp. if they are separated by Departments as if a network broadcast storm or a virus hit one segment it will not take down an entire network (and I have seen this happen). Also create a Server Farm VLAN so that your servers are protected. I'd also look at into putting two network cards into your servers and teaming them, then connect them to each of the core switches...but I digress.

Anyway

If you are going to consider VoIP (voice over IP) which is the way to go nowadays, esp. if you plan to expand over multi sites. Then you want to take into account Qos (Quality of Service). This works by priortising packets marked on their Cos values (Class of service Values) at the Layer 2 level (which is your switching network) and the DiffServ value at Layer 3 (or your routing Network) although with a well implemented switched network that is with 100meg or 1gig trunks this never will require qos, though it is good practice to implement the correct Class of service as close as possible to the source. Also this will ensure good voice quality, and your end users assume dial tone is a God given right. :-)
Also if you want to install a Duel Trunk to the core switches (highly recommended to avoid loss of service in a switch or cable failure) you can do some PVST (per Vlan spanning tree) configuration which will allow the Voice traffic to flow down one trunk and the Data down
the other (Though both will flow down one trunk in the event of a switch/cable outage...clever eh)!

I know there are very good VoIP PABXs on the market but I can highly recommend Cisco Callmanger with Unity (Unity is a Voice mail system which will integrate with your mail System) or on a smaller scale Call Manager express with unity express.
Plus Cisco Switches as they work hand in hand.

The best thing to do is go to the Cisco website and locate a dealer in your area. (link Below)
I highly recommend you go for the best money can buy even if you have to bend the budget a little, a skimp on equipment now will cost you in the long run. Also ensure you network cabling is up to speck, but if you have a Cisco Salesman call then he can speck this for you.

Please post if you want any more Info

Regards
Rich,

Oh link as promised

http://www.cisco.com/pcgi-bin/cpn/cpn_pub_bassrch.pl

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Another thing to consider with Voip

Home working or the infamous Road Worrier ... the Salesman

If you install a decent Firewall for example a PIX (Cisco again)

You could access all the Servers plus a Softphone on the computer and Hay Presto a complete mobile office over the Internet.

Worth Considering

Rich

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I don't know if I can be of much help considering this post is two months old. Anyways I will speak and hopefully be helpful to you.

#1 find a good IT consultant IE somebody that has experience designing, installing, configuring and maintaining networks, servers, workstations, etc. You want an experienced and passionate consultant or employee. After these things are discussed and you come to an agreement get the project underway in a written agreement and make sure the IT consultant is EXPERIENCED and answers all of your questions. Do NOT low ball the consultant or hire someone just because he or she has the lowest price. I have seen many IT consultants and IT firms low ball projects just to get hired and many of the super cheap are clueless and do a poor job....you get what you pay for. Myself can speak from experience of having to come in and re-design and re-configure poorly designed and configured networks that were setup by many local IT consultants - IT support companies and they were originally hired because of one reason....low low price.

#2 Meet with this person face to face and discuss all of your needs, requirements and budget considerations. Ask for photos and references from other clients this consultant has helped. Be sure to include a GOOD BACKUP - DISASTER recovery solution. Do NOT cut corners on server hardware or a backup solution. The golden rule I have followed is cheap is not good and good is not cheap.

#3 After the network - servers - workstations are in place, installed, configured and up and running you must have someone proactively maintain this equipment to help prevent problems from occurring.
Everyday: Check server and workstation logs, check hard drives for performance and storage performance, scan for viruses, verify all nodes have the latest security updates installed, schedule a time for reboots, and much more. Most importantly test the backup system and make sure it works correctly. A good IT consultant will offer to proactively maintain your equipment where a not so good consultant will usually just set everything up, get paid then disappear and wait for something to break down then charge an arm and a leg to get you back up again. NOTE: servers and computers should be proactively maintained to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

#4 Do not try to figure everything out on your own right away.
Hire this person or company to get the job done and proactively maintain this for you. If you really want to learn then ask to help this person to explain and allow you to assist him or her.
Read books also and ask many questions.

If you have any specific questions or concerns you are welcome to contact me and I will offer to help you if you have specific questions or concerns.

Good luck and hope everything works out for you.

http://centralfloridacomputerengineering.com

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Just my 2 cents worth. Your good intentions are honorable, and enterprising, and badly misplaced. Networking is a profession that many of us work at all of our working hours, and still walk away puzzled. You should seriously consider hiring a company to manage your network. In the end, it will be cheaper, and more reliable. You will retain your reputation, and your sanity. Your company will retain its life. Spend the money. Its cheaper!

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