hello ,

i need a some ideas on planning an network infrastructure for a medium size business that has electrical,construction, restaurant... at present they only have head office with a few computers running on CAT5 cable and router. I 'm looking for advise on expanding the their network?

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You basically have two options - wired or wireless. For desktop workstations and servers that are going to stay put all the time, wired is better. For mobile applications and devices, wireless (WiFi) is obvious (I hope), and for some systems that are mostly fixed, but are inconveniently located for wired connections (cost to run cable between system and switch/router) then wireless there also makes sense. For wireless these days, go with 802.11n since it is faster, has better distance specs, and is generally more reliable that 802.11b/g.

If you need ideas for expanding a network for a company you are already taking the wrong approach. The people you need to be asking questions are the comany itself. Anybody could rattle off the greatest servers, wiring concepts, os's, security and yadda yadda yadda. But that means nothing you need to find out what their specific needs are. Some things you will probably want to know.

The most important of all questions before you even consider starting. What is the budget?

What are they going to need as far as servers go? Some examples... Are they going to be hosting their own website? Do they want voip for some type off messaging system? Are they going to need massive storage and database capabilities? How's our budget looking as this is probably the most expensive part of any networking project? Is there some technologies we can utialize to increase productivity or save the company money in other areas?

Ok now after we figure out all of that the next step would most likely be to consider the design of the network. If you don't already know how to do this I'm sure we can help out but god help that poor company.

After we have all the hardware, software, design process done then the real work begins. You can start running all your wires and if you are smart you will run 3 times the amount you think you need that way when you are ready for the next expansion your are already half done. Be sure to run tests on any wires you have run before and after installation to ensure everything went well.

Next depending on their needs this stage should be done as quickly and painlessly as possible. If you are smart at this stage you would have already tested your servers on a mini network in the corner somewhere and possibly have most of the configurations set. If you did do that it's time to impliment all the new parts into the existing network. Check check double check. Run tests to see that all is going well and bam time for a coffee break.

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