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first major network responsibility

Discussion in 'Networking' started by cs_phillips, Sep 28, 2003.

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  1. cs_phillips

    cs_phillips Thread Starter

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    I was recently given the responsibility to manage the network at my office.

    I came into a hodge podge mess of os's (win 95 through xp pro as well as OS 9.2) and a pretty ugly hub/switch setup that even someone with my limited experience can see was going to be a problem. (of the 20 machines on the network, 15 of them are running at 10 MB/sec).

    I set up a satellite shop for the company about 4 months ago with 15 brand new dells with gigabit nics and a netgear 24 port gigabit switch and that little LAN is running great, the problem now is that I need to upgrade the main office as well.

    I couldn't drop another 1400.00 on another gigabit switch (and it really isn't necessary throughtout the entire office) so I got a 26 port netgear autosensing switch (24 10/100 ports and 2 1 gig/sec modules for future use)

    Our server OS is win server 2k and the current hub/switch setup consists of a 3com 10/100 managed switch (which is where the server cable plugs in) and two awful t-base 10 hubs.

    The guy before me had also assigned all static IP's throughout the network, which I'm still trying to explain to myself.

    Finally, however, is where my problem originates. I put the new switch in the rack and have tried several iterations of cabling combinations but am running into some pretty weird problems.

    1) Some of the machines will not see the network if I plug them into the switch directly. However, if I jump from the new switch (where the server is now plugged in) to the old slow hubs I can see the network, albeit at 10 mb/sec.

    2) And none of the machines in the office can see the internet.

    My question(s) is/are:

    Is my whole problem a server/server os configuration issue?
    In the satellite shop I wasn't running a server, just plugged all the machines in and viola network.
    Do I have to tell win server 2k that I'm running an autosensing switch or what?
    Also, I have several printers/scanners on the network. If my inclination is correct those machines will have to have static tcp/ip ports but can I run the rest of the network (i.e. the pc/mac machines) on dhcp?

    I apologize for getting so long-winded, but this issue is really eating up my days and nights and I need to get it put to bed.

    Thanks in advance for any response and/or help
     
  2. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    I personally would switch all your machines over to DHCP if you have a DHCP server running on your network. I would setup your 2K server to give out IP addresses. Can the 2k server get out onto the internet.

    Would kind of like you to draw us a picture of your network. How does everything get out onto the Internet. What is connected to your Broadband modem. Is it DSL or Cable?

    I would assign static IP's to the Printers.

    Gigabit nics!!!! I guess if they want to pay for it. We have over 400 pc's on our Network and only run 100mb. I have never seen a slow down.

    Just want to get a feel for what kind of background you have with Networks. Do you have any formal education with basic network connectivity. Do you have a cable tester at your disposal. If not, tell your company to buy you one. You cant do your job without one.
     
  3. cs_phillips

    cs_phillips Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the QUICK reply.

    I'm still trying to get a handle on the whole layout of this thing. Just from what I've found out so far, it looks like a really messy star topology.

    We actually have a fractured T1 line for broadband. Sometimes it's great sometimes I've had better up and down times with my old cable modem.

    and thanks for the dhcp suggestion. the guy that set all this up somehow convinced my boss (who is also the owner of the company) that static ip's are the way to go and i'm beating my head against the wall to get him to switch. (i think i'll just do it though)

    as for the gigabit connections, we are a litagation imaging service and deal with somewhere in the neighborhood of 120,000 tiffs a day back and forth between the departments not to mention the creative services department sending these HUGE oversize prints and proofs to the digital printers. Boss said he wanted fast, and I said fine...here's the bill.

    In regards to my formal education in networking, that consists of "I can't get to the shared drive" or "My email's not working". I've bought and read book upon book, but most of what I know I've learned from boards and online stuff.

    And in answer to your last question, I do have a cable tester. It has been my best friend over the last week or so. I failed to mention that more than half the cables coming into the rack went labled in anyway. I was SOOOO happy to see that.

    again thanks, and I'll try to get a drawing of the network later today.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Since all of the machines are currently connected, I think I'd do the DHCP conversion first and get all that running, then start with the new switch. I'm at a loss as to why an unmanaged switch should affect the network at all, there may be something hiding there that you don't see. :)
     
  5. jghost5

    jghost5

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    I have recently been put into the same shoes you are wearing and have the same Education level as yourself.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one in the boat.
     
  6. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    I would give anything to be in either of your shoes. I have the education, there is just no job openings where I live.
     
  7. scottosan

    scottosan

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    My guess is that there are some settings on your switch, not forwarding packets. Unless you are moving large files between PC's constantly, you should be overly concerned about running gigabit for such a small network. 20 PC's is a reletively small network 10/100 managed "quality" switches would be my first choice. Netgear is not ideal for professional setups. I am running 150 PC's and 15+ network printers through several 48 10/100 port switches. I have several fiber connections where my bw drops to 10MB and the entire network runs smoothly. Also, are you running any VLans?
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I agree that something is not as described, since there seems to be an issue getting data through what would appear to be a very simple configuration.
     
  9. cs_phillips

    cs_phillips Thread Starter

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    finally, after a day of trial and error and a call to a network guru buddy of mine, the problem was solved. whomever dropped the line from the firewall appliance to the switch laid the cable ACROSS the top of a florecsent lighting fixture. in my pulling on the cables while installing the new switch, i apparently pushed the shielding past its limits. repossitioned the cable, and everything works.

    as for the gigabit connectivity, that was more of a 'demand' by my boss. as i stated earlier, we handle litagation imaging/scanning and do deal with insane file transfer sizes. 6-7 gig folders are on the conservative side of the norm. with all of the quality control issues that are required for this type of imaging, the files are moved several times during the course of the production cycle and we are always under the most incredible deadlines and turnaround times.

    thanks to all for your input and responses.

    look forward to hanging out in here
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Glad it was easy to solve. For your future wiring, you may want to consider shielded CAT5e cable, especially if it's going to be carrying gigabit. :)
     
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