1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

New and saying hello...

Discussion in 'Networking' started by LeMec, Feb 21, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. LeMec

    LeMec Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    I have been asked to take over "The IT guy" duties for a charity organisation.

    Although I am a programmer by trade, I have a very limited knowledge of networking, but I figured, "How hard can that be?".

    Well the answer is: "Very hard!" So I need some basic advice. I have been reading a lot of documentation in order to even try to post an intelligent question.

    We have a small office network with about 34 hosts (4 network printers and about 30 PCs).

    Sometimes our network gets very slow. Our users make extensive use of file sharing and a lot of files are simply stored on our server and users access them through map drives.

    We have one server (Win Server 2003 R2). It is a decent machine. I am trying to figure out if a small change(I won't tackle more than that now) can help performance.

    Here is our setup:

    Cable Modem --> Router ->
    Our server plugs in to our router(I am not sure if it is the best way, please give feedback), along with 3 other switches.

    All our hosts are connected to those switches.

    We also have an internet cafe area, where one cable comes off one of the switches into a 5 port hub and where 4 computer are connected.

    Our switches are only "Fast Ethernet" and I am pretending that getting Gigabit Ethernet switches would help.

    Also, Should we get a good switch, have it come off the router, and have the server, printers and other switches conneted
    to it?

    Every feedback is very encouraged and welcomed as I will learn from every comment.

    Regards.
     
  2. ETech7

    ETech7

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    Upgrade all your switches/hubs to Gigabit and plug devices into them, also check cabling - should be at least Cat5e. I would connect internet cafe switch directly to the router and restrict their (guests) access to internet only, if your firewall/router lets you do that.
     
  3. LeMec

    LeMec Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the quick response.

    The reason I thought of having one fast switch connected to the router and the server and other switches coming off that switch is so I can install a file server on each of these secondary switch to try to "contain traffic" within a switch.

    Would the extra hop cause more harm then benefit?

    I will definitely try your suggestion for the internet cafe computers. Thanks.
     
  4. ETech7

    ETech7

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    I was suggesting the following:
    Router LAN port -> Gb 24port switch -> Gb 24port switch - connect all your office workstations, printers and server to them (2 switches). You could go with 36port switch, that is kinda pricey.
    Router LAN port -> Gb 5-8port switch -> cafe guests.
    Basically let the router manage only internet traffic, separate cafe, update devices and cabling where needed.
     
  5. LeMec

    LeMec Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    I see. Thanks

    I think that internet cafe users will have to do with one of the "Fast Ethernet" switch that we have.

    But, yes I am trying to convince them to invest in 1 or 2 GB switches.

    So server would be on the 24 Gb that comes of Router, along with printers and "important" users. And I would daisy chain one switch(Until we can afford a big 48 port one) to plug in the rest of the users.

    And the extra file server on the daisy chained switch would not help that much? I figured that people accessing shared folders on that one would not need a hop and leave the other/first switch free for internet access and accessing their own file server which in their case will also be the DC.

    Am i reading too much into this? Is this not going to make a difference?

    Thanks
     
  6. ETech7

    ETech7

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    The second FS may help, but I think not in terms of improving network speeds, but offloading the main server. Only now users will have to map at least two drives and remember what is where. And are you suggesting 2 DC on one LAN? Or you want to use one of the servers as DC and FS? I think if you be getting one more server, you'd rather use one as FS and another as a DC. And if you guys do a lot of internet media downloading/streaming, your WAN link will be more likely the bottleneck, not your LAN (devices).
     
  7. LeMec

    LeMec Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Ok, I think I got valuable information.

    So to recap...And in a sort of priority order...

    1) Take out the server from the Router and plug it to a switch...
    2) Take out the hub that connects the 4 internet cafe computers and plug it into the router(Make that a small switch)
    3) Get a faster switch(GB) and plug the server and important hosts and daisy chain another switch that will have the rest of the hosts(Eventually get another GB switch for that too)
    4) Get another Server, and use it as a file server revealing pressure on the DC server. Plug it in second switch and have the hosts on that switch store their files on it.
    5) Check the connections on the switches, make sure they are GB if not check cabling.

    And if that does work, than get another job ;)

    Thanks for your help.
     
  8. LeMec

    LeMec Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    One more thing...

    Any suggestion for a free tool that I can use to make my life easier, to see where bottlenecks are etc...
    Feel free to suggest things that are already included in Windows server 2003 as I am just getting around to learn this.
     
  9. ETech7

    ETech7

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    2) Has to be switch, not a hub.
    4) I don't know what are your storage requirements, but look into NAS - network attached storage. That can be cheaper and more efficient for your needs.
    5) Depending on your server and workstations hardware, you may have to upgrade their network adapters if they are only 10/100Mb. If all your devices (PCs, switches) are Gb and some still get transfer rates less then 100Mb, then investigate cabling also. But unless it was done long ago and on a budget, it should be fine.

    Can't recommend any free ones, but take a look at AppNeta
    I would also recommend a dedicated firewall to manage your network traffic and control the network. Take a look at pfSense. It's free (OS) but very respectable. Linux based, but shouldn't be a turn off for a programmer.
    You don't even need to buy a box for it, can be installed on existing hardware or used as a VM.
     
  10. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Similar Threads - saying hello
  1. tyka88
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    372
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/1090465

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice