Setting up a small business network

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BenLawson1

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Aug 29, 2016
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Hello everyone,

I've been asked to setup a small business network. The company currently has two sites, but could be expanding into more sites. The main site has about 40 employees, and the remote site is 10 employees. From what I've gathered, correct me if I'm wrong, this is how a basic network is setup:

ISP modem - router - firewall - switch - Servers/PCs

Would you suggest more than one network for PCs, Servers, printers?

I plan on recommending Dell SonicWall for the firewall but wondering if a dedicated router is needed. What kind of setup would require a dedicated router?

For connectivity between the two offices, thinking about a point-to-point VPN.

What are your thoughts and any suggestions?
 

zx10guy

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Answer for the first question is yes. How much segregation depends on how tightly you want to manage the overall network. The more gates and functions you add to the network the more complex and ultimately the more expertise/labor is required to maintain it. At a minimum, I would put the servers on a separate subnet segregated on your layer 2 via the use of VLANs. Since you're looking at SonicWall firewalls, you can set up a virtual router interface on each subnet you create and have the firewall do the routing between subnets/VLANs. Having the SonicWall in between the subnets will allow you to create access rules to lock down traffic flow (moreover specific traffic flow) going into and out of a specific subnet. Typically you want to really lock down traffic flow in and out of network for the servers. The nice thing is SonicWall natively supports VLAN tagging.

A dedicated router would be dictated by the layer 1 hand off and also by any pure routing functions which firewalls don't typically support. An example is if your ISP provides you with a T1, DS3, OC192, etc connection. Routers have the ability to support these unique WAN type connections. Also the specific protocols you need to run for your environment would dictate the need for a true router such as MPLS/VPLS, GRE, and any routing protocols such as BGP and OSPF. While SonicWall firewalls do have support for OSPF routing, I wouldn't trust a SonicWall to effectively handle an OSPF deployment with a large number of routes and neighbors. Also the routed traffic load and performance you require would dictate whether a router is required.

Your plan for a site to site VPN tunnel is what would be recommended in your scenario.
 
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