Networking at a new building - Connectivity

This is a discussion on Networking at a new building - Connectivity ; One of my bosses will be looking at buildings for setting up a group that will start with 5 people, but may grow to 30 in the next year. Assume that they will set up a LAN that goes to ...

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  1. Networking at a new building

    One of my bosses will be looking at buildings for setting up a group
    that will start with 5 people, but may grow to 30 in the next year.
    Assume that they will set up a LAN that goes to the internet through a
    proxy server. He wants a list of what the building should have from a
    networking perspective. He wants general requirements and rules of
    thumb to help in making the decision (Something more specific than the
    building should have electricity, but less specific than what kind of
    hardware we should buy.) I realize that I'm throwing out a very
    general question, but I'd be interested in hearing the perspectives of
    anyone who chooses to answer. This will be just one aspect of what
    he's looking at, but if he finds two places he likes and all other
    things being equal...


  2. Re: Networking at a new building

    On 2008-04-16 20:36:58 -0400, smdspamcatcher@hotmail.com said:

    > One of my bosses will be looking at buildings for setting up a group
    > that will start with 5 people, but may grow to 30 in the next year.
    > Assume that they will set up a LAN that goes to the internet through a
    > proxy server. He wants a list of what the building should have from a
    > networking perspective. He wants general requirements and rules of
    > thumb to help in making the decision (Something more specific than the
    > building should have electricity, but less specific than what kind of
    > hardware we should buy.) I realize that I'm throwing out a very
    > general question, but I'd be interested in hearing the perspectives of
    > anyone who chooses to answer. This will be just one aspect of what
    > he's looking at, but if he finds two places he likes and all other
    > things being equal...



    Here's a short list of things to consider, certainly not complete, but
    from the annals of my experience...

    - Make sure the wiring provided to each desk is at least CAT5/CAT5E or
    CAT6 quality, buy something like a Fluke tester or hire someone with
    one to test the cabling for conformance to CAT5/CAT5E or CAT6 standards
    for Ethernet. CAT3 is no longer acceptable in today's world, and will
    sometimes suitably support CAT3. This is quite important - lousy
    cabling means random, difficult-to-troubleshoot network problems.

    - Consider whether or not you'd like to use VoIP, and Ethernet-powered
    phones with PoE, Power-Over-Ethernet. This means you theoretically need
    only one cable per desk (one run to a wiring closet with a network
    switch that supports PoE, most VoIP phones will support the attachment
    of another Ethernet device to them, like a PC).

    - Is there a real wiring closet or someplace where one can be
    constructed? Placing network equipment in under-ventilated spaces or in
    janitor closets is not a good idea.

    - Lots of choices in the proxy / firewall department, not worried about
    that so much.

    - Consider whether or not you want each office to have local servers
    for authentication and disk service, or centralize everything at an HQ
    location, considering that if your HQ location gets cut off from a
    satellite office, you may lose authentication and remote disk services
    people need.

    - Two separate Internet connections from two different Internet
    providers is desire-able for businesses in today's day-and-age, IMHO,
    the price is cheap enough these days for DSL-type technologies. You can
    use something like FatPipe to load-balance and/or provide redundancy.

    - If wireless is desired, it *must* be secured, and you might want to
    check out the physical aspects of the office, such as metal studs in
    the walls, etc. that can get in the way of the signal. PoE is a nice
    technology to power wireless AP's in the ceiling, but check your local
    building codes first - cities have different rules about what quality
    and type of cabling, if at all, can be run through a ceiling and how,
    for fire prevention purposes. Testing an office for wireless "quality"
    can be laborious, and professionally expensive. An easy way is to pack
    one of Apple's Airport Express devices and a laptop with you. Plug it
    in somewhere in the office, walk around with your laptop and see how
    the signal strength is in places. Not scientific, but practical and
    quick.

    Hope this helps a bit - good luck and best wishes for success!

    /dmfh

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