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Wired Networks Thread, How would you set up this network? in Technical; We have a building arrangement at a remote campus as follows, the distances range from about 20 to 100m between ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    How would you set up this network?

    We have a building arrangement at a remote campus as follows, the distances range from about 20 to 100m between buildings, and all have direct line of site back to the main building:

    howdoyou.png

    We want to have wireless connectivity in each building, and also wireless p2p links back to the main building, so all network traffic goes out the filtering firewall.

    We have employed an external contractor to provide the p2p antenna and links and stuff, and I went to check up on it over the weekend...

    The way it has been set up is completely different from the way I would have done it, so what I'm looking for is to get some ideas of how you guys would do it, including how you would IP addresses you would use, so I know I am right in thinking he is making real a mess of things..

    The firewall device is set for DHCP to give out IPs to the wireless clients.
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 1st August 2011 at 03:59 AM.

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Edit: Ugh kinda misread the the OP so a more correct answer to the post: Depends on how you want the IP addressing to be, there is no correct or incorrect answer for that, you would subnet each one or create one big network, I would probably go for the former myself. Also are the set up as seperate wifi points with different SSIDs or a all combined thing?.

    ----
    What are the distances between the buildings and what are they used for?

    (I'm no expert on wireless) But are you sure you want wireless? Those distances + groups of students probably would drag the students down pretty bad, but are you planning for each to to be a point to point wireless back to the main building or some sort of mesh.

    Without knowing more, I would probably consider fibreing from main to 3 and 5 and then depending on the distances between those and the other buildings a few installs of standard ethernet, then if you want wireless as well you can do a mesh between them as well as also having a decent wired connection.


    Although if you had enough money I would do fibre to each building but I bet you don't.
    Last edited by p858snake; 1st August 2011 at 09:06 AM.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Yes I'm sure I want wireless. Each building back to the main.

    The buildings are a variety of dorm rooms and class rooms. Its just a remote campus we use for one term out the year for a 'camp' type thing, there's never more than 50 folk there. There is no network to speak of, no servers, just a slow internet link in the main building. The wireless links back to the main building are just to provide internet only to the buildings. Nothing fancy. There's never more than 20 or so using the internet at a time.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Even with no one in there most of the time you will still want something that works 100% of the time without any hastle - and wireless radio links between the points probably isn't the best way to go.
    Idealy if you can laser links or at best just some Cat6 between the sites and then your Wireless APs inside.

    With so few devices one single subnet range would work fine

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    I would Laser Link the buildings, no drag on bandwidth, will work regardless of air pressure etc.

    And I would cross link every building for redundancy just in case one link fails there is another route for it to take.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    wireless is fine, im not looking for alternative technologies. The internet is only 2MB ADSL so theres no point in having anything faster / better for the local links coz all traffic is just web traffic. Its a different matter that the internet will be slow, thats fine, I just want to know how others would do this using 802.11 Wireless.

    At the moment the guy has set up all sorts of weird different subnets between each building to the main, and is using NAT (?!!?) to talk from one network to the other. Each building has its own DHCP server and gives out IPs on whatever network is in that building. Im trying to tell my boss this guy is a cowboy and what he is doing is ludicrous.

    What Im really lookign for is someone to go:

    192.168.0.1/24 give each AP an IP between .2 and .20 give the firewall .0.1 and set dhcp for 100-200.
    Each Access point within the buildings should have the same SSID with the same WPA key, and the point to point links can be on the same network with the same key.

    Thats the way I would set it up, the 3rd party guy is doing all sorts of wierdness, and Im looking for others suggestions to see if my way of doing it is the simplest / would work.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd be looking at some form of wireless mesh, if I were using wireless for the task.

    On a config level, for such a small number of users, I'd stick with a single subnet for the lot, sticking a cache/proxy next to the internet connection/firewall.

    50 users max is a small network, whatever way you look at it, and it won't tax a wireless connection so long as you have enough access points etc..

    But that would all be based on the 'KISS' principal...

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    wireless is fine, im not looking for alternative technologies. The internet is only 2MB ADSL so theres no point in having anything faster / better for the local links coz all traffic is just web traffic. Its a different matter that the internet will be slow, thats fine, I just want to know how others would do this using 802.11 Wireless.

    At the moment the guy has set up all sorts of weird different subnets between each building to the main, and is using NAT (?!!?) to talk from one network to the other. Each building has its own DHCP server and gives out IPs on whatever network is in that building. Im trying to tell my boss this guy is a cowboy and what he is doing is ludicrous.

    What Im really lookign for is someone to go:

    192.168.0.1/24 give each AP an IP between .2 and .20 give the firewall .0.1 and set dhcp for 100-200.
    Each Access point within the buildings should have the same SSID with the same WPA key, and the point to point links can be on the same network with the same key.

    Thats the way I would set it up, the 3rd party guy is doing all sorts of wierdness, and Im looking for others suggestions to see if my way of doing it is the simplest / would work.
    Indeed, that is making a simple network overly complex - it'd be like me setting up each classroom here to have its own SSID. Crazy.

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    ring topology or do some more meshing; run e.g. OSPF within the P2P links between them. So that ring would be your core. Every building gets its owh subnet. You want wifi? Depending on the distance, put in something like like the Nanostation from Products | Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. with strong antennas for layer 2 connectivity. For the routing part you can take e.g. Mikrotik 450G.
    Last edited by snoerre; 2nd August 2011 at 06:19 PM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I think keeping everything on the same subnet would make a lot of sense. It doesn't make sense having multiple subnets for 50 users.

    Personally I would have wired all the buildings using CAT5e or Fibre (where required), using a single DHCP server in the main site. After all, this is where your internet feed is coming from anyway. I don't see what you would gain allocating your Access Points ranges of IPs to distribute and I would stick to the same SSID, so users can move from site to site.

    The ultimate question however, if this is your patch and you're expected to manage it - why aren't you being consulted how you'd like it set up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    At the moment the guy has set up all sorts of weird different subnets between each building to the main, and is using NAT (?!!?) to talk from one network to the other. Each building has its own DHCP server and gives out IPs on whatever network is in that building. Im trying to tell my boss this guy is a cowboy and what he is doing is ludicrous.
    I'm not so sure about putting a (physical) DHCP server in each building, but there is a certain amount of logic in what he's doing.
    For example; in places we have set up 2 host subnets (VLANs) between two switches - the point being that broadcast traffic for other domains doesn't get sent down the main uplink. The routing for some of those mini-domains is done on the switches in that location (where the near edge switches are good enough), to take unnecessary load off the core.
    We use this on 10GBe links, but it could be even more useful on wireless links where bandwidth is at a premium. Likewise we VLAN separate network areas, and in a sense have different DHCP subnets for different buildings, which is quite common.

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    hmmm your cowboy appears to be setting it up as if he's catering for 100s of users and 100s of computers, which as you say you never have more than 50 means he's making it far more complex than it needs to be.

    How he's trying to set you up is a similar way i have my entire network setup for 1200 users and 600 PCs!!

    Is it literally just 5 builds that need to receive the internet wirelessly and that's it? nothing more?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I'm not so sure about putting a (physical) DHCP server in each building, but there is a certain amount of logic in what he's doing.
    For example; in places we have set up 2 host subnets (VLANs) between two switches - the point being that broadcast traffic for other domains doesn't get sent down the main uplink. The routing for some of those mini-domains is done on the switches in that location (where the near edge switches are good enough), to take unnecessary load off the core.
    We use this on 10GBe links, but it could be even more useful on wireless links where bandwidth is at a premium. Likewise we VLAN separate network areas, and in a sense have different DHCP subnets for different buildings, which is quite common.
    Read above, only 50 users!

    Off topic: how many Vlans, PCs and users do you have to warrant 10GB links?
    Last edited by mrbios; 2nd August 2011 at 06:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post

    Read above, only 50 users!

    Off topic: how many Vlans, PCs and users do you have to warrant 10GB links?
    Including all our point to point OSPF networks we have around 18 VLAN's catering for around 700 machines.

    I appreciate it might seem a bit overkill for a small network, but keeping a network segregated properly with fast uplinks means you have much more capacity for expansion as well as running network intensive applications without having to worry.

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