October 29th, 2003, 10:32 PM
Hi, all. I've just been given the opportunity to design the kind of network dreams are made of. First I'll give you a head's up of what the network is going to consist of, and then some ideas I had for it. There is a budget, but it's high enough that it's not even worth mentioning at this point. A lot of you are obviously really into networking equipment, having setup large business and enterprise sized networks. Most of what I have done is small businesses where cost is the main determining factor, so this is something I need some help with.
The business is a corporate training company. The offices will be spread across two buildings. The first building will have 18 computers on the first floor, and 12 computers on the second floor. The second building, will be about 250 meters away, across what will become a parking lot. Since the lot is not layed down yet, we'll be able to pull cabling between the two buildings. The company already has a host for it's web site, so I don't need to worry about a web server, but their database server has to be offline, while all workstations need to be online. Although currently quite small, the two buildings are being designed for significant expansion (up to a total of about 450 workstations across the buildings). The business also owns all of the surrounding lots, so they may end up moving out over the next 10 or so years, so I want to make sure it's set up right from the start. Speed and security are the two main concerns for the network. EDIT: By the way, they're planning on pulling in a T3 line for Internet connectivity.
First off, the business requires Windows 2000 and XP Pro workstations, so I'm going with Windows 2003-based servers for the database server and the domain server. I'm also (obviously) going with a ethernet network. Since speed is an issue, I was thinking of going with 1 Gbps connections to each of the workstations with a 10 Gbps backbone for the servers and between the two buildings. For the connection between the buidlings, I was looking into pulling fiber with Ethernet to Fiber (EoF) adapters connecting the two subnetworks. I'm considering also setting up a 802.11g wireless network for the trainers to use their laptops during presentations, but I may drop that if it turns out they won't be using laptops (I'm still waiting on confirmation of that). Either way, that's something I can always add later.
Based on that, can you guys give me any advice on what hardware you'd recommend? I'm leaning towards Cisco equipment, but I don't know much about high-end Cisco equipment, so any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.