Simpler Navigation for Servers and Operating Systems - Please Update Your Bookmarks
Completed: a much simpler Servers and Operating Systems section of the Community. We combined many of the older boards, so you won't have to click through so many levels to get at the information you need. Check the consolidated boards here as many sub-forums are now single boards.
If you have bookmarked forums or discussion boards in Servers and Operating Systems, we suggest you check and update them as needed.
Networking
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Networking 5 computers

Alice M. Williams
Occasional Advisor

Networking 5 computers

I am an IT student and the scenario that was given to me back my instructor is:
A friend of your family owns and operates a large walking horse farm, he has 5 computers that is not networked. He has ask you to design a network for the operation. The main objective is to share files/data and be able to update and query files/datafrom amyof the 5 locations. network security is extremely important. #1 A P4 running on a Linux operating system. Located in the upstairs office of the main hour, approx 1/4 mile from the closest barn. #2 A P3 running ona Windows 200 operating system. Located in the downstairs study of the main house. aprox 1/4 mile to the closest barn. #3 An old 486 running on a Windows 95 operating system. located in one of the barns. approx 100 yards from the closest barn. #4 and #5 are both P4s running on a XP operating systems. located in the main barn about 100 feet from each other. This barn is approx 150 yards fro the closest barn. There is a high voltage trasmission line approx 1/4 mile from the closest barn. It shouldn't be a problem but, the owner is very concerned about data security and doesn't want to take any changes. all of the barns have telephone service.
18 REPLIES
Mark Greene_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

How much help has your instructor said you can get with this?

mark
the future will be a lot like now, only later
Alice M. Williams
Occasional Advisor

Re: Networking 5 computers

He did not say. But it is not a test, it is a graded discussion. I had an idea and I think that I have the correct answer written out on paper. But he want us to draw a design. If could sent you an attachment to show what I have, My class is on line and there is somethings that I don't understand and it is due tomorrow, so I don't have time for him to answer me back.
Thanks
Dwyane Everts_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Alice,

I know this is due tomorrow, and I'm not real sure how advanced this class is, but here are a couple hints to help you think "outside the box."

1. DSL (Phone lines, right?)
2. Linux (IP Chains/firewall and routing capable)
3. ZoneAlarm (freeware firewall for Win95, www.zonealarm.com)
4. W2K and XP have built in security, just confiure it

This is a graded discussion, so I can't just give you a configuration...that would be cheating :)~ .

Good luck, and have fun :)
Dwyane
James A. Donovan
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

First question: What's the budget?

Second question: How are backups being handeld? Backups are a very important, yet very often ingored aspect of system security. After all, if you get hacked, or in this case, if the barn burns down, how are you going to recover?

also...don't bother trying to install XP on the 486. The 80486 architecture is "ancient" and will not support XP. An operating system upgrade is not going to magically make that into a P4 system. You're better off installing a couple of network cards in the 486, installing linux (read-only) and configuring it as your router/gateway to the internet. You can do a google search to find HOWTO papers on configuring such a system.
Remember, wherever you go, there you are...
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Alice:

I know today is the 17th but I hope this helps you.

Assuming an unlimited budget (this is obviously hypothetical ;^) ), I would run underground fiber between the main house and each of the buildings with switching hubs in each location. I would install a secure server in the main house in a locked, cooled closet with the hub and phone line access. No files should be saved on the individual computers but all saved to the server (except the OS, of course). The server files should be backed up daily (at least the new files).

Windows 95 is not a secure OS. That computer should be replaced! All others should have a password-protected screensaver.

That's the big picture.

Make a great day!

Roger
Make a great day!

Roger
Jon Finley
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Another thought... "All of the barns have telephone service".. If all of the available lines have NOT been used, you can use one set of wires for a "twisted pair" setup. this would be like an in-house network. The only issue would be the distance. 384 feet is the max you can go without a repeater.

You could go wireless in the house (using encryption of course) connecting to another access point in the barn, then wired through the phone line between the other barns.

The last thought, is to go totally wireless
(You still want to go encrypted).
The main barn would house the access point, and all locations surrounding it would have wireless cards. If needed, an additional directional (yaggi) antennia can be focused towards the house.

Jon
"Do or do not. There is no try!" - Yoda
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Very interesting ..
1.st question: scenario is time limited? Becuase your scenario need an expert workgroup to solve problem and keep future mantenaince. Your friend has Linux, Win2K, Win95 and WinXP; yes it's only ipotetical but this may be a real situation where everybody has builded a his own system and now you have to build an integrated system.
2.nd question: what's the scope? #3,#4 and #5 have located in barns; I presume they have limitated traffic from/to central server in main farm; because all the barns have telephone service, this hint a point-to-point connection within modem. In this way you make no change (as the owner will), you keep security, and installation is very simple.
Again:
Server Linux hint me using a central application based on web: all client PC have browser so you can make the major work on unique machine.
This is the cheapest an simpliest solution for my mind.

@Antoniov
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Alice M. Williams
Occasional Advisor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Hi Anthony

I have attached my answer that I sent in. Is it right. What do you think about it.
Thanks
Alice
Alice M. Williams
Occasional Advisor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Please read my attachment and tell me what you think.
Alice
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Alice:

Your solution looks like you waited for the last minute to create it. If I were your professor I would probably give you a passing (barely) grade for it. Of course, the professor might have given you just the weekend to come up with an answer (which makes research more problematic). I like Antoniov's idea of keeping the Linux machine in the main house and using it as a server (but that requires more information about how the computers are used).

Good luck to you.

Roger
Make a great day!

Roger
Alice M. Williams
Occasional Advisor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Thanks Roger

Ganesh Babu
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

it looks ok, i would have gone for windows 2000 as the main server. Also as Roger said the document seems to be prepared in the last moment and not presented well..

Anyway all the best.

Ganesh
Alice M. Williams
Occasional Advisor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Your all of telling me that it was not presented well. This the first discussion or project that has been given to us. I take my classes on-line. the instructor has not given us anything but the scenario that I wrote in my question. I know nothing about the linux operating system, because the book only told us that it is up and coming. We have not be instructed on how to write a presention.
Ganesh Babu
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Hi
I would alteast expect a computer gif image instead of a circle to indicate a computer.

Even though it may not be instructed but it is just a creative thought. That is all.

In my college, we usually have some percentage of marks for the presentation of the assignments, even thought they have not told how to present. We learnt ourselves. I am not sure in your case.

Ganesh
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Alice:

I guarantee that no one here is deliberately trying to hurt your feelings. We could hardly be aware of all those things you said in your last message. If that is the case, then either your instructor is trying to get a feel for the technical level of the class (most likely) or the course has some pre-requisite(s) that you haven't taken. Whatever it is, it's not earth-shaking and there's no reason why you couldn't be advising us about network design in 6 months. Please accept my apology if I've hurt you.

Make a great day!

Roger
Make a great day!

Roger
Ganesh Babu
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Hi Alice,
Me too trying to give u some tips which might help u. Not hurt u. If i had hurt your feelings.. i am sorry about that..

Cheers :-)

Ganesh
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Hi Alice,
I tell you my own idea;
You post update all PC: I think if you colud choice platform your instructor told you "project a network with 5 PC , etc." but he told you have a main PC with Linux, etc.
So I think you could make a little change otherwise it too far easy. When I come to my customer, the existly h/w is a feature of problem.
Same for fiber-optic line; in Italy a fiber-optic line it's expensive, I don't know if in U.S.A. it's cheaper; my feel your project it's expensive (obviously it's not a real problem).
I think main server can remain Linux; you could install Apache, PHP and PHP Nuke to make a simple CMS (Context Management System); PHP is very easy to use, you can find many comunity and leave client as they are. If you use Perl instead of PHP, it more powerful but it's little difficult than PHP.
Linux leave you a big fredoom of choice, you can find many open source project and it more robust than xp.
It's only my idea.
Good Luck.

@Antoniov
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Dwyane Everts_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Networking 5 computers

Alice,

How did you do? It appears based on the discussions that your instructor was trying to get a feel for each persons experience level. It also appears that you were given quite a few good ideas, and now that the discussion is over, here are the answers to my hints, so that you have an idea for future projects:

(Please keep in mind, I'm usually tasked with projects like this all the time on a budgetary constraint)

1. DSL (Phone lines, right?)
Fiber is expensive in any language! Frame-relay isn't much better. This project calls for you to construct a network in barns; do you honestly think a farmer is going to have money to spend on a lot of upgrades? Phone companies are using a newer technology called MPLS. Basically, its a private network using existing internet/VPN technology. You can research it on Google.

2. Linux (IP Chains/firewall and routing capable)
Linux is no longer an up and coming OS. Its rapidly becoming the standard. In fact, I'm told even the new "Microslop" OS, due out early next year, is Linux-based at the kernal level. Linux is Unix in nature, and has a built-in firewall (IP Chains) and has the ability to route. This makes it a perfect server in this instance. You won't have to purchase expensive routers and network hardware, Linux will do it for you. If you intend on having a serious career in IT, take some courses on Linux, specifically the Red Hat Linux flavor!
Linux also has a protocol called Samba. This works the same as a Windows-based network share.
Since Linux is Unix-based, you can also install the DNS protocols here (BIND/named).

3. ZoneAlarm (freeware firewall for Win95, www.zonealarm.com)
Your 486 PC is ancient, and I would recommend upgrading it in very near future. However, until the farmer can afford to upgrade; download and install ZoneAlarm. Its free and works EXTREMELY well.

4. W2K and XP have built in security, just configure it
Self explanatory.

-- Now each system is networked, and basic security is installed. You have internet connectivity; and using personal email accounts, you both phone and email communications. Linux also has a print spooler protocol that allows for network printers (if asked).

-- System backups was touched, but according to the scenerio, not a requirement. However, I would advise CD-burners for each PC, even Linux has this capability :).

Budget:
DSL - $40/month x 5 sites = $200/month
Mini hubs (if you need them) - $25 each
NIC for 486 - $25
CD-burners - $50 each

Good luck with your course :)
Dwyane

BTW! This project should only take 1 work week once DSL is installed. 3 days for installation, 2 days for troubleshooting/fine tuning.