In article <50h0jk$...@itw.com>, @ImageBiz.com says...
>In <50gqal$...@nntp.ucs.ubc.ca>, f...@unixg.ubc.ca (FM) writes:
>>I need some (lots) of advice about setting up a small LAN.
>>I am being contracted to design/install/setup/configure an
>>office LAN (small law firm), which, when I'm done, will
>>consist of around 10 workstations and a server. In addition
>>to file/print sharing services, other features required are
>>internet connectivity, e-mail and remote file/resource access.
>>Currently, their office consists of non-networked DOS/Windows
>>workstations, and the bulk of their work is done with WP5.1
>>for DOS, and some other law-specific applications, such as MANAC.
>>There are 3 486SX machines, 4 386DX machines, and 3 LaserJet III
>>printers. I am planning to decommision the 386s, upgrade the
>>486s, build 3 or 4 new Pentium workstations, and upgrade the
>>whole client side to Win95. I figure that I can ease them away
>>from WP5.1 and into MS Office 95.
>I wouldn't be so sure of that. Moving away from a DOS-based word processor
>is one of the biggest reluctancies that I've found dealing with various
>This really isn't a problem, though, as I assume that WP5.1 will run under
Yes- but you really want to try and move the users away from DOS Applications
as quickley as possible. If you are looking at MSoft Office - then sell them
the idea that they can use WordPerfect Keys in MSWord - and have the extra
functionality of a good WYSIWYG Word Processor. After only a matter of days,
users will be using MS Word like pro's !
>>The server that I am planning to build will look something like:
>>CPU: P150 (or higher?)
>>RAM: 64MB DRAM/512KB SRAM
>>HDD: 2 1.2 GB Hard Disks (SCSI or is EIDE ok?)
>Some of the newest EIDE drives are significantly faster than SCSI drives of
>similar capacity. Seriously consider and look into the Western Digital
>WDCAC31600 drive (1.6 gig). It's one of the absolute fastest, and most
>drives I've ever used.
EIDE is fine for workstations. They are very quick, yes - but no where near
as quick as WIDE FAST SCSI2. However, they are certainly cheaper.
So why opt for SCSI ? The easiest way to explain is EXPANSION and RAID
contingency (whether RAID 2,3 or 5). Have you ever tried adding a second EIDE
drive to a PC ? Takes a little bit of time - right, try adding a third ! I
promise, you'll be at it for hours !
Look into SCSI - and if data is going to be stored onto the Server (ie as a
File Server) - then look into Mirroring, Duplexing or RAID 5.
What are the benefits of either ?
Mirroring is literally copying everything from one drive to another. Anything
written on Drive A is also written on Drive B - because this is usually
Hardware Controlled, then if the Drive A fails, Drive B automatically takes
over - ie contingent against drive failure.
Duplexing is the same as Mirroring, but uses 2 Drive Controllers. This means
that if the DRIVE controller fails - you are still contingent. The extra
benefit is read-ahead-writes with duplexing - ie 2 controllers mean that you
run much faster
RAID 5 is the fastest option and requires less drives than the above when
utilising LARGE volumes. RAID 5 uses a minimum of 3 drives to "SPAN" the data
across. The Volume Size would be a maximum size of 2 of the drives put
together - however if ANY of the drives fails, then the data is still across
the others. Full contigency - and with technology like Compaq's - you can
have hot-pluggable drives - ie pull the drive out while the server is still
running. This is expensive for small volumes - but for VERY large data
volumes, very cheap compared to Duplexing. RAID 10 is a cross between RAID 5
and Duplexing - Unbelievably expensive, but you have 2 SMART SCSI Controllers
doing the job and a minimum of 6 drives - only used in special cases !
>>FDD: 1.44 MB
>>CDR: 6x CDROM
>>NIC: 3Com 3C509B-TP
>>TAPE: don't know yet (tape or zip drive?)
>Scrap the ZIP drive, they're crap. Look into one of the Travan tape drives,
>if backup needs are large (full backup of every machine every day?) look into
>getting a SCSI DAT tape drive.
Thats the other reason for going SCSI as much as possible - single controller
controls ALL of the devices ! DAT Drives are cheaper and cheaper these days.
NIC not really important how fast since only 10 users on this network -
however, make sure a "popular" brand of 32bit NIC is used (EISA or even PCI) -
so reliability is secured.
>>ISDN: don't know yet (suggestions?)
>>MODEM: USR 28,8/33,6
>>MAINBOARD: Acer/Tyan/Asus (any suggestions?)
>>CASE/POWER: don't know yet (suggestions?)
>Beware of USR sportster modems. Bypass the issue altogether by getting the
>USR v.everything modem.
We use USR Sportster modems on all our Mail MTA's and on our NT Servers for
RAS. Good, cheap, reliable modems.
However - if you are looking at ISDN as well - perhaps you should be
investigating an ISDN/MODEM router.
>>As for other network hardware, what else am I going to
>>need aside from the hub, nics, and cabling? What brand
>>names should I be looking for? (3Com and ?)
Hubs - well, you need at least 16 ports - SMC do a good 16port 10BaseT hub for
only 250. SMC Cards go for about 40 (remember - these are UK prices -
probably less in US !). Cabling is pretty easy - just talk to a local
Building Manager or the guys who installed the Telephone System. You might
want to "neaten" things up by connecting the hub to a cable unit and have
floor ports cabled up to the unit - easy to add further connections and
smartens up your server room ! For 10 users - keep to Ethernet. Keep it to
10Mps Cards as well since you won't utilise 100Mps
>>How do I connect two or more printers to the server?
>>I assume that there exists some kind of multi-port parallel
>>interface that supports LPT1/2/3. Any ideas? I suppose
>>that I could just set up the other two printers as shared
>>devices on the client workstations, right?
Either/Or !!! Setting printers up on the server - no problems - setting
printers up as Client Shares - problem if that client is switched off -
printer connected using a NetPort - very good solution but you need to pay for
that netport ! Cost is approx 200 - Intel do a good NetPort that means you
literally plug the printer into the network.
>>They may also wish to host their own web-site, and I assume
>>that could be taken care of with an ISDN connection to a
>>local ISP, but my knowledge of ISDN is limited, so any advice
>>on this is greatly appreciated.
ISDN is easy-peasy. No idea where you are (US or Europe) but over here, we
have 64K per channel and 2 channels. In the US that is 56K per channel.
Purchase a "Terminal Adaptor" (ISDN Modem) that "Ties" the 2 channels together
- doubling your i/o. You want access to all workstations and Mail etc etc ?
You gotta look at an ISDN Router. Spider do them - not cheap. 2000 a time.
Cheapest I know is the 3Com SONIX 500 - costs 900. Look hard into whether
you really need something like this - it might be cheaper to give everyone
modems and place your web page on a central server (like mine - check out
http://www.aloha.com/~iq for details !) - you'll CERTAINLY get better
throughput at a MUCH cheaper rate.
>>As for the NOS, my personal bias is OS/2 Warp Server, but I
>>have to consider my client's best interests, so the other
>>choice is WinNT Server (Netware is out of the question).
>>I want to be able to set things up with a minimum fuss, and
>>later train a couple of them to do general maintenance, like
>>file management and backups. Essentially, the NOS must be/have:
>>- easy to install, configure, maintain and upgrade
>>- rock solid reliable and secure
>>- remote file access (very important)
>>- moderately fast file system
>>- internet ready with e-mail capabilities
>>- seamless integration with Windows95 clients
>>- file/program/print/modem sharing
>Having worked with both NTAS (4.0) and Warp Server, I'd recommend Warp
>File sharing is considerably faster than NT4.0, and it's ready to handle the
>additions *today*. It make an overall excellent server.
You want lots of IP and Internet facilities - look at NT. Preferably 3.51.
You want easy to install, configure, remote file access and all of the above ?
NT. You want seamless integration with Win95 clients - definately NT !
I promise you, its cheaper, and much more convenient - its also easier to
expand and maintain and as for setting users up - simple. You want SQL or
Collabrashare later on ? NT.
Of course I would sit down and write a full Strategy document prior to
installation personally - but then, I've had the benefit of hindsight many a
Hope all works out well
IQ Web Design