need advise on best topology for network

  adihead 16:00 26 Jan 2006

I want to establish a network for small business purposes. I currently have a star topology off a netgear 4 port wireless router which i run two laptops, and a printer. WHat i want to do is establish a file server which will hold about 40GB of digital pictures, 40GB digital video, 10GB other documention and 25GB of digital music. I want to be able to access the files both remotely and when connected to the network. What i thought i would do is maintain the star topology off the router: printer, two laptops and server. And establish a network through windows xp. I am thinking of buying a Dell Power Edge SC430 for the server (cheap!). I am running all the cable myself. Can you please advise on the best topology for the network, software and steps to take to establish the network (is there anything else i need to think about to serve my purpose)?

Thanks for any help!!

  Mr A! 21:34 26 Jan 2006

you could always build another star topology network and link them via a bridge!

  adihead 17:09 01 Feb 2006

thanks for the reply...


i'm not very techy. i'm looking for a good, simle solution. another star network with a bridge link might be the way to go, but unfortunately i have no idea what that is and therefore can't really assess if this is the right solution for me.

if anyone has a suggestion and can describe in simple terms as far as what it is, how it works, pros and cons and how to set it up (don't have to go into all the details, just enough so that i understand and can work with it).... i'd be more than grateful!

thanks again

  BigMoFoT 09:39 02 Feb 2006

with you I wouldn't be too concerned about the topology - most networks have mixtures of star's, trees etc - I would concentrate on the server\domain setup first and then build up the network. I would build up the server and have a fast backbone, given all the digital media you need - I would definatley recommend gigabit. Can be a little expensive but this all depends on your budget as well. Certainly a gigabit switch at the server and then fibre in between another switch giving you a solid, fast backbone. If gigabit isn't within your budget then standard 10\100 will work but if you have 20 users all pulling the same large video file then things may slow down...

  keewaa 11:28 02 Feb 2006

I recall from a GRC podcast that, if you're very concerned about overall security and want a hack proof system then you need to set up a Y setup with a router/modem connected to the internet and a modem on each arm of the Y, one being dedicated to the server and one to the LAN. But it depend how concerned you are about security.

Adding it to the existing setup would work, but how well do you want it to work and what it needs to do will define what way you progress. Check the upload speed on the internet connection you intend to use is up for the job.

If it's not urgent and have the time to develop it as you go along then try it on your existing setup, and develop it yourself. If it's urgent get an IT network consultant in to do the job.

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