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Author Topic: OT Network question....  (Read 891 times)

Bob Leonard

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2014, 05:57:27 pm »

Someone educate me - why would you distribute 169.x.x.x addresses?  Isn't that what a self assigned ip would start with? 


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Cailen,
Contrary to popular belief the 192.168.x.x network is nothing more than a network which is commonly used for in house subnets. Networks outside the "house", such as those networks used on the WWW are fully licensed, registered, and controlled/monitored. That is not to say the you can't use anything you want for a subnet on your own PRIVATE network, such as the network we are talking about here, or even for a very large company, as long as those addresses are restricted to traffic on your network only. The 169.x.x.x network you're are referring to is probably a loopback address.
 
I get a big kick out of some of the "solutions" I see published on the web, especially on this site. I say that because my day job for the past 30 years has been to design, implement and service some of the largest wide area networks, storage and server farms in the world. That would include a state police department, a "fast lane" network, and the network for a federal agency that gives old people money. It can be fun, and it can be exasperating.
 
The OP's goal here is to provide connectivity to three (3) buildings located in close proximity to each other. That means nothing more than three (3) workgroup solutions and a method for establishing a connection to the outside world (WWW). The OP states the site already has a DSL router being used by all three buildings, and copper running from the outer buildings to the house, so I would do nothing more than what I outline below.
 
The reason behind the use of static IP addresses.
 
The use of static networks has special meaning in larger networks. Servers, storage, firewalls, routers and most devices of that type are ALWAYS given a static address in larger or corporate networks. This is done for a number of reasons, too many to speak of in this short document. What I'll ask is that some of the reasoning to use and apply a static IP address become more apparent when creating small business and home networks. Yes, DHCP is your friend, but in corporate networks dedicated and redundant DHCP servers are used for the purpose of allocating IP addresses from groups allocated for specific devices, many of which now allow that device to retain an allocated IP address forever.
 
When creating smaller networks it is more often than not an advantage to use a static address for all of the devices attached to that network even though the initial planning may seem tedious for many, and not understood by most, a static IP address will always be your friend . The major advantage will be when problems arise (And they will), when a device is upgraded, when additional devices are added, and when devices on the network stop working or can't be found. It is and always will be easier to trouble shoot the lost connectivity of a device when you know the device located at 192.168.1.22 is a printer located at location "C" vs. "Let's walk around through three buildings and see where the little light on the port is off. ". Every aspect of network control and device connectivity is simplified by using a static address, except the initial assignment. So, if you like DHCP and it makes your life easy it's the thing do. If your network has grown a bit and the time and skill required to find a fault is more important, then I suggest static addresses. Ands finally, it doesn't hurt to put a label with the name and IP address on the front device. You may just one day thank me for that.
 
For this solution the OP will purchase;
3ea. low cost 10/100/1000 8 port hubs
2ea. single port WAPS
Enough Ethernet patch cables to connect all of the devices using the network to the 8 port hubs.
Total cost should be less than $2-400 plus labor if charged
 
 
STEP #1 - Assigning IP addresses
 
Plan your IP scheme for the devices to be used, and using 192.168.1.xxx, that could and should by using, for a small network of this type, static addresses, and a flat network. (All the same subnet). There is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED for a separate subnet in each building. Not only is this complexity not required, but additional costs not needed.
 
MASK = 255.255.255.0, class "C", allows up to 253 devices attached
 
192.168.1.1 = gateway (DSL router)
 
192.168.1.10 thru .20 = servers
 
192.168.1. 21 thru .30 = printers
 
192.168.1. 31 thru .100 = PC's, tablets, etc.
 
192.168.1.101 thru .200 = all other devices
 
192.168.1.201 thru .210 - WAPs
 
Name each building. In this case we'll call the house with the DSL "A", and the outlying work spaces "B" and "C" for simplicity.
 
STEP #2 - Creating your workgroup/small office/building network
 
Start by creating a workgroup/office network in each building using a single 10/100/1000 8 port switch, no routers required. Attach each device to the 8 port hub using copper, CAT 5 or 6, your choice. Address your devices as above and ping each device from within the building to insure connectivity, that the interface is active, properly addressed, and talking to the other devices in that building. Do this for all three buildings, "A", "B" and "C".
Wireless devices will be connected at a later step.
 
STEP #3 - Attaching the main building to the WWW.
Using a patch cable attach the 8 port hub located in building "A" to the DSL router. This should be the only connection attached to the router other than the wide area connection itself, the connection from the outside world to the router.
 
STEP #4, part a - Connecting the buildings/offices together
Go to building "A". Attach the copper running from buildings "B" and "C" to the DSL router using two of the available three (3) remaining ports on the DSL router, or connect these two cables to the 8 port hub previously attached to the DSL router in STEP #3 using ports 1 and 2 ("A" "B").
 
STEP #4, part b - Connecting the buildings/offices together
Go to building "B" and attach the cable running from building "A" to port 8 of the 8 port hub in building "B". Using any attached system ping the .1 gateway, any other active system in that building, and any active system in building "A". You should receive a response from every device. Using your web browser attempt to access the WWW. Google is a good choice for a site to use for this test. If all tests pass then building "B"s network is complete with the exception of wireless connections, and you can now move to building "C" and repeat.
 
NOTE: If during you tests you fail to receive a reply from a device, or if your devices can not ping any device on the network, start by checking the IP address and mask. If you can not access the WWW then check your DSL router security features for blocked MAC addresses, IP addresses, etc.
 
STEP #5 - Wireless connectivity, IPads, printers, etc.
 
In this case speak with the client and the need for wireless connectivity. If the client has a DSL router which provides wireless connectivity, and provides that connectivity RELIABLY from building "A", "B", and "C" you're all set, and the installation and costs end here.
 
If reliability is an issue you will use a WAP (wireless access point) to provide connectivity. This requires nothing more than a WAP attached to the 8 port hub. This DOES NOT require an additional router or subnet and all devices attaching to the WAP will use a provided and available 192.168 address from the proper IP group listed above. The WAP itself is addressed using one of the IP addresses from the group reserved for WAPs. Good connectivity can be achieved inside, and probably outside of the buildings by attaching a WAP to the hubs in buildings "B" and "C".
The cost for this whole network would be less than $3-400, and time to install should be less than 4 hours. Congratulations, you've just learned how to create a low cost working and reliable flat network. Welcome to networking 101.
 
Switch - Your choice.
http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/switches/GS608.aspx#tab-overview
 
WAP - My choice for this project. I use these often and have one in my own racks for access to my board, DSP, computer, etc.. If you use the WAP below then you could also eliminate the cost of the 8 port switch IF you only need to attach 3 or fewer devices in that building that are not wireless.
http://www.netgear.com/business/products/wireless/soho-wireless/wn604.aspx
 
 
 
As a final note a fully redundant network can be created by using an additional two (2) interface adapters. ($50).
 
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 01:04:21 am »

Cailen,
Contrary to popular belief the 192.168.x.x network is nothing more than a network which is commonly used for in house subnets. Networks outside the "house", such as those networks used on the WWW are fully licensed, registered, and controlled/monitored. That is not to say the you can't use anything you want for a subnet on your own PRIVATE network, such as the network we are talking about here, or even for a very large company, as long as those addresses are restricted to traffic on your network only. The 169.x.x.x network you're are referring to is probably a loopback address.


Actually, the 169.254.0.0/16 addresses are APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) addresses. They are not to be used either for statically assigned or DHCP-assigned addresses; they are used by individual devices to be able to discover each other when no preset addressing scheme is available. Like standard private IP address (10.0.0.0/8, 192.168.0.0/16, 172.16.0.0/12), they are not routed over the Internet but must be masqueraded behind a public IP address.

Loopback addresses are 127.0.0.0/8, with 127.0.0.1 being the most common and always referring to "localhost." Loopback addresses are not routed internally or externally.

Myself, I do like to use DHCP for PCs and printers. For printers I use DHCP reservations to ensure they always receive a known IP address. For any mobile device, DHCP is an absolute must, but if you want it to have a specific IP address when on a specific network, then a DHCP reservation is your friend. I think that DHCP makes network management a lot simpler, especially when changes are necessary. If I don't have to visit every PC just because the DNS server address changed, that makes my life a lot easier. For any "network infrastructure" devices and for critical servers, I agree that static addresses are best.

I also use a numbering scheme where printers are in one range of addresses, PCs in another, servers in another, etc. When you need to set up something new, you shouldn't be pulling numbers out of the air, you should be following a documented plan.

But yeah, I suppose if there are only 3 PCs and two printers on the network, static just might be easier.

One more tip to the OP: terminate any wired network drops with jacks at the device end and patch panel at the switch end. Then use patch cables of appropriate length to connect everything. Terminating in-wall wiring with RJ-45 plugs looks sloppy, increases the likelihood of failure, and limits your ability to reposition things.

P.S. -- I've written the addresses above in "CIDR" notation, which is a shorthand way of describing the first address (network address), last address (broadcast address), and subnet mask for a given address range. There are a few other reserved IPv4 subnets that are outside of the scope of this discussion.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 01:22:23 am »

Myself, I do like to use DHCP for PCs and printers. For printers I use DHCP reservations to ensure they always receive a known IP address. For any mobile device, DHCP is an absolute must, but if you want it to have a specific IP address when on a specific network, then a DHCP reservation is your friend. I think that DHCP makes network management a lot simpler, especially when changes are necessary. If I don't have to visit every PC just because the DNS server address changed, that makes my life a lot easier. For any "network infrastructure" devices and for critical servers, I agree that static addresses are best.

I also use a numbering scheme where printers are in one range of addresses, PCs in another, servers in another, etc. When you need to set up something new, you shouldn't be pulling numbers out of the air, you should be following a documented plan.

But yeah, I suppose if there are only 3 PCs and two printers on the network, static just might be easier.

I'm glad I'm not the only person that likes using DHCP with reservation over actual static addresses. At my day job(IT person at a real estate office, 15-20 people work there) the network I inherited had a mix of static addresses and DHCP. After many headaches I've switched everything to DHCP with address reservation for anything that needs a fixed address. Since then pretty much all network problems have gone away.

Bob,

While I know static addresses might be the best for a lot of situations I don't know how well it will work here.  There are likely to be new/different devices coming in frequently and I know he won't want to be setting IP addresses manually all the time; not to mention there will undoubtedly be may mobile devices in use and, as Johnathan said, you need DHCP for mobile devices.

Another thing is that IME Windows file sharing tends to work fine even when machines don't have fixed addresses although I agree that many other things are made easier with fixed addresses.

Also, we're wanting to have full network access from all areas with the wireless; we don't want each wireless network to be an isolated Internet access point with no access to the office network.

I hope I'm making sense here. I just don't see a benefit to static IP addresses when I can use DHCP reservation and get the same benefits without the drawbacks. Also I don't need a switch in each building as the only place with devices using wired Ethernet is the office. Everywhere else just needs wireless.

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« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 01:25:50 am by Tommy Peel »
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Tommy Peel

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 01:24:34 am »

Deleted, double post
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Bob Leonard

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 07:11:01 am »

Tommy,
It look's like there's a little more than just 3 buildings attached in the plan here. I don't remember saying static for the wireless devices ATTACHING to the WAPs, and if I did that would be a mistake. If you like DHCP then use it. I'm not against it and use it all the time, so let me be more precise. Try to use a static address on the CORE components of the network. It will be helpful in the end.

If everything else is a wireless device the WAP I left the link for is a perfect low cost device. One in each building and four (4) available ports for the occasional hard wired device or printer.  It couldn't be easier or cost less. Have fun.
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Nate Armstrong

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2014, 12:57:19 pm »

I'm lazy and didnt read all the comments,  IMHO, you are on a great path and that is what i would recommend for this install. 3 Ubiquity Wireless APs is a great setup.  You do have to install the software on a workstation. The software finds the wireless AP's automatically and then you set it up. take less than 15 minutes.  you do not have to keep the software running.  So far the ones i have installed have had no maintenance required and the range is good for the price of the units.

for what its worth, I work in the IT field.
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Ryan Peacher

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2014, 06:02:09 pm »

Seems reasonable to me. The Ubiquiti gear works well. Using the same SSIDs and passwords simplifies roaming. I believe that you will need to designate one computer as a "controller" for the Ubiquiti access points; it will have software running that will manage the connections and ensure smooth roaming between APs. This PC will need to be powered on at all times.

From my experience, you should not have to have a dedicated machine to run the Ubiquity software...

With the UniFi system, there is a piece of software you use to configure and monitor the wireless network status, but it does not have to run all of the time for the system to work. With the AirMax systems, like the Bullet, is uses a browser-configuration, like most linksys and other SOHO routers do...

I deployed a 9 access-point system here at our theater using the Ubiquity UniFi system, and their EdgeMax router, and have had great results so-far...
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2014, 07:42:21 pm »

From my experience, you should not have to have a dedicated machine to run the Ubiquity software...

With the UniFi system, there is a piece of software you use to configure and monitor the wireless network status, but it does not have to run all of the time for the system to work. With the AirMax systems, like the Bullet, is uses a browser-configuration, like most linksys and other SOHO routers do...

I deployed a 9 access-point system here at our theater using the Ubiquity UniFi system, and their EdgeMax router, and have had great results so-far...

You're absolutely correct; I was incorrect in my previous statement. It had been a while since I dealt with Uiquiti gear, so I was misremembering things. Just installed some yesterday, so it's fresh in my mind now. :-) The controller software only has to be running if you are using some of the advanced authentication features, like single-use passwords. For most installations, it's only used for the setup and can then be turned off.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2014, 03:17:33 pm »

Another question about this setup:

I went over there yesterday after they stopped working for the day so I could test a couple of things with the network. I tried moving their existing Linksys ea4500 wireless router into the office from the house to see if it had enough wireless range to cover both the office and house adequately. I tested the network with my phone and was able to get usable signal throughout the house; also by moving the wireless router to the office and connecting everything correctly(DSL modem directly into the internet port on the router and the office switch into one of the router's LAN ports) I was able to access the office's computer's file sharing from the wireless in the house(which wasn't possible before).

The issue is that I wasn't able to get the office computers to connect at Gigabit speed. Setup: Linksys router(Gigabit capable) connected to the DSL modem and to the office switch(looks like a cheap one but it's Gigabit capable). Despite everything appearing to be able to run at Gigabit the office switch was showing 10/100(orange light) on all connections instead of Gigabit(Green light). Any ideas? Cabling issue? Setting issue?
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: OT Network question....
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2014, 03:54:55 pm »

The issue is that I wasn't able to get the office computers to connect at Gigabit speed. Setup: Linksys router(Gigabit capable) connected to the DSL modem and to the office switch(looks like a cheap one but it's Gigabit capable). Despite everything appearing to be able to run at Gigabit the office switch was showing 10/100(orange light) on all connections instead of Gigabit(Green light). Any ideas? Cabling issue? Setting issue?

What I'd do is grab another Gigabit switch and plug one of the PCs directly into it with a new patch cable, bypassing any installed wiring. If you get a GB connection, it's probably a cabling issue. If it connects at 100Mb, it's probably a settings issue. If you have a crossover cables in the mix (terminated T-568A on one end, T568B on the other) that will likely force it to a lower speed. Crossover cables may not play nicely with Gigabit, since only two pairs are crossed and GB uses all four pairs.

However, I have seen where some NICs have trouble negotiating with some switches, and either they negotiate to a lower speed, they fail to negotiate altogether, or they link up at high speed but are slower than an ant crawling through molasses.
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