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TOPIC: Random SoHo Project tossed my way

Random SoHo Project tossed my way 6 years 6 months ago #33810

  • Nevins
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Hello again,

I just got a random project tossed into my lap and I would like some outside thoughts. Basically a friend of a friend of mine has requested that I do some work for them. The problem that they are having is that they have 4 computers and they need to have 3 of them use an accounting database and internet also they need some of the equipment physically moved. Apparently some slick salesperson took these guys for their money because currently they are paying for 4 internet connections I.E. each computer has an internet line. Clearly the people in question are not "computer people" but I want to help them out as best as possible because frankly I see that they are getting taken advantage of and feel bad about it. Unfortunately each line is on a 2 year contract with 6 months left at 1.5MBps which leaves me with some interesting choices.

My first instinct is to talk to the phone company and tell them to "upgrade" the connection into 1 faster line that was actually intended for business rather than home at a lower cost then the combined cost of all 4 and mention to whoever I talk to on the other end of the phone that being the new admin (for all they know) I will only continue to use their service if it meets normal price expectations.

Baring that I'm curious what the best option for setting up a small office like this is. I realize that it's so small that I can pretty much just plug everyone on their network into the box router that comes from the ISP but I also think this would also be doing them a disservice because while they will technically be networked it does not allow a lot of room for growth and really has no main centralized server for services.


I was thinking that minimally for this sort of set up it would be ideal to set up a windows server for DHCP & FTP connected to a big 24 port switch.



Unfortunately everything I've learned from a corporate setting tells me not to push anything involving new hardware on people who really don't understand technology that well. I'm weighing it out like this:

Option 1:

If I reduce 4 lines down to 1 I've saved them $150/month by getting rid of 3 lines. I configure the computers to obtain network address automatically and plug them in to the pre-dhcp enabled multi-port gateway router. Then set up their accounting database to run off one PC. (should take in order of 15 minutes)

Option 2:
Reduce 4 lines to 1. Place in router switch and dhcp server with ftp. Set up accounting database to run off server.


Now I know option 2 is more correct because I see almost every SoHo setup ran in the following order but I can't seem to justify it in my head when the other option is so simple. To me the issue at hand is to fix the problem at hand save them the $150/mo or to fix the problem save them $150/mo and implement a bit of structure into their network.


To be honest any way I look at it I'm going to save them a ton by reducing them down to one line but my experience in the past has always been to solve the problem I've been tasked on quickly in the most efficient manner possible.
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Re: Random SoHo Project tossed my way 6 years 6 months ago #33819

  • sose
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nevins
I realize that it's so small that I can pretty much just plug everyone on their network into the box router that comes
from the ISP but I also think this would also be doing them a disservice because while they will technically be networked
it does not allow a lot of room for growth and really has no main centralized server for services
.

sose
option 1 can still give room for scalability depending on how you go about it. when dealing with accounting database
one of the user system can serve as the database server.though I dont have info on the type of router or modem
the ISP has provided.






nevins
I was thinking that minimally for this sort of set up it would be ideal to set up a windows server for DHCP & FTP
connected to a big 24 port switch
sose
These days when you are building networks, build them with security in mind. you want to risk building your
dhcp server and FTP server on a window platform.


comment
you have to talk to your client more, they can hint you on their growth strategy and plan.
you have to understand the nature and value of their traffic.you have to have an idea about their budget(the
account department can gve such info)
sose
Network Engineer
analysethis.co/index.php/forum/index
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Re: Random SoHo Project tossed my way 6 years 6 months ago #33981

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Speaking of security, are you going to use the ISP provided router? You may want to install an ASA 5505 or a PIX-501.

You can get them cheap at www.usedcisco.com.
Rich
Network Engineer /CCNP, CCNA-S
Tallahassee, FL
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Re: Random SoHo Project tossed my way 6 years 6 months ago #33990

  • Nevins
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Well I handled this.

Unfortunately after talking to them I presented them the options recently and pretty much they said and I'm quoting this: "We is not buying shit right now."

Basically the company is financially turbulent and they told me to just fix the problem I came there to fix which was to move some computers and network them and not try to sell them on anything. What I ended up doing is reducing their 3 lines down to one and plugging them into the default router from the ISP. I was kind of shocked at how easily the ISP caved, they actually simply allowed me to move them onto one line and one payment plan of $30/month saving $170 per month with only the stipulation that they sign a year agreement. And I also did the basic networking stuff.


===========================================
Speaking of security, are you going to use the ISP provided router? You may want to install an ASA 5505 or a PIX-501.

You can get them cheap at www.usedcisco.com.


Yeah I know. But like they said they are not buying anything. Also the current irony here is I did work that saved them $170/month along with the networking and physical movement of devices and did not get paid my very reasonable fee of $30/hour for less than one hour of work most of which was on the phone dealing with the ISP.
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Re: Random SoHo Project tossed my way 6 years 6 months ago #33996

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You didnt get paid and only charged $30/hr? Did they think you were expensive?

Wow, I wouldnt ever do "shit" for them if I were you. And when "shit" goes down, they'll see how valuable you are.. lol
Rich
Network Engineer /CCNP, CCNA-S
Tallahassee, FL
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