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Our office had this old school windows 2003 domain setup, our server caught fire, and now we are looking to do it right from scratch.

Here is what we need: 5 PC and 3 Mac workstations for web development, they will each have WAMP/MAMP setup on them, managed by their developers. We will have a file server for assets, and a LAMP server with an external IP for staging.

Here is what we have to work with: 5 IP addresses, brand new PC file server with windows 2008 SE, D-Link DSS-16+ 16 port switch, belkin 5 port wireless router, cable modem with 4 ports.

How I have it set up now (this is a temporary makeshift setup):
Cable modem => LAMP server, wireless router
Wireless router => Switch => All of the workstations and file server (setup as a workgroup).

We have noticed our internet is very slow with us all plugged in to the switch, and the switch plugged in to the router. I am not positive, but I think it is because our router does not have NAT. We are also having problems with the MACs connection to the network drive - it keeps disconnecting.

I want this done right, and we have a ~$600 budget to buy anything else we need. Does anybody have any advice for me? Should I set up a domain or workgroup?

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migrated from Mar 12 '10 at 20:22

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Just to be clear, do you have 2 separate wireless router? – Zoredache Mar 12 '10 at 20:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You seem to have everything you need for the most part. I would probably get a new router that will support NAT, and I would suggest a good old Linksys WRT54G. Replace the firmware with the DD-WRT That will give you great stats to figure out what is causing the slowdown.

The rest of your problem seems to just need some elbow grease and some tinkering. With only 8 stations you should be fine with just a regular file server and work group setup.

As far as Network goes, you would probably be safer going from Modem>Router>Switch & LAMP server. The forwarding only the ports you have to have open from the external network to the server. That way the server isn't setting unprotected on the internet.

In conclusion, you are on the right path, you probably won't need to spend more than $50 if you want to fix it yourself. So you can always put the other $550 towards hiring a outsider to set it all up so you don't have to.

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I agree on the network setup, that would be better. A bit more hassle to set up the forwarding, but it's pretty straight forward. – Gomibushi Mar 13 '10 at 8:35

I'd say that if you are only going to have these 8 clients (and 8 users+admin), then it would be quite a lot of administrative overhead to set up a proper domain. If you lock down your file server and don't hand out too many share/file permissions I think you'll be OK.

As for internet "slowness", 8 clients on a cable modem could easily do that. What kind of connection do you have? (For 8 web developers I would say you'd need a bit more bandwidth than 8 "office drones".)

As for your Macs disconnecting from the share. I'm assuming you use normal Windows sharing ("samba"). Try turning off wireless (airport) on the Macs.

$600... could get a nice Espresso maker perhaps? :)

Seriously though, make sure you have proper backup of the file server.

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