My question is simple: does a small network need a domain name or do I just leave it empty?
Here is the information on what is happening:
I have a small network (30+ machines) that includes windows, macs, thermostats, AV equipment, etc. for a small business. We have done just fine using our provider's modem and some switches\access points. Finally we are going to use a Ubuntu server. I have done some linux admin in the past, but am not an expert.
The server will do the following: - local web hosting - DHCP - transparent internet proxy
The server has a two network cards (bridged) so it can be a transparent proxy (using NAT).
Everything was working fine till I tried to add a domain suffix on the DHCP config. I used the same suffix as our public domain "our-company.com". When I tried to ping server.our-company.com it of course pinged our web server because it got that IP through public DNS.
To solve that problem I changed the domain name to "local". That just caused problems. DHCP still worked, but I could no longer contact the server (ping, SSH, web, etc).
I am thinking that the best way to avoid problems is to not use a domain name. Am I wrong?