Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am by no means a server professional, that is why I am coming to you guys for advice.

Our company is looking to purchase an office building that is currently wired for ethernet. We are going to rent part of the building to the current tenants, and take over the remaining part. We want to hook up a small server for file sharing, active directory and network licensing managers (I assume Windows Server 2012 Essentials is our way to go). Should we purchase our own switch to hook our offices and server into? Or, can we just hook straight into the switches/hubs that are already wired up? We only have 6 office employees at the moment.

Is this a security concern and would having our own switch even help alleviate security issues?

share|improve this question
This site IS for professionals. – Drew Khoury Jan 3 '14 at 5:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Those existing switches likely belong to someone at the moment (current tenants?) It's considered a bad act to plug into private switches/networks. On the order of walking into someone's office and opening their file cabinets. You will absolutely want to buy and operate your own network equipment.

You can re-use the existing wiring. Specifically the drops that go to your part of the building. Make sure that there are clearly labeled distinctions. The cross connects should go into your own network infrastructure. Additionally it would be a good time to set the rules for who has access to that common room. There could be some liability exposure here. I.E. What are you going to do when someone working for your tenant accidentally kicks over your server?

There are methods of creating multi-tenant networks on a single unified set of switches/routers, but they aren't applicable to your situation.

TL;DR re-use the wiring, buy new switches, set policy for wiring room access.

share|improve this answer
+1 for suggesting locking down the closet/room – xeon Jan 2 '14 at 22:38
Since we will own the building, should we consider a setup where we have one switch to the router that each tenant(including us) plugs their switch into? Or should we just try to find an open port on the current router to plug our switch into? – Barrett Jan 2 '14 at 22:50
Ideally, you only share the room. No equipment cross over at all. The point of a wiring room is to have all your wires meet at one point in order to maximize flexibility with cross connections. Sharing equipment/networks/telecom is something that should be avoided. This goes double when you don't have expertise in this area. – Ryan Jan 2 '14 at 23:42
To add some perspective for you. Imagine you segregate the switching perfectly and you only share an internet connection. One virus infection can get your IP address blacklisted across many email providers. When your tenant suddenly can't send email because of one of your computers is infected, what is your plan? Because your tenant will start using words like 'lost business' and 'damages'. – Ryan Jan 3 '14 at 0:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.