The following network layout works but I wonder whether it is a proper configuration or whether it just works coincidentally. Access to the Linux command line is not possible, so I am stuck with the web gui of these systems.
The clients are connected to the server via several switches in their own VLAN.
server1 has these IP adresses in a /27 subnet configured on the eth1 interface:
server1 10.0.2.33, mask 255.255.255.224 server1 10.0.2.65, mask 255.255.255.224 ...
It has also a static route for 10.0.2.0, mask 255.255.255.224 going out on eth1.
client1 to client9 have each one of these IP addresses but in a /24 subnet configuration:
client1 10.0.2.1, mask 255.255.255.0 client2 10.0.2.2, mask 255.255.255.0 ...
There is no way of providing a static route by the web gui, so I am stuck with using the /24 network and no static routing. Otherwise I would just use ip addresses from 10.0.2.0/27 and add proper static routes on each of the clients. I could also use a separate gateway but I don't want to if I can avoid it, because of the amount of traffic and performance penalty.
So what happens is that server1 can ping and access all of the clients because they are all in the subnet 10.0.2.0/27 and there is a static route available.
All clients can ping and access server1 because it looks from their point of view as if the server has two ip addresses in the /24 network.
I believe the switches in between are agnostic to any ip and subnet configuration because I have not entered any of this information anywhere in the switches.
In other words, is this configuration correct or is it better to set up a gateway even if there is a (small) performance difference?