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Alternate home network setup for WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello everybody,

    I just built a home file/media server with WHS, and I absolutely love it! Now I'm considering an alternate network setup to hopefully improve performance, but I am not sure if it's feasible.

     

    Currently the server and all my home PCs are hooked up to a router; what I'm thinking is adding a switch into the network, so that I can take full advantage of the two static IP addresses that come with my internet plan; I think only switches can split two IPs that come in from one cable, am I right?

    The ideal final setup should be like below:

                          Cable Modem

                                   |

                              Switch

                                  |

                      -------------------------------------------------

                      |                                                           | 

       WHS server(one static IP)                        Router (another static IP)       

                                                                                  |

                                                                  -------------------------------

                                                                  |                  |                  |

                                                                PC1              PC2               PC3

    Now the questions is, can the WHS server communicate with the other three PCs, because they are obviously in two separate networks? If not, is there any way that I can configure the router to make them communicate? If they do communicate, will the connection speed be the same as if they were all under one router?

     

    Thanks in advance!

    Sunday, June 20, 2010 5:08 PM

All replies

  • On 6/20/2010 12:08 PM, zyjzhan wrote:

    Hello everybody,

    I just built a home file/media server with WHS, and I absolutely love it! Now I'm considering an alternate network setup to hopefully improve performance, but I am not sure if it's feasible.



    Currently the server and all my home PCs are hooked up to a router; what I'm thinking is adding a switch into the network, so that I can take full advantage of the two static IP addresses that come with my internet plan; I think only switches can split two IPs that come in from one cable, am I right?

    The ideal final setup should be like below:

                           Cable Modem

                                    |

                               Switch

                                   |

                       -------------------------------------------------

                       |                                                           |

        WHS server(one static IP)                        Router (another static IP)      

                                                                                   |

                                                                   -------------------------------

                                                                   |                  |                  |

                                                                 PC1              PC2               PC3

    Now the questions is, can the WHS server communicate with the other three PCs, because they are obviously in two separate networks? If not, is there any way that I can configure the router to make them communicate? If they do communicate, will the connection speed be the same as if they were all under one router?



    Thanks in advance!

    Actually your router is what will handle the routing between the two IP Addresses.  However I don't know whether a Consumer router (like a Linksys router) will do what you want.  You may have to enable RIP in the router (or another routing protocol).  Some routers offer this capability, while others don't.

    A little networking lesson:

    The computers which have the same IP Address network portion (the 192.168.2. part for example) are part of one "collision domain".  If you have another group with a different IP Address (172.16.20. for example), they are on another collision domain.

    A switch extends the collision domain (meaning it allows you to add more computers to it) and can create multiple virtual collision domains (depending on the switches capabilities--I'm using a Cisco 2900 XL enterprise switch, for example).

    A router allows packets from one Collision Domain to reach another collision domain (in other words, handles the splitting of the IP Addresses).

    So, a switch extends a collision domain, while a router separates collision domains (and routes between them).

    However, somewhere along the lines, the router needs a path to the other collision domain.

    Which means that your network would essentially have to look like this:
                                      Cable Modem
                                              |
                                           Router 1
                                               |
                          -------------------------------
                          |                                             |
                     Server                                     Router 2
                                                                         |

    ---------------------
                                                              |             |                |
                                                           PC1       PC2          PC3

    Or the "Router 1" will have to be at your Internet Provider (as they will most likely route between your two static IP's as part of your service)

    In reality, I think your local network would perform faster with the server inside of the same collision domain as the rest of the PC's.  If you're experiencing network performance problems from outside of your network, then my suggestion is this:

    If your Cable Modem is providing NAT capabilities (which some do), and the router is providing NAT Capabilities (which most do), then one of them needs to be shut off.  Either the modem needs to tunnel traffic to the router (meaning the router needs to be set up as a PPPoE with your ISP-provided username/password) or the router needs to have DHCP disabled, and you can't have a cable on the "WAN" port.

    Your best bet is to contact your Internet provider and ask them what they recommend.  They'll probably tell you that they don't support networks, so you'll need to phrase your question something like this:  "I have two computers, and two static IP Addresses provided by you.  What's the best setup that will allow me to use both IP addresses, and allow me to share files between the two computers?"  Then, you'll set up the network as they recommend--substituting your server for one "Computer" and your router for the other "Computer".

    Hope this helps, and have a great day:)
    Patrick.


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    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Sunday, June 20, 2010 5:45 PM
  • To make a long story short, no Windows Home Server doesn't support clients that aren't on the same subnet. In order to get your proposed architecture to work, you'll wind up opening your server up to the Internet at large, which probably isn't what you want.

    Put your server behind your router with the rest of your network equipment.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, June 20, 2010 7:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Like Ken stated above.

    The many people Home Networking will have the following for there local network.

                           Cable Modem

                                   |

                              Router

                                  |

                             Switch (If you have more than 4 PC's)

                      -----------------------------------------------------

                      |                        |                  |                 |                                                           
               WHS server               PC1              PC2              PC3

     

    Good Luck

    jd

    Monday, June 21, 2010 4:19 PM