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I want to setup a network on a building to provide shared services to all homes within the building. This should work as follows:

  • Each home has a private LAN (e.g. 192.168.x.0) and an ADSL router for Internet access.
  • There will be a shared server on the building which must be accessible from every home. Ethernet cable can be used to connect each home to the shared server.
  • Private LANs from each home should not "see" each other.

I am not sure what is the best way to achieve this. Can someone point in the right direction?


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Can you be more specific on the architecture: For example do you mean condos in a building, or homes in a community? Also do you control the twisted pair (for the DSL) and do you control the DSLAM? I can help you I just need a little more info. – Robert Leckie Jan 11 '11 at 14:51
@Robert: That will be condos in a building. All condos are connected to a central room in the building through Ethernet. I don't have any control over the twisted pair or DSLAM. – Grodriguez Jan 11 '11 at 16:17
Just to make sure: 1-Each home has a 'homerun' cat-5 cable from their unit to the 'central room' 2-you have a server that each unit will need access to from their personal computers? – Robert Leckie Jan 11 '11 at 17:42
@Robert: Yes, that's it. I thought that I could add an extra router to each home to separate the "home" LAN from the central server LAN but can't figure out how to set this up. – Grodriguez Jan 11 '11 at 18:11
So basically what is happening is that the DSL would be one router and then you would need to install a second router. To enable this as transparently as possible your router would have to be the first device after the DSL device. Will the condos allow this, and also then if your device breaks you have to offer support, is this ok? – Robert Leckie Jan 11 '11 at 19:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First, you only want an asdl router if each home will have their own dsl line. If you're wanting to share internet access for all homes in the building then you should look a plain network router, no adsl port needed.

Next up, since you can't change your "server" device, you want to find a good layer-3 switch. Each home will be it's own subnet with a specific designated port in the switch, and that port will be setup as a member of a vlan for the home. You'll use one port on the switch for an "upstream" connection to the your server, and this port will be set up as member of all the vlans. You could technically do this with many layer-2 switches, but layer-3 will allow you to more easily manage the setup, which is likely important to you.

This will work as long as your "server" supports multiple IP addresses. You will need to be able to give it an IP address in each subnet.

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Thanks. The homes do need their own DSL line. No shared Internet access. The server does not support multiple IP addresses, it is an embedded appliance. Ins't there any way to achieve this without having multiple IP addresses? – Grodriguez Mar 25 '11 at 9:42

If each home has its own ADSL router and a different subnet then just put a bunch of network cards into the shared server and plug a cable from each network into that server. Give the server network card an IP address relative to that subnet for the network and for the network etc. Everyone can access the same server on a different IP address and no one can get to each others 'private' network.

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@Mr Cat: Thanks, however this wouldn't work. I cannot add additional network cards to the server (it is not actually a PC, but an embedded appliance). Any other ideas? – Grodriguez Jan 12 '11 at 11:28

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