Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. 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 need to set up a network in my office so I can have a company come and install software for me. They are going to setup my front office computer so I can perform normal tasks on it and it will function as an SQL server. But I need to have my other PCs connected to. I made two possible network maps and I am looking for any input or advice before I move forward. Any help is appreciated.

Map 1

ISP-->Modem-->Network Switch-->WiFi Router & All PCs(Including SQL Server)

Map 2

ISP-->Modem-->WiFi Router-->SQL Server PC-->Network Switch-->All other PCs

There are 6 Desktops total, and two WiFi laptops. Also, can the PC running the SQL Server operate with a wireless connection?

share|improve this question
I would suggest against running the SQL server on a wifi connection, especially if it is heavily used. You could probably get away with that though if it not used frequently or heavily. – Melikoth May 3 '12 at 19:33

Map 1 works (almost)

Map 2 works against you because the diagram suggests you will be routing traffic through your SQL Server PC. This is ill advised as it complicates your network topography without adding any gain whatsoever (prove me wrong?).

There is one minor thing you want to change to Map 1.

ISP > Modem > Router > Switch > Server and other PCs

share|improve this answer
putting the network switch, which just enables more ports on the network BEFORE the router? The router gets the connection, and handles DHCP to all the connected machines. Wouldn't putting the switch AFTER the router expand the available number of ports? Putting it before means that multiple computers could connect directly to the modem, but the modem doesn't route the connection to multiple machines... only one. So, shouldn't it be modem - router - switch - all computers? – Bon Gart May 3 '12 at 19:36
@Bon Gart I'm editing my post (you probably posted this while I have been editing it) – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 19:39
@Ben I have updated my post. – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 19:40
Don't be so demanding — this sounds quite rude. New users can't even upvote. – slhck May 3 '12 at 22:38
@onxx the OP did not say whether or not the SQL server would be handling DHCP or not, which makes a difference as to where it would be placed in the order of things... namely if it had two ethernet cards, one connected to the modem, and the other connected to the switch. In such a case, the "router" would only be necessary to allow for wireless connections. However, if the SQL server was only there to act as the central database to be connected to, and otherwise not as a domain server, the router should be necessary to pass out IP addresses to all the connected computers, no? – Bon Gart May 4 '12 at 2:45

One important factor that you have over looked is the use of a firewall. If any of this data is going to be sensitive you should be first thinking about protection, especially when adding a SQL box to the mix.

I would try instead Map3 ISP-->Modem-->Firewall -->Network Switch-->SQL Server PC-->All wired PCs| WiFi Router (Connected to Network switch)--> wireless PCs

On a different note have you thought about getting a modem/wifi router and then just adding an additional switch to that? Most wifi/modem routers will come with an onboard 4 port switch and they are extremely easy to setup.

share|improve this answer
Thank you everybody for all of your comments and help. I cannot provide a lot of information on the SQL server, as I will not be setting it up. The company for the software I purchased will be doing that, and they simply told me I need to have the entire network established before they come. They also told me it would be helpful if I setup the workgroup and file sharing as well. Based on that, I do not think static IPs are going to be used. – Ben May 4 '12 at 15:36
Looking at your Map 3 design I have a quick question, just to make sure, every PC and the WiFi router connect to the switch correct? Also, in considering a firewall, would something like the D-Link DIR-130 VPN Firewall 8 with 8-Port 10/100Mbps Switch work as both the switch and firewall? If so, would it conflict with the WiFi router? Thanks again for your help. – Ben May 4 '12 at 15:47
@Ben Yes, however if you are hosting a website from home there maybe some design issues with the loop back address – onxx May 6 '12 at 3:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .