So in this topic, we're gonna discuss designing and implementing a network for a small office or home office often called a SoHo
office. The term is kind of a little bit of a misnomer, because in many environments it's it's just my home
office means that kind of do work out of it. Well, maybe I don't use it for work. Maybe I use it to play my games on my Xbox, and my kids use it to do their homework. Or, you know, I stream movies from Netflix over it to my TV. There's all kinds of things I could do on my home network that really don't relate to quote unquote working. So why call it in office? Well,
the topic really covers
how to design and implement a network for a small environment, we should say, and that could be your home. It could be your home office. It could be a small office that has five or 10 15 users at an office location. We're gonna talk about some of the considerations that you want to think about when designing it.
So first, what are my requirements? Well, in these type of environment, you generally have users or clients, uh, who are not
the highest in their technical skill set. And the applications they're going to be using
are probably either Web based, which many client applications are today or their client, based on the fact that there's some gooey or program that they up and run. But it's meant for client interaction, right? You're not gonna have a lot of automation procedures running. You're not gonna have a lot of,
you know, server to server contact. You're not gonna have huge amounts of data entering and exiting the network all the time, so your requirements become a little bit different.
One of the things you want to make sure of in these types of environments is that you can get connective ity to all of the clients wherever the clients happen to be physically located. Okay, in a home, for example, is a good ah, good example. Let's say you've got a home and it's an older home,
and you've got half a dozen devices between your smart TV between your Internet capable cable box, your tablet, your laptop, your cell phone. Ah, and your new fancy refrigerator that's got Internet capability, a CZ. Well, okay,
You've got six devices in your phone in your home that all need
Internet connection. Well, in older homes, it's kind of difficult to run
Ethernet cables cat five or cat six cables through the wall and put new Jackson the wall and wire your old home for physical wired access, so wireless access becomes very attractive again. We talked in earlier topics about wireless networking. We want to make sure that we placed that wireless access point in the location where the signal's gonna be good throughout the house,
where it's not leaking too far outside the house.
But all of those air considerations first and foremost, how do I get connectivity
to all these devices in my home office or my small office?
Um, then you want to think about how do I share data between them,
even in homes nowadays? This is this is getting pretty nuts, but but in most homes nowadays,
you have a central, centralized storage environment.
What I mean by that is, for example, in my home, I'm not the biggest tech in the world, but I've got a, uh, it's called an apple time capsule,
and that time, careful serves as basically a networked hard drive or a network Ah, networked ah, server that stores all of my media.
And so I still wear my music on there, my videos on there, all of my important documents and records on there, and it's all backed up for me. But if I'm watching TV
and I say I wanna watch some movie that I've got
in my video archive in this time vault in this time capsule, I just switched the input over and streaming down from my time capsule. Well, if I've got a centralized depository for storage and data management, one makes it really easy to back it up right, because everything's in one place, so it makes backups real easy.
And two, I take the storage requirements off of all of my other devices. I don't have to have huge hard drives on my laptop, so I don't have to have tablets with large memory capacities or phones and large memory capacities
because the actual data is being stored in essential environment.
Now you can walk to your local big box store or your local electronics store now and get one of these devices for Central Management for $100.
Andi just makes life a lot easier, even for small home users.
Um, but we want to think about where we going to store the data. Is it going to be collaborative, like a peer to peer environment where you know that music you wanna listen to? Maybe on your wife's laptop, Or maybe on your daughters
phone, Or maybe on that central server? Or it may be on
your laptop or your desktop machine.
Where's that music file when you want to play it? Well, then you have to have your music player be able to find it and get to it wherever it is on your network.
So is it a collaborative peer to peer environment, or do we have more of a central data sharing and storage environment? So these air things you want to think about when setting it up
other things to think about when you're setting up this environment when you're planning it, before you actually get to implement it? Award of the functions. What is it gonna be used for?
Do I have people who were going to be up loading payroll files on a regular basis? If so, how large these peril files
Is it an engineering company that's going to have a huge file sizes for these technical drawings and they need to be able to get him in and out of the network. So I need to think about my Internet connectivity. So I need high speed Internet connectivity is a dial up modem. OK,
what Internet connectivity is available? I've worked with clients before where their ideas, what they wanted to do in this office environment
outmatched what they could get as far a service.
These are clients, for example, in a rule area
rule office area. And this client wants to set up a server with remote desktop ing and allow all of hiss users to remote into the server and work collaboratively in this one environment.
And I said, Well, that's great. We can definitely by the hardware to do that. But before we even think about it,
we're gonna need significant Internet bandwidth coming in and out of here. If you're gonna have all of this traffic VP ending in and remote ing in and using all of this remote service is
we're gonna make sure you have an Internet pipe big enough.
Sure enough, when we started looking at Internet providers in this rule area,
the only thing he could get was dialogue.
There was no D S L There was no cable modem. There was no high speed fiber. There was nothing in this rural area. But Diallo.
I told him, Well, you're not gonna be real happy with the service on dialogue. When you've got a 56 k connection going to a dial up provider and you've got 20 people trying to VPN into that dollar connection, it's just not gonna work it. So these are things you want to think of before you start buying hardware, start building things out. What are the functions of the office? What it's gonna be used for,
How many connections need to be coming in and out of the office?
Are there any other peripheral devices that are gonna be needed, like a network attached storage device and as printers, um, other peripherals that you might need on the network. And of course, as you're considering all of these things, security should be built into your plan.
We've gotten much better, as as technical engineers nowadays, of building security into our plans from the beginning. When we talked earlier topics about T, C, p, i, p and other protocols, we kept saying how it wasn't built with security in mind. We had attack it on. It wasn't built with security in mind. We had a bolt it on later.
Well, nowadays we need to get that in our mind. Set that. Hey, Security should be planning this from the beginning.
Um, I'm gonna need a firewall. Where should the fire will be located? What are the firewall requirements? Do I need? Ah, web application? Proxim. Do I need email filtering? Don't need antivirus filtering. You know, where is this going to take place? At the perimeter or on the end point? These are things that we need to think about even in small office environments. Is we're designing it.
So small office in a commercial space may already have some cabling in the area. If it doesn't, it's probably fairly easy to cable because you have things like drop ceilings or raised floors, hollow walls,
things that make cabling a lot easier because commercial environments are usually designed in that way to make it easier
in a home office, you may not have cabling A lot of new houses. I don't know if any of you know this anybody. You have a fairly new house in the last three years, built with the last three years. A lot of new houses. They're not running telephone wire in the walls anymore. So your phone jacks are actually running cat five or some cases cat six to your phone jack,
which is overkill for a you know, traditional phone line.
But those houses are already wired for high speed Internet or high speed Internet access, so you can use those same jacks for computer connections, high speed connections for your appliances and other devices without having to rewire your whole house.
But houses could be a little trickier to wire, and in addition, houses generally don't have enough power outlets. To put it simply, commercial buildings, you can usually find enough power houses, especially older ones. It's tough to find enough power, enough outlets
and for if you do find enough outlets at that outlet circuit has enough
capability to pool as much power off that circuit as you are. I've seen it houses a lot of times where ah ah person will plug in
their computer and their monitor and their printer and their WiFi, you know, links this little router a CZ. Well, as their iPad charger and their phone charger on, they'll plug in, Um, you know, perhaps a a hub or switch, because they want to connect some of these things together.
And wait a minute. By the time now, I just named eight different devices
and I'm plugging him in, you know, Ah, power block or a daisy chain out of one outlet in my spare bedroom. Guess what? My circuit breaker keeps flipping off every time I turn my monitor on my circuit breaker flips off cause I'm drawing too much power from that circuit breaker in that home. So power considerations, even even in homes, or you want to think about
how am I gonna power all these devices without affecting my
my home electrical grid
wireless? We've talked about at length. Of course, it's a easy way to connect devices without having to run cables. It's easy to implement. It's usually less more cost effective than having to run a new cables, especially in the home environment. But you have those security considerations to think about you have the interference considerations to think about. You have the placement of the Web device to think about
all of those other things we talked about in the wireless topic.
So what are some of these devices that you're gonna be using? Well, we talked a little bit about Internet connectivity, Internet access to the world. You might have DSLR a cable modem, those air usually provided by your service provider. If I go out to Time Warner, for example, and purchased cable modem Internet service, they usually provide to me the cable modem device.
That device normally acts as a gnat device. It's got a public I P address on one side, and it does. Private I p. Addressing inside so that in my house I can have
one public I p address in five or six or 10 different private devices using that same connectivity,
antivirus software, Sometimes an I S P will provide it, but most of the time you have to get your own
and then routers and switches.
Most small office environments aren't complex enough that you have to have multiple sub netted networks, so you don't need a traditional router inside the office,
the only routing device you need. Maybe at the perimeter to route from the Internet to the inside of the office and from the inside of the office back to the Internet. And that can usually be accomplished through. Like I said, either The device your eyes P gives you far as a DSLR cable modem or maybe some,
you know, wireless router wireless firewall, the firewall device that you purchase from your local big box store that you put there.
That acts. Is that
to interface router back and forth?
Do you need villains? But home? Probably not in a small office. Maybe.
I talked about an earlier example of an attorney's office that has 10 different, independently run attorneys with all their own law firms. But in one building and they're sharing the building infrastructure.
That's an example of an environment that's not very big but absolutely needs V lands. So depends on what you need.
Then, of course, your peripherals do you need a printer? Do you need it all in one machine on. Of course, if you're going to use peripherals
in an environment you want to be able to, you want to be sure that those peripherals are able to be networked into your environment in some way or another so that all the resource is on your environment could take advantage of them
environmental. Even in a small office. You want to make sure that there's a way that you plan for and monitor environmental conditions. I can't tell you how many small offices I've gone into,
and I say, Where do you keep your server machines? Maybe they have a server, too,
and they sell are critical machines. They're right here. They open the closet door, and as soon as the door opened, you just get
wafted with a heat wave that comes out of there because there's no air conditioning, there's no air flow. It's a closed up closet, and they're running these very high powered, very heat intensive generating machines in there.
The first thing I usually tell them is, whoa, those things are gonna overheat big time. If they're not already overheating because you're not running him in an optimal cooling temperature, you're not monitoring the environment. If you left those things on every day, all day for a month,
the heat's just going to kill him
s so we need to start planning for things like air flow. Do we need an air conditioning unit in here? Should we move these to a room that's better and ventilated? That's better, eh? Condition. Humidity? I've seen small offices that have their quote unquote server devices in the kitchen
and in the kitchen. They boil water and they cook food all the time. And, you know, they've got all kinds of steam and smoke and different things coming into these computer devices, which none of that is obviously good for the computer devices. So controlling your humidity, controlling your power
If you're in a location that's got suspect power, what I mean by that is its frequent brownouts.
Sometimes the power goes out frequently. You get power surges or spikes. You want to make sure that you have some type of device to clean up that power, like a ups and under a uninterruptible power supply, so that you plug the ups and the wall and you plug your devices into the ups.
And it cleans up that power for you and takes care of outages and takes care of brownouts and spikes
and keeps the power going. Your devices that at a level flow
so some of limitations you have to worry about as well, especially a small commercial environment. Wireless conflicts if I'm working with a client who's got a small office suite. But that small office suite is in a high rise building with 100 other small office suites. Guess what? There's probably 100 different wireless networks in there as well.
So we need to worry about deconflicting the wireless signals.
we talked a little bit about power. I need to make sure that if I'm drawing a lot of power from one electrical circuit that that circuits got the voltage and the amperage to take care of my needs on that one circuit. Otherwise, I'd better distribute my power load out a little more.
And, of course,
just because we talk about some of these more complex devices,
I don't think they're not available for the small market firewalls. NASDA vices. Ah, higher in multifunction printer machines, wireless access points, All of these devices we talked about every manufacturer just about has a SoHo line, a small office home office line,
that same manufacturer that makes that $12,000 firewall
also probably makes it $300 fire well, that you could get for a small business now, maybe the features or less. Maybe the throughput. The band with this less. Maybe it's dumb down a little bit, but it's the same type of device. So don't think that just because, um,
something seems like, Oh, that's only for the big boys you can't find one that'll work just fine for a small office environment as well
might lack some of the features that might lack some of the bells and whistles, but it'll get the job done.