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sports&classics
Apr 20, 2008, 11:20 PM
I am starting to map out a network for my small business and needed some pointing in the right direction.

I am planning to have about 5 desktops, 2-3 laptops, 3 printers in separate locations, and wireless internet connection. Looking to use MYOB Account Edge as the software for accounting, inventory, etc. I will need to think about file storage/backup and remote access.

Is there somewhere I can reference to make this all work?

Thanks,
Andrew



rezenclowd3
Apr 21, 2008, 12:18 PM
Are you wanting a server solution or a NAS solution? Can you give any more info about what you want to do on your network? A server seems like it would be overkill, a NAS would keep file sharing/ backups simple. How much are you willing to spend? If you can, contact a local computer consultant. Networking gets deep VERY fast.

ChrisA
Apr 21, 2008, 02:41 PM
I am starting to map out a network for my small business and needed some pointing in the right direction.

I am planning to have about 5 desktops, 2-3 laptops, 3 printers in separate locations, and wireless internet connection. Looking to use MYOB Account Edge as the software for accounting, inventory, etc. I will need to think about file storage/backup and remote access.

Is there somewhere I can reference to make this all work?

Thanks,
Andrew

ANy time you have accounting data on the local network and also want to be able to access it from a remote locatuion on the Internet you are going to need a faily complex solution. The simplest way to go is a VPN. Get a router that handles VPNs.

If it were me I'd have the data on a computer that acts as a file server. The server offers a lot of flexability. Likely the server is one of those server class machines with dual power supllies each fed by it's oen UPS and tha data is on a RAID. This way you remain on the air even if a common hardware failure happens. For backup you need a set of hard drives that you can rotate kepping one off-site at all times and the others inside a fire safe.

If the server lives on it's own LAN segment different from the other office computers then you can use firewall rules in the router to control access to the file server. Likely they will be on different segments, the office machnes on wireless and the server wired.

You'll be looking for an entry level router from Cisco not one of those cheap home wif routers For remote access you will need a stic IP address and good upstream speed on the Internet connection.

Silencio
Apr 21, 2008, 03:53 PM
ANy time you have accounting data on the local network and also want to be able to access it from a remote locatuion on the Internet you are going to need a faily complex solution. The simplest way to go is a VPN. Get a router that handles VPNs.

If it were me I'd have the data on a computer that acts as a file server. The server offers a lot of flexability. Likely the server is one of those server class machines with dual power supllies each fed by it's oen UPS and tha data is on a RAID. This way you remain on the air even if a common hardware failure happens. For backup you need a set of hard drives that you can rotate kepping one off-site at all times and the others inside a fire safe.

If the server lives on it's own LAN segment different from the other office computers then you can use firewall rules in the router to control access to the file server. Likely they will be on different segments, the office machnes on wireless and the server wired.

You'll be looking for an entry level router from Cisco not one of those cheap home wif routers For remote access you will need a stic IP address and good upstream speed on the Internet connection.

Some good ideas, but for a business that size I don't think I'd complicate things that much.

Mac OS X Server can handle almost everything one would need to accomplish, including Internet routing, firewall, and VPN service, but it would require an investment in time to learn how to use it. I also prefer separate devices to keep from being reliant on a possible single point of failure.

I usually spec out Netopia routers for small businesses. They're relatively easy to set up and have good PPTP/IPSec VPN support and a good firewall, and they're very affordable. Use Airport Extremes or Airport Expresses to create a wireless network bridged to your wired network.

I'd also highly recommend a backup server of some sort. If you were running Leopard server and all the client machines were running Leopard as well, you could go for a networked implementation of Time Machine. I'd also suggest Retrospect despite the fact it's getting very long in the tooth (a major upgrade should be coming in a few months, hopefully). You can run Retrospect on the same machine as your main file server, but it would be even better to run it on another machine, again to protect against the problem of single point of failure.

For a small network like that, an Xserve is overkill. A dual-processor PowerMac G4 or PowerMac G5 would be fine, or perhaps a used Xserve G4.

tdhurst
Apr 21, 2008, 10:29 PM
Under NO circumstances should you use MYOB if you plan on accessing it from more than one computer (ie, enable file sharing and use the network edition). It's slow to the point of being unusable. It's interface is also very unmaclike.

I know that sounds weird, but I set up a six computer office with accountedge and it's TERRIBLE. We are wired 10/100 ethernet, and there is no way in hell that shouldn't be fast enough. MYOB says 10/100/1000 would work better, but that's BS. No simple database should require you to have gigabit ethernet.