Small home office network

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by bobbydaz, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. bobbydaz macrumors regular

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    My current office design studio is being moved to a home based set-up consisting of 2x mac pro workstations + 1x mac pro server (6tb storage). The two macs will need network access to each other and the server. Files being copied across this network will be large (1-3gb) so needs to be fairly fast.

    How do I go about implementing a high-speed ethernet network? I am at present using Powerline (Home plug) adaptors via ethernet to run broadband to the office rather than wi-fi. This works well for internet access, but my guessing is Powerline will be too slow to use as a network for mac file transfer?
     
  2. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

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    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    #2
    My advice would be to go ahead and make the investment in Cat5e or Cat6 cabling if file transfers are mission critical. Use good cable (not the cheap stuff) and be sure any networking hardware you purchase can handle Gigabit Ethernet. Depending on how good you want it to look it might be worth hiring someone to do it.
     
  3. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    that's what I thought. What does that involve?, it's only a small room and I don't need cat 5 throughout the house, just this one room. Equipment wise what do I need to buy? I need to give my company a cost for the work required.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #4
    You are going to need a Gigabit switch as well as a spool of Cat 5e or preferably Cat 6.
     
  5. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

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    #5
    As altemoose said -- some Cat6 (honestly if it's one room and you don't have much experience and the company is paying anyway, you might as well just get premade cables) and a gigabit switch will do it. I'd think you could get everything for less than $150 or so.
     
  6. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    So seems like cat 5/6 is the way to go. I guess it's either have cables on the floor or start chopping out walls for a neater finish.
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #7
    If you start putting CAT cable into walls make sure you use Sheilded Ethernet to guard against electric interference. Maybe you should get the Monoprice CAT 6A STP Ethernet.
     
  8. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8

    thanks, that makes sense. Would be great to have no cables, but it looks like quite a ballache fitting sockets, probably a job for an electrician.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9
    If this is on the first floor with an unfinished basement or a drop ceiling below then running Ethernet is easy. Just make sure that you run it through the junior joists so your work is both neat and up to code. You can either drill a wall plate and box or get an external box that screws into the wall and a cover for the wire. It would look like this using that method.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #10
    CAT5e is all you need if you only have a gigabit switch and gigabit NIC's. Gigabit is roughly 120 Mega Bytes per second and CAT5e can do this easily.
    CAT6 can do everything up to 10Gb/s or 1,200 Mega Bytes per sec but you'll need 10Gb switch and NIC's to be able to transfer at that speed and then you'd also need the drive in a RAID0 or RAID5 setup to get up to those speeds. A normal HDD is around 120MB/s read/write.

    Now all that being said I wired my home and office with CAT6 just because the price difference between the 2 on a 1000' bulk isn't much at all.
    Also remember your fastest speed will equal the slowest piece in the network.

    If the network is going to be in one room this should be a fairly simple setup.

    Just to keep the price down I'd suggest going with mostly Monoprice equipment. It is good stuff especially for the cost.

    A small 8 port Gigabit switch http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10927

    If you don't want to run cables inside your walls, another suggestion would be using a cable raceway. You can run these around the walls just above baseboard if you have that, run the cable inside and even paint match to your wall color so it blends in better.
    Similar to this. Cable Raceway can be picked up at either big box home improvement stores with 90 degree bends, T's and pieces to join them together. Most of them just use double sided tape already installed to stick to the wall.
    hinged2.jpg

    Measure from the place you would put the switch, down the wall, then follow around the wall to the first computer and on to the second and third. Add a few extra feet to the measurement to be safe.

    You can get a 50ft CAT6 cable from Monoprice for less than $10. http://www.monoprice.com/search/index?keyword=cat+6

    Run 1 cable from your internet router out to the gigabit switch. Then 3 cables out of the switch to the two workstations and the server.
     
  11. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks for the advice, i am considering the trunking option, or next year we are having the carpets replaced so could take up the floor boards and maybe do it that way. I have a friend who is an excellent electrician so that helps. Unfortunately I now only have two weeks to get this up and running so for now will just run cables along the floor.

    I'm about to order a gigabit switch, but just to confirm, I can run ethernet from my router to the switch and then that switch will distribute the internet to all the macs? Sorry if it's a stupid question, but trying to get my head around the difference between a router and a switch. Budget is not a problem as my company are picking up the bill. Any advantage over buying a more expensive switch?
     
  12. seismick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #12
    You are correct - set it up as you describe. For your purposes a cheap switch (e.g. TP-Link) will do. I picked up an 8-port gigabit switch for somewhere between $20-30 a few years ago for a setup similar to the one you're proposing a few years ago, then later had the house wired throughout with CAT-6 (requiring a 24-port switch).
     
  13. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 24, 2009
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    UK
    #13
    thanks for the advice. In an ideal world i would love to run cat-6 from my entry point router downstairs in the living room up to the office upstairs but can't even begin to work out the upheaval that would involve. For now I will carry on using power line to get the internet to the office and gigabit box to share from there.
     
  14. Ap0ks, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015

    Ap0ks macrumors 6502

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #14
    There wouldn't really be any need to run Cat 6 from your Internet router to your home office switch. I would assume the powerline adapters you currently have are faster than your Internet connection so you'd see no advantage in running cable, unless the adapters were performing poorly or you needed to transfer data to other devices in the house that were connected to the Internet router.

    Also are these new Mac Pros or classic? If all three are new Mac Pros with dual GB Ethernet you may want to invest in an 8 port smart switch like this Netgear so you can use link aggregation on all three to improve network throughput/resilience between them.
     
  15. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 24, 2009
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    UK
    #15
    The powerline adaptors should be faster than my internet but they seem to be maxing out at around 45mb when my fibre is actually 65mb. I'm going to try a newer version of them and see if that improves the speed.

    They are classic Mac Pros.
     

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