[CS-FSLUG] Building An Experimental LAN

sjm sjm.mlists at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 11:55:29 CST 2012

> be confusing, but that's a hassle I can live with.  One of the major goals,
> again, is to divide my LAN into 2, maybe 3 subnets - and really play with
> the routing and switching options.

You actually can run several subnets mixed on the same network.  VLANs 
help separate that, but it all depends on what you want to do.  Can you 
draw a quick diagram of things you're thinking about?

> One thing I would like to be able to do is to run:
> <> Firewall/Proxy server (Isn't this where switches and routers start
> coming into play more?)

Yes & no.  A pure router doesn't do any firewalling.  Technically, a 
proxy server is a *server*, not a network device.

> <> Web/Mail server (have done this before)

Once again, technically a *server*.

> <> Internal DNS server (have seen instructions for this, but have yet to
> actually do it)

Once again, technically a *server*.

While all these might be part of the network infrastructure of a place, 
they all sit at a level (or few) above the routing and switching.

> Some say build a Linux firewall.  Others say that's what routers are for.
> In fact, the main reason (as I understand it) for dedicated routers is that
> their flash drive is faster than standard hard disks.  But if I get a box
> with a solid state drive, wouldn't that overcome most of that issue?

Well, and they have dedicated switching/routing hardware that can handle 
much higher throughput (think a 48port Gb switch with all ports running 
at close to full saturation).

> If any of what I am saying doesn't make sense - just be patient with me.
> Again, partly, I want to play with Cisco and get more familiar with the
> interface (beyond Packet Tracer, which is still a great tool).  But also to
> put my networking skills to use by planning and implementing my LAN.

It depends what you are looking for.  As Tim mentioned, the languages 
are slightly different between the venders.  If you are looking to 
understand more the concepts, then another vender like HP might not cost 
as much and still give you the practice in the concepts.  If you want to 
practice more the Cisco language as well, then you will need to pay the 
higher price for the Cisco boxes.


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