first up I would like to thank the top "Net Pro's" for all their help in the past getting my 857W to work :-) as I had no previous Cisco experiance at all!!
About 2 years later I'm now on the CCNA and really enjoying it.
This question is kind of related to teh CCNA, and since my lecturer couldn't answer me fully I hope someone here could make some suggestions.
The scenario is:
For a small branch office with say upto 100 users and say 4 or 5 departments and 4 servers, what kind of equipment would be suitable to allow 100Mbps ethernet internet access and all the internal LAN conenctions connected at 1Gbps?
In CCNA part 1 it makes it clear that each department should be on it's own network. So taking teh network address of 172.16.0.0/16 and subnetting that so that the departments are on networks 172.16.0.0 to 172.16.4.0/21 and the servers on 172.16.5.0/21 - not worry about VLSM!
Chapter 2 talks about routing between different networks although a router is a gateway device used at the border of a network to connect it to WAN.
So what is a possible solution?
I thought of using a 1801 or 1811/1812 to use as the gateway therefore each subnet can be connected to it at 100Mbps for redundant links to WAN, as the 1800 series has an 8 port managed switch.
Then using something like a Catalyst 3560 24 port gigabit switch to provide the backbone between the subnets. Since it's layer 3 it can do some routing aswell as VLANs for necessary subnets.
Then using gigabit 2960's for the local departmental switches which would be connected to the 3560 via copper or fiber depending on teh distance to the department.
Since the 3560 I'm assuming has a NAT as it's layer 3 + 4 one could then include the ip NAT inside statement to enable all teh subnets to access each other so that socket communications can be translated between subnets.
And finally using a dynamic routing protocol such as OSPF to find the best path for both LAN and WAN communication between the local subnets provided by the 2960s and teh 1800 series router and 3560 main backbone switch.
Is this a feasable way to connect the network up?
It is a totally hypothetical scenario just so I can learn a little bit about teh 'real world' since I'm still trying to find a job along side teh CCNA.