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Upgrading a business network

I should frame this by saying although I'm not an IT professional I am familiar with most networking concepts, and adminster a small network with a linux server and multiple PCs running both windows and linux, wired and wireless.

I have been tasked with modernizing an older network in a company with multiple offices.  Offices are spread out:  West coast, East coast, and Europe. Wireless is not a requirement, and there are roughly 20 users at each location.

The desire is to establish VPN(s) between all three, as well as offer VOIP and video conferencing if possible.  All three offices have old-school PBXs for their phone systems, and I'm wondering if there is a way to implement the VPNs as well as cover voice/video communcations between the three offices.

There is also a desire to be able to have each office offer a way to connect remotely via VPN, or from one office to another, and have proxy-web access through the office servers.

Cisco recommended using an RV220W router at each location and leaving the wifi turned off.  I can see how this might work, but I'm a little lost as to how to handle voice and video communications.

Is there a solution that captures these requirements?

Community Member

Upgrading a business network

HIt me up at with a list of equip. what you have now at each office and i look over what can be done to have VOIP and video over internet. I would also need Internet connection speed at each location.



Community Member

Re: Upgrading a business network

In my humble opinion you are jumping into a realm where a non-IT guy simply can't do it all. You'll have wan issues, security issues, phone dial plan issues, etc that all require certain expertise.

That said, what you are asking for is very normal.

I suggest contacting 2-3 vendors who can provide you with quotes for a fully managed solution. The cost might pleasantly surprise you. then you select one and mange them. The Vendor might literally be a 2 man shop or a big guy like CDW.

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Community Member

Upgrading a business network

Before we get wayyyy too far in this thread, I guess we should start with basics....

Since you're not an IT guy and you're posting in an IT-professional-driven group, i'm going to assume you're going to attempt this yourself or there is no budget to hire a consultant?

If you're going to attempt this yourself, there are MANY different aspects you're going to need to investigate, LAN infrastructure, WAN infrastructure, Telecom (dial-tone), hardware and software...  The obvious choice is the have an outside company/vendor come in and scope the entire project and do the work; at the VERY LEAST, hire an consultant to provide project planning/guidance.

On the flip side, vendors are typically driven by profit margins/quotas and I [do] get why someone may want to tackle this themself.  Seriously, Cisco gear is NOT cheap, but it is BY FAR the best.  Your initial requirements of voice/video/multi-site connectivity screams high margins and expensive gear.  Seeing as there ARE happy mediums between "the best (ie: Cisco)" and "budget minded" you really should consider getting some third party assistance to put together a package that fits your needs (either technically or budget minded).

Obviously you're going to get a million people offering to provide services (yes, I am one too).  But what it comes down it is what YOUR needs are, and as-is are very generalized and need to be much more defined.


Sean Brown

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