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Beginner

1 T1 through 1841 to 3 web servers - help ... please

I just started a position where part of my duties are to manage the network ... however, I was told not to worry about it too much because their was an outsourced company that did the heavy lifting.  Guess what.  They went out of business so here I am without a clue regarding layout, passwords, etc. but that's beside the point.  I'll get it figured out.

What I am faced with right now is the owner wants to set up 3 individual webservers (independant of the network) with 3 individual public addresses, one for each server, coming in on a T1 connection. He wants to use a Cisco 1841 router that was purchased as a backup for the network but it does not have a WIC or HWIC interface on it so that's one thing I'll need to get regardless.

I've set up ftp/web servers before but have little experience with Cisco.  My question is can 3 ip addresses be routed through the 1841 (I'm assuming all 3 will be coming in through the T1) or will I need a separate router for each webserver?   Note: the web servers don't need to talk to each other.  Should I use the 1841's firewall or get an external like watchguard or sonicwall, both of which I've worked with.

I know I need a HWIC but should it be a 1 port or a 4 port card.?  I know I sound like an complete idiot but I am not ... just ignorant in this arena so please be considerate. I don't know Cisco's IOS yet but am familiar with using the command line, although right now the SDM works better for me.  Any help would be appreciated.

Based on what I wish to accomplish, 1 T1 through the router(s) to separate public ip addresses on 3 separate web servers, if you have any other suggestions that may work better, at a reasonable pricepoint, I would appreciate any input.

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Hall of Fame Guru

There are some things in your question that are not clear to me and they would impact what kind of answers that I would give. You are asking about a T1 and a T1 is generally a point to point connection. So is there some device that is connected at the other end of the T1 that will connect the 3 web servers each with its unique public address? Or are you really talking about 3 T1s, one T1 per server?

If there is some device at the remote side connecting the 3 web servers and you are talking about a single T1 then you would need a one port card. If it is really 3 T1s then you would need the 4 port card.

An 1841 is certainly capable of routing for the 3 public addresses. When you say that the web servers are to be independent of the network I am not sure what that really means. Is the 1841 going to connect to the existing company  network and provide access to the web servers (which in my perspective is not independent of the network) or is the 1841 to have its own connection to the Internet?

It is difficult to give good advice about the firewall question without knowing a bit more about your environment, including what are the real requirements for network security. If the security requirements are for a stateful firewall then you should get a separate box. If the security requirement is just to do some ACL filtering then the 1841 is quite capable of that.

So if you can provide some additional information and clarification of the environment then we may be able to give some better answers.

HTH

Rick

HTH

Rick
Highlighted
Hall of Fame Master

To host web servers your best option is to use an hosting company renting a full virtual machine or whatever options suits you better.

You will not have to worry about bandwidth, redundancy, security or anything else technical and will be able to concentrate on the web content that supposedly is what brings in the revenues. Also the cost will be even smaller that a T1 to the Internet.

Other than that, since you have no experience whatsoever in networking, you should engage a reputable consultant, that will save you a lot frustration and deliver solid results quickly.

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Beginner

@ Richard,

Thanks for the response. I can appreciate things not being clear to you as they are still not clear to me either; I apologize for that.  I’ve been giving this some thought since posting this scenario and doing quite a bit of research. I’ve also gotten a little better picture from owner on what he wants to accomplish. The owner had talked to someone and they said the 3 servers had to be on separate public addresses and I’m not sure that’s the case.

We have several domain names registered and a couple blocks of public ip addresses available to use. First of all, we will have a new single T1 installed dedicated to these 3 servers (separate from the network which is on an existing T1). If we do add an additional T1(s), it will probably be bonded so probably only 1 connection so I could get away with the 1 port card.

  • There will be one server (S1) that will host 3 web sites (say mysite.com, mysite2.com and mysite3.com) which will function only as billboards or landing pages; however, that will be a future server and will probably be a 2003 server with IIS and will not need to communicate with the database servers.
  • There will be two database servers (say DB1.com and DB2.com), each running CentOS because that’s what the software requires, where clients can provide information via forms on the front end that will go into the database on each server.  I think there will be some kind of response sent back to the client but am not sure whether it is more than just an acknowledgement or not.  The servers and databases will serve different purposes and contain different information but DB1 will need to access/query the database in DB2.
  • DB1 will also need to access/query a database server internally (on our network) but the owner does not want to go back out the T1 … just directly to our network so we’re not using the T1 bandwidth. I’m assuming that could be done with a router?

So I guess I would go to GoDaddy, or whoever, point the domains to the router which would direct the traffic to the correct server via NAT/PAT?

Unknowns:

  • What the bandwidth requirements will be for the database servers but that depends on how many clients buy into his program.
  • Level of security required but I am assuming, now that you mention it, I would be looking more towards a stateful firewall. I’m thinking security is going to be a big concern considering the data involved.   what would you suggest for a stateful router if I find I need to go that route.
  • Whatever router I choose must allow me to monitor activity, more on the inbound side. On the 1841s we have, I can see outbound but cannot see inbound … I get an error message or warning something to do with memory, I think.

@Paolo

I appreciate your suggestion as well, and it would be easier for me, but since we have several Poweredge servers left over from an upgrade, the owner wants to use them versus going outside. As for my experience, I’ve only got about 8 years managing Windows/Mac networks with less than 300 seats in a couple of locations but never really got involved with Cisco routers; I had a Cisco guru so I stayed out of the way. Sorry if I gave you the impression that I had no networking experience but I do admit by some standards, it would be considered limited. However, I have to agree with your point on finding a consultant to help; I have no problem with that but the owner is so tight that he squeaks when he walks.

Highlighted

R Edwards wrote:

However, I have to agree with your point on finding a consultant to help; I have no problem with that but the owner is so tight that he squeaks when he walks.

We don't use too many emoticons in this forum but that deserves a good deal!

Highlighted

Routing for 3 separate addresses is very easy on the 1841 (whether they are all out a single T1 or on multiple interfaces the 1841 can do that). If you have a single T1 then the one port card will be fine. If you have multiple T1s then you need the card with multiple ports. Whether the T1s are bonded or not does not change this. It is not a matter of how many logical interfaces there are. The issue is how many physical T1 connections will there be.

I am having some difficulty in understanding the discussion about the multiple servers. But from the perspective of how to provide routing to support them it does not matter very much about how they relate to each other and what the flow of traffic will be amongst themselves. What matters most is how traffic will flow up and down the T1 and how the 1841 will route that traffic.

HTH

Rick

HTH

Rick