Slightly OT: SBS network with coax technology

Microsoft Windows

Hello,

I am currently in early contacts with a company and I am about to perform an
assessment of their current environment (in order to define if they are
potential SBS target). This company still uses coax cabling and they made it
clear to me: they have no plan to replace this. Beside of complexities like
connecting laptops / finding coax NICs for servers, etc. , I wonder if one
could recommend a tool that I could use to assess the quality of this
network. I have a lot of experience with netmon but I would like to hear
from others how they would approach such a situation.

Any feedback / suggestion would be appreciated.

Xavier
Hi Cris,

I indeed forgot to mention that the customer has about 10 workstations
spread over 3 floors and currently performing MS Office related tasks. My
feeling is that they fear that replacing the coax would cause non
negligeable works to be done in the building...

Xavier


Xavier
Greetings
You probably won't like my response to this but that hasn't stopped me over
the last 8 years

Walk away from this client. In all likelihood the 10base2 network is fine,
except for speed and you haven't said how many workstations or what
applications they will be using. So if they are doing any database work or
anything with large files, network speed would be an issue, but otherwise
you will spend a whole lot of non-billable time only to find out that you
don't have anything bad to show them.

You won't get a brand name server for them with a token-ring nic in it.
You'll spend lots of non-billable time only to find out that you can't
provide a real solution on their cabling. And they will say "sorry" and
its all for naught. What would it cost in materials for moving them to
Ethernet? $300 bucks (cable and nics for the workstations?)

If you really want this client, don't spend of lot of time on this. Offer
to upgrade cabling for the cost of material only. Donate the time and show
it as a cost of business.

But my gut says you will never get them on SBS if they don't want to get rid
of the coax. Spend your time on a client with more potential


--
Cris Hanna [SBS-MVP]
--------------------------------------
Please do not respond directly to me, but only post in the newsgroup so all
can take advantage
Hello,

I am currently in early contacts with a company and I am about to perform an
assessment of their current environment (in order to define if they are
potential SBS target). This company still uses coax cabling and they made it
clear to me: they have no plan to replace this. Beside of complexities like
connecting laptops / finding coax NICs for servers, etc. , I wonder if one
could recommend a tool that I could use to assess the quality of this
network. I have a lot of experience with netmon but I would like to hear
from others how they would approach such a situation.

Any feedback / suggestion would be appreciated.

Xavier
If budget isn't an absolute constraint, and the major issue is fear of
damage to the building by recabling, with that small number of workstations,
you might be able to get away with converting to wireless networking if you
carefully position your access points on each floor.

802.11a/g or its supersets will potentially give you something faster that
10Base2 Coax (up to 54/108Mbps vs 10Mbps), and the equipment, while more
costly than wired networking, might pleasantly surprise your clients - it
probably cost way less than their original NIC's and cabling did in the days
they bought the original kit.

If budget rules, then everybody else is right - walk away.
this.hotmail.com says...

If you have access between floors in a vertical area, you can install
switches on each floor and then run cable through the false ceilings or
install a couple wireless bridges - which would be faster than what they
have now.

If you can't do the wiring yourself, most places charge about $95 per
drop, so, for 3 floors and going to 10 workstations and 1 server, you
could expect about $1200 for the work. If you could install just a
couple drops and then a switch near each group, you could cut your costs
in half.

The conversion to CAT5e/6 would give them improved performance, improved
tolerance (if using thin-net coax, since it is a big loop) to cable
issues, not to mention the ease at which they can now find hardware and
devices that work with Ethernet.

Ask them to give you a count of the number of cable related or suspected
cable related issues they have already had this year and then put a cost
on each one, then see what the ROI would be over the next full year.
Thanks for your usefull input. I'll keep that in mind when I meet them next
week.
Trust Cris, Leythos and now me. If they won't upgrade to Ethernet walk away!
Send them to Best Buy and let the Geek Squad have that problem :>)
Dittos! Too many other potential customers that understand the value of
doing it right the first time. This will cost you and them way too much in
the long run. Give them your advise and if they don't want to follow it you
either have a trust issue or a near-sighted customer. Both are serious
problems.
charlotte.com says...

One thing that ever GOOD Consultant has to learn is that not every job
is a good job to take. There are many jobs that may appear to be a good
deal for you, but that little nag in the back of your head should not be
ignored.

I turned down one customer, a large law firm, because they were located
in the center of the city, no parking anywhere near, expected us to walk
from the nearest parking area (6 blocks), no unloading area/dock, and
they would not pay for parking permits/passes and not permit them to be
added into the cost - needless to say, I hate working in downtown areas
like that to start with, but the parking issue was the clincher for me,
well, that and they required us to wear a tie when onsite (and I vowed
we would never make our people wear ties when I started the company).
They could not believe when we turned down the job, kept telling us what
great customers they would be.... Did I mention they were a law firm -
and do you know what it's like to work for LAWYER types :)
SBS MVP" <anonymous> says...

We've had a number of new clients, small shops, that we've been called
in to fix solutions provided by the GS. It's amazing at how little they
know about architecture, and yet they purport to be able to handle it.

We picked up one company with 200 nodes because they lost confidence in
their IT Provider in the early stage, back when it was expected to be 40
nodes the first 6 months, growing to where it is now in 1 year, and they
found that they could not provide responsive network designs and kept
delaying installations and missing meetings. As it turns out, they were
completely off base in their design, setup a single CPU SBS2003 Dell
2800 server with a single 3x80GB RAID5 array and a 40GB tape drive....
Needless to say, we're now at One large server, one dedicated Exchange
server, one Terminal server, and have almost 80 Neoware CE units....

We've never advertised our services and seem to get more clients this
way, from faulty designs of other IT companies, than any other way...

Sorry, rant mode off/
this.hotmail.com says...

Is it thin-net coax - the 10base-T with F/T coax connectors for their
network devices where all connections are part of a single big loop?
I'll have to check and post back.
[email protected] says...

Backbox makes a number of devices that convert Ethernet to 10Base-T and
other formats, and they are very reliable.

Unless the company has a serious cash-flow problem, moving to CAT5e or
CAT6 would be easy in many cases - you can often use the old thin-net
cable to pull several CAT5/6 cables at the same time.

I'm assuming they are using thin-net and not token-ring.