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Networks One printer shared across two networks - how?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Unicorn, 23 Jul 2012.

  1. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Afternoon bit-tech! I have a confusing problem that I need some help with. I need to share a networkable photocopier across two networks. There are two businesses on the same floor in an office building that I'm working in and one business would like to allow the other business' employees to use their networked photocopier. It's used as a scanner/PDF creator, copier and printer by business #1 at the moment. It's patched into their network switch via a patch panel cable and I'm looking for a reasonably simple way to put it onto the second network without causing too much disruption to either network topology. Both networks are patched in the same cabinet - the floor was wired "as-one" and split down the middle for both networks, so one network owns one half of the cabinet and the other owns the other half.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I don't want to tackle this one until I'm sure about exactly what I need to do. It's not the first time I've shared a printer on two networks - I have a similar setup with my home and business networks, but it's the first time I've done it with two networks which have entirely different IP addresses and are server-client networks.
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    If it's already in use by one company you'll just need to patch the switches together then give the print server on business 2 a secondary address from business 1 and it'll see if.
    Providing they're not too large broadcast traffic shouldn't be a problem but of course they will be physically linked networks.

    The "secure" way would be to put the printer on it's own network & subnet then put routers/firewalls between each network & the printer network and use access lists to block everything but printer traffic etc. But that's probably going to be a tad expensive based on the fact they're trying to share a printer.
     
  3. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Yes, one network is currently using it - Doesn't patching the switches together screw up the two networks a bit?

    You're saying it should be:

    Photocopier --> Patch --> Switch #1 --> Switch #2

    Am I right? Something tells me it's not going to be that easy. I can try it though. The two company servers and networks use completely different IP addresses anyway - one uses a 10.0.0.x IP and the other a standard 192.168.1.x address.
     
  4. Phalanx

    Phalanx Needs more dragons and stuff.

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    Be careful hooking the two networks together. DHCP wars will commence in earnest and you'll be left with all kinds of trouble there.

    Personally, I would see if the photocopier can have another network card added instead, then dual-home the photocopier rather than connecting the two networks together.

    I've done that before for computers that manage a test and live network. Works perfectly.
     
  5. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    That's sort of what I thought. I know that one network uses DHCP and one uses fixed IPs, so the whole linking switches thing makes me a little nervous. I'm not hopeful about the photocopier being upgraded with another NIC. I can look into it, it does seem to be quite a high-end copier so you never know, it might be possible.
     
  6. MSHunter

    MSHunter Minimodder

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    No company should be using DHCP.
    Network administrators should be assigning IPs.

    otherwise DHCP wars can happen on their own.
     
  7. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    That's not true. as long as you only have one DHCP server, then no wars can ensue. unless you got iphones that are refusing to give up their lease.

    I don't think its possible on any one of my networks to solely use assigned ip's
     
  8. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    you could get something like this from netgear and setup the ports so that network 1 cant be accessed from network 2, and network 2 cant be accessed from network 1, but both networks can access the photocopier.

    as far as dhcp is concerned, it shouldn't matter, you can use rip, and seperate submasks, just a pain in the arse to setup properly.

    my dhcp server is handled by my sbs server, which is configured to assign different areas of ip addresses, avoiding ip addresses that are static for network devices and other servers
     
  9. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I thought the solution here was to put a router between the switches and connect the copier to the router. Basically it gets its own subnet.
     
  10. marlowdrummer

    marlowdrummer Minimodder

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  11. MSHunter

    MSHunter Minimodder

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    sorry that was vague of me. I meant that in DHCP as much as possible should be assigned MAC= IP at the very least all Network equipment and printers. Especially when using windows.
     
  12. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    and how would you connect both networks to the router, you are better off, and it probably cheaper to use a switch with vlan capability, and set say port 1 to allow traffic only to and from port 2 and port 3 to allow traffic to and from port 2, but block traffic between 1 and 3.

    this may help how to setup a vlan

    you can add a third colour green for the printer
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2012
  13. tehBoris

    tehBoris What's a Dremel?

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    The best way, as described by others, is to give the printer it's own network (possibly a VLAN) and ensure that each network has access to that network (or VLAN) but not each other. This ensures that each network doesn't mess with the other, but both have sufficient access to necessary resources.

    One concern I would have is if they use any 'magic'* software to use the printer, this setup will almost certainly break it.

    *software that relies on simple network topology and subnet broadcasts to function.
     

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