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Using Server 2012 Essentials as a Network Bridge?

    Question

  • Hi All,

    I have a potential client who is looking to install Server 2012 Essentials in their office as "first server". They plan to use office 365 for email. Unfortunately the offices have an internet connection that is shared between 3 business. Although each have their own Switch. Currently the other business's do not have servers, all are using DHCP provided by the broadband router connected to all 3 switches. I can setup any port forwards required on the router.

    As they are very price sensitive I am wondering about the following configuration.

    Install 2 network cards in the Server, NIC1 192.168.1.200     NIC2 192.168.100.10

    Connect NIC 1 to the router, and setup the port forwards on the router required by 2012 for web access etc.

    Connect NIC 2 to "their" switch, and associate DHCP, DNS etc. with this NIC (and disconnect the switch from the router).

    Will this work!!

    Is it possible in 2012 to "bridge" or "share" the internet connection on NIC1 with the computers on NIC2?

    Thanks in advance for comment/ suggestions.

    Friday, April 12, 2013 11:01 AM

Answers

  • While it's possible to use the server as a router, you'd be much better off using an actual router for the purpose. This will improve overall security and isolate functions to appropriate devices. Using the server as a router, you're potentially exposing everything on it to attack from any of the other businesses' computers. Basic business class routers aren't all that expensive, and a business' data is usually worth a lot more than that.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by RichardNelson Friday, April 12, 2013 12:06 PM
    Friday, April 12, 2013 11:53 AM

All replies

  • While it's possible to use the server as a router, you'd be much better off using an actual router for the purpose. This will improve overall security and isolate functions to appropriate devices. Using the server as a router, you're potentially exposing everything on it to attack from any of the other businesses' computers. Basic business class routers aren't all that expensive, and a business' data is usually worth a lot more than that.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by RichardNelson Friday, April 12, 2013 12:06 PM
    Friday, April 12, 2013 11:53 AM
  • Hi Ken,

    You have solidified my opinion. I'll go and persuade my client that this is the way to go.

    Thanks.

    Friday, April 12, 2013 12:09 PM