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Old 01-11-2016, 12:17 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2015
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Setting up a network of static ip's

Hi there,

I'm a little new to this so please excuse any simple questions.
[Background] I am setting up a touring network of up to 50 raspberry pi's (though initially there will be 32) and 15 Windows laptops. Ignoring the Windows laptops for the moment, the 32 rpi's are going to be set up in groups of 4 all connected via ethernet to a 5 port switch, with the last port using a TP-Link nano router set up in client mode to act as a wifi adapter for the 4 rpi's. The 15 laptops have their own wifi and can be set up which ever is easiest, either with static ip addresses or using dhcp.

I will have one or maybe two more raspberry pi's on the network that I will eventually be configuring as an ntp server, firewall (possibly) and backup server attached to one or maybe two external hard drives, these will be taking back ups of the windows laptops only, the raspberry pi's are purely there to provide images and video on screens, and I have written a couple of handy scrips to do things like format usb sticks super quick.

One of the main reason for networking them all together is so that at the end of the night, I can shut down the entire network of rpi's with a single button click on the server to protect them from being unplugged while live.

So my question is, what ranges of IP addresses do I use. I was going to do the following:
pod 1:
nano1 (nano router)

pod 2

pod 3
Is this the right way to go about this, or is there a specific range that I should be using as at some point in the network there will be some DHCP for personal laptops and mobile internet etc but I was going to use a separate subnet for that

Also I don't know how this works from the router, as my home router you can only set up 32 static ip's on it. I was hoping to use another pi to handle the dishing out of ip addresses, but not sure how this works, does my ntp server/firewall pi become the default gateway?

And as for back up pi, could that just be one of the pi's on the network somewhere?

any pointers on this topic would be much appreciated.

kind regards
Old 01-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #2
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Personally, I would disable the DHCP on the router and use a Linux separate server as my DHCP server. On the Linux server you could:
  • Specify your own DHCP ranges.
  • Specify an unlimited amount of static IP address (well technically limited to the size of the address space you're using).
  • Still use the router as the default gateway.
  • Have more flexibility in how DNS is also served on your local network.
  • Be able to net install Linux over the network (which is handled via PXE boot)

Those are some of the reasons I run my own Linux server for DNS and DHCP. e.g. I visit printer.home for my network printer and router.home for my router configuration page.

Running your own DHCP gives you a lot more flexibility in how you manage your Raspis. It also provides a central place in which your Pis can phone home for configuration and setup (e.g. configuration management through Ansible or any of the other alternatives).

Last edited by sag47; 01-11-2016 at 12:47 PM.
Old 01-12-2016, 05:09 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2015
Posts: 248

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Thank you, that basically confirms that I am on the right track as regards the ip addressing, which I am having to do now and then configure the whole network in 2 months time which is not ideal, but so long as I keep track of hostnames and ip addresses I should be ok. One more quick question for you if you don't mind.

As I am using a router and also an AP booster, I am assuming that the Raspberry pi will need to be connected via ethernet to the router, and then a second ethernet (I have found a USB one 300mps) to connect to the AP and then the rest of the nano routers will connect to the AP. Is this how the server would need to be connected if it is going to be controlling the IP address allocation?

Kind regards


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