I use a segmented network 100% of the time with no loss of functionality. It is definitely the way to go for people who are not familiar with LinuxMCE.
Segmented network brings the following complexities:
- Configuring LinuxMCE services for outside access is more difficult, since you have 2 firewalls to get through instead of one
- Devices on the "non-LinuxMCE" network can't directly see devices on the "LinuxMCE" network without additional configuration
- You need 2 wireless access points - one for internal network, and one for external
None of these are very big issues for me, and I'm guessing others would agree. Anyone working with LinuxMCE is probably smart enough to use port forwarding on their router and use the firewall configuration page in the LinuxMCE web-admin. These are both fairly basic concepts, which you should understand before opening services to the internet anyway. Since my core has picked up all my storage devices on the LinuxMCE network, I can access them centrally via the core's network shares. Since the core has a single static IP on the "non-LinuxMCE" network, this is actually easier than tracking 2-3 NAS servers plus the core's onboard storage. The folders within the shares also update when I add new storage devices, so I don't need to reconfigure clients at all. For this to work, you simply need to open the samba ports in the LinuxMCE firewall configuration page. Adding a wireless AP to the internal network is fairly trivial - I have a nice Cisco Aironet that is doing the job well, and I've also used wireless routers with the router/DCHP/DNS features deactivated.
The pros are many:
- Although I find the reliability of the core very high (I've had more problems with my router than my core), it is comforting to some users to have a device they know well at the edge of their network - whatever.
- I don't like the idea of having a server that is a file server for all kinds of stuff, has full access to all the other machines on my network via file shares, and has stored ssh keys for all systems on the edge of my network.
- Keeping the LinuxMCE network separate means that I can do LinuxMCE-related work that may put the stability of the network in jeopardy without worrying about other non-techies in the home loosing a connection
- I don't accidentally net-boot at least 2 of my systems, which refuse to disable PXE boot
- In the rare occasion that the core is having trouble, or I decide to reinstall I still have a reliable and uninterrupted internet connection
While I completely understand and agree with the need for the core to be a gateway device, I disagree that it must be a gateway directly to the internet. That requirement is simply incorrect.
I, too, am fed up with this conversation. I believe I described this approach on the wiki at one time, but it has been changed to something like "no, you must do it the only way that it will work". For such a simple issue, there is really too much talk about it. As far as I'm concerned, people should do whatever works well for them and makes them happy. If there is an easier way, then they should probably do it that way, but I'm not going to tell anyone to do anything. If you want to play network god in your home, that sounds fine to me so long as you don't blame your complex network on me. If you want to put your core on the edge, then things will work fine. If you want to set up a segmented network, then things will also work fine. There is no need for thwacking over this subject.