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How to Set Up an Intranet

written by: S. R. Obbayi•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 1/7/2011

Are you puzzled over how to create an Intranet? Well, it need not be so as creating an Intranet is just a matter of installing the right software on your network. Read on to see what software I am talking about and have your Intranet up and running in no time.

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    What is an Intranet?

    In this article I am going to show you how to create an Intranet. First off we need to what an Intranet is. An Intranet is a private network of computers usually within an organization that facilitates the communication and sharing of documents among the organizations employees mostly centered around website technologies.

    An Intranet can also be termed as a specialized private website accessible only from within a private network.

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    The Basics

    The most important thing you need to have before you can think about creating any Intranet is to have a network of interconnected computers within a private network via WiFi or cable connection.

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    Other Components

    Next, decide what services you want your Intranet to be comprised of. This would include network services based on TCP/IP such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, Groupware and anything you want to have running on your Intranet. The next thing you will need to do when creating your Intranet is determine the computer which will be the server or depending on the set up you can have more than one server.

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    Software for Your Intranet

    apache monitor The server or servers you run will need to have the appropriate software to make the Intranet functional. The users' computers will also need to have the right client software to communicate with your servers. All the software to run an intranet can actually be acquired free from the open source choices.

    Here is a breakdown of the software you may want to use to create an Intranet.

    You will need to have a web server software installed and configured. If you use a Windows based Server Operating System then you could set up IIS server as the web server otherwise you can use the preferred Apache web server which is open source. Apache will run on almost any Operating System so this might be preferable especially if you want to run on a none Windows Operating System.

    You may also want to have a database set up as a back-end for your web server and other information storage and session management. In this case you can use an open source database such as MariaDB or MySQL. If you want your Intranet to serve up dynamic content, you may also want to install server scripting technologies such as PHP which is also open source and free. IIS web server comes with ASP as an option.

    Once all these are set up and running, all that remains is getting a competent web developer to develop the Intranet the same way they would develop a website.

    You may also want to extend your Intranet and include features such as FTP to allow certain users to upload files to the server. You can use a good FTP server software such as Filezilla on Windows which also comes with GUI based cross platform client. Linux comes with a preinstalled FTP daemon called vsftpd which would just need to be configured by the developer.

    If you would like to handle email within your Intranet you can use mail server software such as Sendmail. For the users you can have web based email client such as Squirrel mail or a stand alone client such as Zimbra.

    Finally the Intranet is accessed through your favorite web browser by typing in the http:// followed by the IP address or the server name of the Server running the web server software.

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    Conclusion

    Even though there are complex corporate Intranets, it does not take much in terms of resources to create one yourself as all the software mentioned comes with detailed installation instructions. With the information above you now have a basic idea of how to create an Intranet that will in most cases meet all your requirements.

    Due to the nature of Intranet contents you might fnd yourself creating pages, manuals, policies that require skills such as table of contents implementation as well as creating site maps for your Intranet.