Do I require a Router?

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    This IT Setup comprises of 1 Windows Server 2008 R2, 20 sets of (Monitors + Key Boards + Mice), 2 stand-alone Desktop PCs, few Laptops, 2 Network Switches (Unmanaged, Layer 2), NComputing devices, and an Internet Connection (Wimax type, leased line) terminating itself through a CAT5e ethernet Cable.

    The 20 sets are using the Windows Server 2008 R2 as their shared CPU box using the NComputing Virtualization environment – but I am not discussing Virtualization here.

    The Windows Server 2008 R2 is used as a DHCP Server also, and there is no other DHCP Server pesent in the Setup.

    Now, we want to use the Internet Connection.

    The method suggested by the service provider is to connect their CAT5e ethernet Cable to either a Managed Switch, or a Router, or a computer configured as a Proxy Server. And confgure it with the IP Address settings provided by them. And from the Router, a cable is to be connected to the Network Switch.

    What we did: We connected the CAT5e ethernet Cable to the Unmanaged, Layer 2 Switch we have (DES-1024D 24-Port Switch). And configured the IP Address (Static IP, Subnet Mask, and DNS details) in the Windows Server. Surprisingly, some computers are connecting to the Internet! While, others are not. To be a bit more specific, all 20 sets are connecting to Internet. And a Windows 7 laptop is also connecting to Internet. While another laptop with XP as the OS is though showing same DNS (as provided by the sevice provider, and also configured in the Windows Server) and a different IP Address. It is not connecting to the Internet.

    Now, firstly I want to understand this (strange to me) behaviour.
    And secondly that should we connect a Router in the setup, or doing a bit of configuration in the Windows Server could serve our purpose? On another note, I am not sure to make the Windows Server as a Proxy Server in case that could negatively affect the performance of the 20 sets of users sharing this Server?

    Thanks in advance for your responses!


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