Question Computers connected to NAS and independent internet switch

Mar 13, 2019
Hi. The engineering clubs at my university are currently using 4 computers. These computers are connected over ethernet to a network switch which connects them to the router. To cut back on the number of times we store each club's files, we're trying to connect the 4 computers to a NAS in the building's server room. However, we only want those 4 computers to see the NAS. Our first idea was to hook the computers up to the NAS directly, but that would cut off our wired internet. Is there any way that we could connect each computer to both the NAS and the router's network switch over ethernet, connect the NAS to the router's switch for internet access, and be able to remotely access the NAS? The computer we currently have for a NAS is a dual CPU server(powerful and plenty of drive slots), originally intended for offloading cpu intensive loads like rendering 3d models or running simulations. It should be noted that we also hope to be able to offload computing now and then from programs like solidworks and ansys to this server.

Side note. Most of us have built PCs before, so we're relatively tech savvy, but this is a bit out of our league.
Who is the Administrator that manages the "NAS in the building's server room"? That person is who you need to contact and to work with.

That person should be able to configure the NAS to provide the required storage space and the necessary access rights to groups and individuals by club membership. Provided that your clubs can be granted permission to use the NAS accordingly.

As another option, just find a unused desktop (or put one together with scavenged components, etc.) and install FreeNAS as a dedicated storage device for the four clubs.

FreeNAS is very configurable and free.. User Guide link:

Just get permission to place your NAS on the university's network as should be done for any other network device. Again you will need to work with the campus IT folks.
So taking into account the above if you are allowed to connect a new machine/nas to the network you should be able to configure the nas to restrict access to only the ip/mac of the 4 machine you want to have access. Most have a userid/password system also so you could use that.

Any other separate network concept is going to mean you do something like buy second nic cards for each machine or you use vlans which it not likely a possibility since the college runs the network