An Intranet is a TCP/IP network within an organization. Intranet planners have the luxury of having much more control over the network and client software than is possible on the Internet. This control makes it possible to guarantee a better quality of service and to use available bandwidth more efficiently, so that time-critical applications like streaming audio or video run smoothly.
You can’t randomly expand an intranet forever without overloading some parts. You will start to need a hierarchy in your network. The general rule is to keep the machines that frequently talk to one another close together in the network, preferably on the same IP subnet, where communications will be fastest. See Chapter 12, Performance Analysis and Tuning, in Managing NFS and NIS by Hal Stern (O’Reilly & Associates) for more details on partitioning networks.
When deciding where to place a web server on your intranet, consider whether it will be accessed by the outside world as well as from inside your organization, and who has priority. If you have two distinct sets of web content, one internal and one external, you should run at least two web servers, perhaps two virtual servers on the same machine.
Web servers that talk to the Internet should have their best connection be to the Internet, but if internal users are also sharing that connection for email and Usenet traffic, for example, then outside web surfers may be starved for network bandwidth. ...