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Let Me Hear From You!!!!!!

By printmn1 ·
I am a systems administrator working for a 75 Million/yr. Manufacturing company. There are approximately 200 local and remote users that you support along with several servers. As the systems administrator Iam responsible for identifying and solvinga wide variety of problems. Many problems can be addressed with little or no expense, however others require a capital expenditure. The CIO and CFO must approve all capital expenditures. Many of the other senior management have input as well.

Based on the problems identified below I must:
?h Articulate the problem
?h Identify a solution
?h Cost justify the solution
?h Develop a project plan
?h Develop a project budget

Note: You are not required to propose Microsoft only solutions but solutions must be accurate and justified.

My company has a very active 24-hour engineering division. The engineering div. requires access to a networked CAD system and a schematic archive imaging system. The engineering div. is directly responsible for 25 Million/yr. in revenue. There are 40 engineers with an average salary of $130,000/yr.

The server that supports the CAD and archive systems is several years old. The processor averages 85%, and the storage space is at 90%. I havedetermined that the server has 90% annual uptime. Within the last three months; I have had to restore from backup twice due to server failure. The down time was 8 hours per incident. I attribute the extended restore time due to a backup system that require me to span across three tapes. The network is 10/100 Ethernet.

The engineers have complained of slow response time. They advise that the average engineer spends 30-40% of their time waiting for the server to serve up files. In the past year along they have had to recreate 76 man-hours of work due to server failure.

Please give me help resolving these problems.

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Let Me Hear From You!!!!!!

by mcdg In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

The server is obviously under stress. I would not be happy with 2 failures in a 3 month period. I have not experienced this with any server. I would also expect more than 90% up-time.

It seems to me you should have no trouble justifying a new server. The downtime due to the 2 failures should be justification alone. If you calculate the $ cost of your 40 engineers time due to the failures and also the ongoing waiting time, I think it would be much more than the cost of a new server.

I would also look at your network infrastructure. Sounds like these users use a lot of network bandwidth (you may want to quantify this). I would have all these users on a 100Mb switch, with the server also on a 100Mb switch (full-duplex connection). Same switch or different depending on geography of you LAN.

You could probably justify getting a network consultant to study your network and provide recommendations.

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Let Me Hear From You!!!!!!

by printmn1 In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

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by Its a secret In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

I agree with answer one. I would also reinforce the infrastructure. Along with running through switches, run fiber from each department/office area to a router back near the server. Install cat 6 or better wiring. Be sure the wiring is done right. Not put over top of florescent light fixtures etc(this is not a place to be penny wise). Be sure the patch cables are 568b and not just a generic straight through. You might be surprised at a speed difference this could cause. Break up large areas of workstations with switches. You stated complaints of speed. Hey with 75 million a year and only 200 users 25 million rev from engineers. Upgrade everything(do the engineers and server first). They deserve it.

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Let Me Hear From You!!!!!!

by printmn1 In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

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by NetWill In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

NO user is ever happy with response time!!!

But in your case, an upgrade is needed.

My 2 cents:

1- always put the resources closer the the users to minimize traffic. If the user need to access a CAD program, put the server in the same LANas the user, if possible.

2- add load balance on server, implement server farm and get as much RAM as possible especially for Microsoft servers. setup Ether Channel on servers to maximize throughput.

3- use switches to have multi-port domain for Ethernet or go with gigabit Ethernet, FDDI, ATM if money is not an issue.

4- place your router in Hierarchical Topologies

Core - Top of the hierarchy. Design the core for high reliability, Design with speed in mind, Select routing protocolswith lower convergence times. No workgroup access at this level.
Distribution - Emphasis is control where the management takes place. This level you should Implement filtering, security policies, routing, and other support functions.
Access - Controls user and workgroup access to internetworks resources. Policies, collision domain, access control

5- Understand what application are doing to your netowrk.

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Let Me Hear From You!!!!!!

by printmn1 In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

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by printmn1 In reply to Let Me Hear From You!!!!! ...

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