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Need LAN and WAN direction

By Dr. After ·
What I mean by that is I just started working on a network involving a LAN with it's own dedicated server at a small high school and it is also supporting another server at their elementary school. This is all on Server 2000. As of now, all workstations are set up like a p2p network with no domains and everyone is running POP3 directly to their workstations. I am still new to dealing with this large of a scale, but I now I can get it done with the proper help. (that is where you guys come in!) What I would like to do is set them up with domain groups and allow the users to no longer be dependent on their single workstation. I would like them to be able to access their accounts from either school. I would also like to know what is the best security for a set up like this. Also, what is the best way to set up their emails with their accounts? Setting up an email server is completely new to me, so I am open for all suggestions there. Thanks in advance and if you need in more info to help with your suggestions, just let me know.

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by CG IT In reply to Need LAN and WAN directio ...

What you should do is get an IT consulting firm with a good track record to come in and do a network infrastructure design top to bottom including forests, domains, Organizational Units, FSMO, DC and DNS placement, Sites, distribution groups, security groups, wire closet, and WAN links.

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by CG IT In reply to

just my 2 cents.

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by Dr. After In reply to

This school does not have enough money to have a "firm" come in and do any of this. They have a great network already installed, they just have utalized any of its capabilities yet.

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Sorry I cant help more than this, but #1 step you need to do is break this big project down into small individual projects/tasks and time line it out giving yourself time to work on the issues that will come up as you take each step, otherwise you are in for 1 MAJOR headache.

CG IT had the right idea. This quiestion is about a 2000 pointer easily. You sound like you have the "Physical Network" in place, but with a domain you need to build the software/infrastructure from ground up on that domain. Then tackle the email.
Each part of your question is a question in itself and there have been full books written on each.
I would suggest if you dont already have training in doing this either have the schools send you for some Domain and email training or as CG suggests bring in a consultant and have them layout a plan with you (if they just design the plan with your input and you do the actual work then the cost will be minor to the cost of the network time, software costs you are about to put in. The number of accounts (email and network) and the amount of data, files, emails, etc all need to be considered.

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by Senior Program Analyst In reply to

I wanted to add a note that I believe (If Memory Serves me correctly) to start with you will need to upgrade/maybe re-install one of the 2000 servers as a "Domain Server" or puchase a small server to act as your domain server. After you have a Domain Server you will need to Modify each PC so it will be on that domain before anyone can easily access the servers. Once you have the domain tree/farm created you modify login accounts for the users on the domain and modify access rights to the data directories using domain Access Groups. Once all this is in place you can then look into changing over your email system and connect the users accounts to the email accounts. (as I said if: if my memory holds true and this is just a overview).

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by Dr. After In reply to

I'm taking baby steps from here... thanks for the advise and look for me i the future for when I ask a more specific question! ;-)

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by CG IT In reply to Need LAN and WAN directio ...

geez, you need a plan, well really multiple plans before you begin anything regarless of the current infrastructure thats in place. There is a forest plan, domain plan, OU plan [which includes users and groups, a site topology plan [which includes placing DCs, DNS, Global Catalogs, Master roles], schema mod plan [but thats an exception than a rule], AD implementation plan.

If you new to designing an Active Directory infrastructure isn't not a simplified task [as the # of and types of plans outlined above show]. The design process is to design for ease of administration, simplicity and flexibility for future growth needs. Though this is a school, schools do require future growth and the plans must include this.

This is why I suggested getting an IT consultant with a proven track record in designing an AD infrastructure. You mention POP3 mail and in considering a AD environment, adding in Exchange servers for email must also be considered as an AD environment is based upon the DNS naming convention. Security must also be desgined into the AD infrastructure to include sites links and WAN internet access.

This medium at Tech Republic can't possibly provide all the guidance in developing a comprehensive Active Directory infrastructure design plan that you could implement.

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by Dr. After In reply to

IT consultant may be needed... for now I am learning more and taking it a bit slow. Thanks!

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by jguasch In reply to Need LAN and WAN directio ...

What I do is get a large White board and start drawing the structure I want.

First stablish how the network looks with all workstations and servers, DNS, DHCP and internet entry point, router, Swiches and firewall. Firewall, Routers, Swictches and DHCP is very important, you need to know where it is or what it is.

Then start drawing up your target domain structure. Servers, resources, workstation, routes, IP's DHCP, DNS, Wins. But if you have not done this before, you can try a lab environment first.

You have to make sure that all your resources and servers are up and running right, Firewall Domain Controller, DHCP, DNS & Wins before your start configuring email, database and so on.

You can have a Domain Controller on the excisting network with out affecting anyone.

Again, if you have never done this before and it is for a critical network (school) get someone who has done it before and you two can build the domain with you learning how to do it.

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by Dr. After In reply to

I am going to get some more experienced fellows to walk me through some of this as you suggested. Thanks.

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