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Server design

By bharrower ·
Hello

My problem is that I need to come up with a solution for a small buisness that requires 11 workstations to be connected to a database for customer service. Also, each workstation must be able to email, word process and print.

Is it normal to have all of these services provided by one server and also be used as a file server. eg: a server that can print, file, database and email serve?

If more than one server is required, should I have a database on one server and the other server to do file serving, email, etc.

What NOS software would you recommend, I was thinking windows server 2003. What OS software for the workstations, Windows XP Pro ?

What size, speed, RAID or not would you recommend?

Any answers would be appreciated. As you can probably tell I am a novice

Regards

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by jdgretz In reply to Server design

A bit more information is needed to really make a good recommendation for this. You really have two options from Microsoft - Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003.

The minimal configuration I supply to small businesses is 3.0Ghz P4 with 1Gig RAM, a pair of mirrored 120Gig Drives, a Sony Tape Drive for backup, DVD burner, Intel Motherboard with Dual 10/100/1000 NICs.

If the budget allows multiple servers than split them up. Otherwise, a single server may well fill the bill.

Questions -

Will there be remote access to the data (not for remote managment, but needing Terminal Services for users)?

Is your mail hosted locally or with an ISP? Do you want or need an Exchange server?

Do you need a shared contacts list?

Would an internal web server make sense to the organization?

The workstations will have the software for the applications, not the server. Each workstation must have a copy of what ever office suite you are using. Can they or will they consider OpenOffice.org/StarOffice, or do you have to go with Microsoft Office? Remember, unless you are in a non-profit environment, this gets expensive.

If you plan to be in a Microsoft environment (doesn't sound like Linux is in consideration - shame) then put XP Pro on the workstations.

Size of the RAID? How much data do you have and what growth do you expect? Double that number for your initial storage requirement. Most users will not take a document, put it on the server and then point everyone to that document, they will email a copy to everyone, and each user will keep the original email as well as a copy of the file.

As for the type of RAID - again, what kind of budget do you have? Small companies can get away with simple mirroring. This protects against a catastrophic failure of one drive. A stripped array (RAID 5) is much more robust, and if you have hot swappable drives then all the easier to maintain, but it does up your hardware costs considerably.

Printing is e

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by jdgretz In reply to Server design

A bit more information is needed to really make a good recommendation for this. You really have two options from Microsoft - Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003.

The minimal configuration I supply to small businesses is 3.0Ghz P4 with 1Gig RAM, a pair of mirrored 120Gig Drives, a Sony Tape Drive for backup, DVD burner, Intel Motherboard with Dual 10/100/1000 NICs.

If the budget allows multiple servers than split them up. Otherwise, a single server may well fill the bill.

Questions -

Will there be remote access to the data (not for remote managment, but needing Terminal Services for users)?

Is your mail hosted locally or with an ISP? Do you want or need an Exchange server?

Do you need a shared contacts list?

Would an internal web server make sense to the organization?

The workstations will have the software for the applications, not the server. Each workstation must have a copy of what ever office suite you are using. Can they or will they consider OpenOffice.org/StarOffice, or do you have to go with Microsoft Office? Remember, unless you are in a non-profit environment, this gets expensive.

If you plan to be in a Microsoft environment (doesn't sound like Linux is in consideration - shame) then put XP Pro on the workstations.

Size of the RAID? How much data do you have and what growth do you expect? Double that number for your initial storage requirement. Most users will not take a document, put it on the server and then point everyone to that document, they will email a copy to everyone, and each user will keep the original email as well as a copy of the file.

As for the type of RAID - again, what kind of budget do you have? Small companies can get away with simple mirroring. This protects against a catastrophic failure of one drive. A stripped array (RAID 5) is much more robust, and if you have hot swappable drives then all the easier to maintain, but it does up your hardware costs considerably.

Printing is e

Collapse -

by jdgretz In reply to Server design

A bit more information is needed to really make a good recommendation for this. You really have two options from Microsoft - Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003.

The minimal configuration I supply to small businesses is 3.0Ghz P4 with 1Gig RAM, a pair of mirrored 120Gig Drives, a Sony Tape Drive for backup, DVD burner, Intel Motherboard with Dual 10/100/1000 NICs.

If the budget allows multiple servers than split them up. Otherwise, a single server may well fill the bill.

Questions -

Will there be remote access to the data (not for remote managment, but needing Terminal Services for users)?

Is your mail hosted locally or with an ISP? Do you want or need an Exchange server?

Do you need a shared contacts list?

Would an internal web server make sense to the organization?

The workstations will have the software for the applications, not the server. Each workstation must have a copy of what ever office suite you are using. Can they or will they consider OpenOffice.org/StarOffice, or do you have to go with Microsoft Office? Remember, unless you are in a non-profit environment, this gets expensive.

If you plan to be in a Microsoft environment (doesn't sound like Linux is in consideration - shame) then put XP Pro on the workstations.

Size of the RAID? How much data do you have and what growth do you expect? Double that number for your initial storage requirement.

As for the type of RAID - again, what kind of budget do you have? Small companies can get away with simple mirroring. This protects against a catastrophic failure of one drive. A stripped array (RAID 5) is much more robust, and if you have hot swappable drives then all the easier to maintain, but it does up your hardware costs considerably.

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by ITInstructor In reply to Server design

What kind of database? Do you have any idea of the writes this database will be doing? You also need to have spam solution for email or your server might spend more storing spam than anything else.

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by mrostanski In reply to Server design

Hi!
The answer provided by jdgretz is second to perfect, but I have one addition:
If this is a small company, consider NOT to deploy email server. This should be outsourced - buy email service from whatever ISP you like. Trust me, even in IT companies, there's hardly enough budget for keeping email server's security tight. And this often is critical point - email servers are the most attacked, they are always full, spammed, and so on and on...
Of course, you can have email services in Win2003. They're not bad, but they need to be constantly taken care of. At least in our experiences.
So I'd deploy - Win2003 for Active Directory, file serving, etc. (don't know about database, if I had to choose, I would have to know WHAT it's for)

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Server design

all good answers.
my 2 cents is: get on the phone with a Dill (sic) small business server specialist and let her sell you the stuff to meet your needs.
You do need to know every detail you can get your hands on about how they will use network and computers. start a notebook. think 'how will i recover <everything> if' <fire, flood, lightning, employee theft, whatever> happens. that will tell you what to buy.
budget in ups for each wkstn and the server. virus protection and spyware blocker full versions not trials.
the database vendor will have the recommendations for the workstation and the server hardware, os and ram. they have stake in having their stuff run well so trust em.
plan for growth. figure 4 years for wkstn and server lifetime and plan enuf ram and hd space and horsepower so you don't have to open box for lifetime of wkstn. this means buying good stuff now. get business class stuff, not home office stuff.
get printers with nic's in them.
do not get small business server imho although it maybe just too much bang for the buck to pass up in your situation. again, ask the database vendor if they like sbs.
get an on-site server support service agreement and NOS support.
windows 2003 svr would be my choice also.
one server should do it depending on exactly what the details are.
how will you use tape to restore the system? I am not saying don't use tape, i am saying think about precisely all the steps to recover using tape.
definitely xp pro on the workstations.
the salesperson will help you with raid. go with their advice. you need to have some spare drives of same size and type as originals to use for spares.
create a domain, not a workgroup.
keep those backups tested and off site and remember...
always keep patching...

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by bharrower In reply to Server design

Some more info as requested to help with solutions.

- Buisness provides service through mail, telephone and web based services
- mail will be hosted locally
- A shared contact list is needed
- Detailed service is provided by an Access custom designed database
-Internet is via an ADSL connection
-The budget is not unlimited, but if I can justify the expenses, this is acceptable.

Cheers in advance

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by bharrower In reply to Server design

-There is no need for remote access

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by CG IT In reply to Server design

see our suggestion on the previous thread: Network Planning: by acl33d

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by pgm554 In reply to Server design

Novell small business server 6.6 or their Linux SBS 9.0.
You can buy just 11 licenses (with M$ you would need to buy 15 because you can only get multiples of 5).
Cheaper,faster,more secure.

You get 5 free tech support incidents and you can have more than one server in the tree(up to 5)plus you get a free 2 cluster license.

Can't do that with M$ SBS 2003.

It will do everything you need it to do and more.
A complete NO BRAINER.

www.novell.com/smallbiz

You can download a complete working 90 day eval.

If you like it ,you can buy the licenses and just install them.
You don't need to reinstall the OS.
Ya can't do that with M$.

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